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The future of research in France: population projections

Population and Societies

403, July-August 2004, 6 pages

The first quarter of 2004 found French public research laboratories in unprecedented turmoil, partly from the budget cuts made since 2002, and partly from 550 permanent civil service jobs being turned into fixed-term contract appointments. It is this latter minimal cost-saving measure around which the debate has crystallized. For the government, it reflected an aim to see greater diversification in the employment statuses of research personnel, so as to “add more flexibility” into the system. For researchers, it marked an abrupt worsening of the crisis in employment of young researchers: offering postdoctoral graduates the same pay as a tenured postholder, but without the job security was fated to reduce the appeal of public research. Also, the measure followed the scrapping of the 2001 “Schwartzenberg plan” for a substantial phased increase in the recruitment of researchers to counter the retirement outflow expected from 2006-2012, and a similar Jospin-Lang plan for higher education.

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