May 3, 2017
38% of UK researchers move to take a postdoctoral position in another country following their PhD studies
Graduates from elsewhere in the EU are even more likely than UK nationals to move overseas after graduation, and there is also the indication that international postdoctoral mobility is becoming more common
43% of postdocs cite that the availability of research funding is a particularly important barrier to mobility for early-career researchers
A key driver of mobility for postdocs is career progression, and personal circumstances are generally considered to be less of a barrier for this group than for more senior researchers
Personal relationships, children and family care responsibilities can inhibit mobility
Male researchers are more likely to be mobile than female researchers
Childcare arrangements are important factors in mobility decisions, especially for women
When they do move, women report greater benefits from mobility
Funding is less of a barrier for this group
Elite scientists are drawn to strong institutions who already have excellent researchers
The US and UK are key destinations for elite scientists
More senior scientists may better maintain collaborative links with their country of origin and may be better able to benefit from networking benefits as well as gains in terms of academic performance
Adapted from International mobility of researchers: A review of the literature by Susan Guthrie, Catherine Lichten, Jennie Corbett and Steven Wooding, RR-1991/1-RS, 2017, available at https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1991.html.
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