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How to fix the PhD system

Ok, so here's my grand plan for fixing two problems I see with the PhD system - a) Sacrificing 3 years of rewards for a payoff which is entirely abstract (a "title") and b) The exploitation of later stage PhD students as slave labour.

Put simply, there should be significant pay/bursary increases for PhD students every year of their PhD. Each year should present an increase in pay up to the point of the end of the allotted time for the PhD student, where they will receive the salary of a postdoc. Doing this allows the student to be incrementally rewarded for performance over time, and will stop the often seen symptom burnout. Anyone who says that PhD students are doing their work for the love of science are big filthy liars.

Another big benefit of this is that eventually it gets very expensive for a lab to keep around PhD students. They have an incentive to get the PhD student out of the door so that they can save some money. Rather than keeping experienced students around because they actually know what they're doing, it becomes way too expensive to keep them. The best bit is, early PhD students can be paid less, since they don't have the experience, and you can take your chances to find good PhD students. Since it also becomes much more expensive to have a PhD student, there will be fewer students. This can be managed by possibly making the rewards scheme competitive. The bottom 10% of students don't get a pay rise, and will be gently encouraged to go away.

Comments people?

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