Carl Johan Sundberg: Career choices in and out of academia

In an exclusive interview to a special issue of EuroScientist, Carl Johan Sundberg, who is professor of physiology and pharmacology and the head of the bioentrepreneurship unit at the Karolinska Institute, shares his views on European science career paths.

The greatest challenge today is that most researchers are moving from contract to contract. Sundberg, therefore, sees the need for more structured career paths inside academia. He, then, discusses the relative role of the EU and national government, as well as universities in shaping such career paths.

Should universities be endowed with larger resource base, they could plan research over longer period of time, than typical research grant cycles, and preserve their competencies in house. Ultimately, this strategy could provide greater stability in the career of academic scientists.

He also sees the need for universities to introduce complementary skills training into PhD courses to ensure that scientists are ready to face their future responsibilities in and out of academia. However, not all the skills can be taught. Those who chose to move out of academia and become entrepreneurs would need, above all, perseverance and stubbornness.

Don’t miss other articles of the special issue on European science career paths on Tuesday 10th December.!

Featured image credit: Ulf Sirborn

Go back to the Special Issue: Science Career

Sabine Louët

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