Return to academia: The price I’m willing to pay
Published: November 6, 2017
academia_ NaturalScience.Careers

Does academia deserve its reputation as a bad employer? And if so, why do some people choose to return? Philipp Gramlich and Karin Bodewits spoke to four scientists moving from the “real world” back into the ivory tower.

Read the full length article pubished in naturejobs.

Academia has had some bad press in recent years. Long years of temporary contracts, enforced mobility, and low salaries are some of the arguments used against academic careers. But is the grass really greener on the other side?

After six years working in a permanent position at AstraZeneca, Neil Carragher embarked on a five-year contract as a PI at the Edinburgh Cancer Research Center. “I missed academic freedom and academia’s inspiring environment. In industry, the company strategy comes from above and you can’t really influence it as an individual,” he says. Moving to AstraZeneca in the first place was a tactical decision. “After two post-docs, I felt that industry offered a more supportive career path.”

After those years in big pharma, Carragher felt confident that he would make it in the academic world; “I had a large network, a clear scientific vision, and full support from the head of the department. Plus, they offered me a five-year contract, which is plenty of time to show what you can do.” Continue reading at

Philipp Gramlich has studied and researched chemistry at various universities in Germany, Australia and Scotland. After experiences in industry at baseclick and Eurofins Genomics, he co-founded NaturalScience.Careers. With seminars like “Goodbye academia?” he focuses on career- and skill-development for natural scientists.

Karin Bodewits, PhD graduate from the University of Edinburgh, founded the career platform NaturalScience.Careers. She works as an author, speaker and seminar leader for a range of communication topics, and is the author of ‘You Must Be Very Intelligent – The PhD Delusion‘.