January 2013: Researchers like their work but not the employment system in which they work. For many the reality is seen as a frustrating round of chasing grants and fellowships while trying to write papers and (for some) manage a heavy load of teaching and administration.
The Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) was commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Innovation to investigate the career pathway for researchers in Australia, and Toss Gascoigne was asked to conduct the survey and write the report.
The report can be downloaded from the Research workforce strategy page of the ACOLA website.
Australian researchers held back in struggle for jobs, funding
"There's a lot of bitterness, anger and frustration out there in the world of Australian research." The Conversation 15/01/2013
Doctoral graduates left chasing dreams
Richard Strugnell, Dean of Graduate Studues at Melbourne University personally thinks Australia is producing too many PhDs. "We are training them on the assumption they are going into academia. But the majority won't. We just don't know where they end up." The Australian 16/01/2013.
He has extensive experience in training researchers in media and presentation skills, developing communication plans, and the art of successful collaboration. His clients include CSIRO, CRCs, universities and state and federal Government Departments.
He works at the interface between people working in research and tertiary education, and policy makers in Parliament and Government.
Toss devised and organised the Science meets Parliament event in 1999, and has run five such events for scientists and technologists and four for people working in the humanities, arts and social sciences.
In 2008 Toss organised a CHASS workshop on the future of the PhD. The workshop involved all the major tertiary bodies, and resulted in an agreed set of recommendations for Government and the universities.