Position statement on short-term research contracts

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the plight of postdoctoral researchers. Most researchers are driven by intellectual curiosity rather than the desire for financial reward, spending years on a succession of short-term contracts, which can make a career in science an unattractive option.

The microbiology workforce has played an integral role in the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from COVID-19 testing to clinical research involving patients, and not forgetting the incredible efforts of our NHS healthcare scientists working on the frontline. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense disruption to microbiology research across the various career stages and disciplines, further exacerbating the inequalities in microbiology research careers, including career insecurity and uncertainties around career progression.