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Higher Education Policy

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 225–243 | Cite as

Competition in Science: Links Between Publication Pressure, Grant Pressure and the Academic Job Market

  • Cathelijn J. F. WaaijerEmail author
  • Christine Teelken
  • Paul F. Wouters
  • Inge C. M. van der Weijden
Original Article

Abstract

In the current discussions concerning the pressure for publication and to obtain grants, the questions about what publication and grant pressure actually involve and how they are linked to the academic job market, are often neglected. In this study, we show that publication and grand pressure are not just external forces but internal ones as scientists apply pressure to themselves in the process of competition. Through two surveys, one of 1,133 recent PhDs at five Dutch universities and one of 225 postdoctoral researchers at two Dutch universities, we found that publication and grant pressure have to be considered in relation with competition for academic jobs. While publication and grant pressure are perceived to be too high by a majority of these early career researchers, the effects of publication and grant pressure by themselves are limited.

Keywords

publication pressure grant pressure competition early career researchers academic careers 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Cornelis van Bochove, Rosalie Belder, and Hans Sonneveld for discussion on the questionnaire for the PhD survey. We would also like to acknowledge Cornelis van Bochove for coding a random sample of open answers to assess inter-observer reliability. We are very grateful to Moniek de Boer, Danique van den Hanenberg, Malu Kuhlmann, Lisa van Leeuwen, Lisette van Leeuwen, Suze van der Luijt-Jansen, Laura de Ruiter, and Bert van der Wurff for their work in finding the PhDs’ current email addresses. Moniek de Boer and Mariske Drost are thanked for collecting the postdoc data and the HRM departments of the two universities for their support in providing the postdocs’ email addresses. We thank Fleur Praal for helpful literature suggestions. Finally, we would like to thank Nikki Kromkamp for constructive comments and proofreading this article.

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Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cathelijn J. F. Waaijer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christine Teelken
    • 2
  • Paul F. Wouters
    • 1
  • Inge C. M. van der Weijden
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Faculty of Social and Behavioural SciencesLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Organisation SciencesVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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