Changing outdated expectations


Scientists are expected to advance sequentially from PhD to postdoc to tenure-track faculty. This expectation benefits prestigious academic institutions, which can choose from many applicants, but marginalizes people who follow unconventional trajectories, such as transitions between academia, industry, and teaching. Hiring teams in academia and beyond should embrace diverse, nonlinear career paths. New PhDs may apply their skills in the innovation divisions of large companies, at industry-led think tanks, or as teaching faculty, and may later choose another path or return to research. These experiences deepen understanding and generate new ideas. Academia can improve inclusivity by encouraging innovation, reducing stigma around “alternative” careers, and empowering individuals to make career decisions that suit them.

Houcemeddine Turki
Houcemeddine Turki
Medical student

My research interests include the development of a large-scale framework for using open resources and semantic technologies for driving biomedical informatics and research evaluation at a low cost.