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Labour would tackle short-term postdoc contracts, says Onwurah

Image: LadyGeekTV [CC BY-ND 2.0] via Flickr

A Labour government would target the problem of short-term contracts for early-career researchers as part of a broader effort to boost diversity in academia, the shadow science minister Chi Onwurah has said.

“We need to look at the way in which academic positions for postdocs are based around short-term contracts,” Onwurah told black and minority ethnic early-career researchers at a careers event in London on 3 April.

Postdoctoral researchers frequently rely on a series of short-term contracts rather than more stable, long-term employment. Onwurah compared this to zero-hours contracts, which Labour opposes. “Short-term academic contracts are also precarious and do not give the security and the employment rights that are needed to help ensure real diversity in any profession,” she said. 

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