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Sustainable development of science and scientists: academic training in life science labs

Shibayama, Sotaro LU (2019) In Research Policy 48(3). p.676-692
Abstract
Academic training, where senior scientists transfer their knowledge and skills to junior scientists through apprenticeship, plays a crucial role in the development of scientists. This study focuses on two aspects of academic training, autonomy and exploration, to investigate how different modes of training are incentivized and how they affect junior scientists’ performance and career prospects. Drawing on a sample of 162 supervising professors and their 791 PhD students in life science labs in Japanese universities, this study suggests two fundamental conflicts in academic training. First, autonomy granted to PhD students under apprenticeship improves their long-term performance but decreases short-term performance. Because the latter... (More)
Academic training, where senior scientists transfer their knowledge and skills to junior scientists through apprenticeship, plays a crucial role in the development of scientists. This study focuses on two aspects of academic training, autonomy and exploration, to investigate how different modes of training are incentivized and how they affect junior scientists’ performance and career prospects. Drawing on a sample of 162 supervising professors and their 791 PhD students in life science labs in Japanese universities, this study suggests two fundamental conflicts in academic training. First, autonomy granted to PhD students under apprenticeship improves their long-term performance but decreases short-term performance. Because the latter effect costs supervisors, while the former does not benefit them in general, this inter-temporal tradeoff creates an incentive conflict between supervisors and students, inducing non-autonomous training. The short-term cost for supervisors can be compensated in the form of labor input or reputation gain from previous students in the long term, but this typically happens when students are trained with limited scope of exploration, which hinders the originality of students’ knowledge production. This reduces the diversity of knowledge production, presenting another incentive conflict between individual scientists and the collective scientific community. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Research Policy
volume
48
issue
3
pages
676 - 692
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85056747032
ISSN
0048-7333
DOI
10.1016/j.respol.2018.10.030
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e6835c32-f9fc-42a4-ac85-69c029dae2c0
date added to LUP
2018-11-06 10:50:46
date last changed
2019-05-27 17:34:09
@article{e6835c32-f9fc-42a4-ac85-69c029dae2c0,
  abstract     = {Academic training, where senior scientists transfer their knowledge and skills to junior scientists through apprenticeship, plays a crucial role in the development of scientists. This study focuses on two aspects of academic training, autonomy and exploration, to investigate how different modes of training are incentivized and how they affect junior scientists’ performance and career prospects. Drawing on a sample of 162 supervising professors and their 791 PhD students in life science labs in Japanese universities, this study suggests two fundamental conflicts in academic training. First, autonomy granted to PhD students under apprenticeship improves their long-term performance but decreases short-term performance. Because the latter effect costs supervisors, while the former does not benefit them in general, this inter-temporal tradeoff creates an incentive conflict between supervisors and students, inducing non-autonomous training. The short-term cost for supervisors can be compensated in the form of labor input or reputation gain from previous students in the long term, but this typically happens when students are trained with limited scope of exploration, which hinders the originality of students’ knowledge production. This reduces the diversity of knowledge production, presenting another incentive conflict between individual scientists and the collective scientific community.},
  author       = {Shibayama, Sotaro},
  issn         = {0048-7333},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {676--692},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Research Policy},
  title        = {Sustainable development of science and scientists: academic training in life science labs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2018.10.030},
  volume       = {48},
  year         = {2019},
}