Research Repository

Unpaid work and access to science professions

Fournier, Auriel MV and Holford, Angus J and Bond, Alexander L and Leighton, Margaret A (2019) 'Unpaid work and access to science professions.' PLoS One, 14 (6). e0217032-e0217032. ISSN 1932-6203

Unpaid work and access to science professions.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Unpaid work in the sciences is advocated as an entry route into scientific careers. We compared the success of UK science graduates who took paid or unpaid work six-months after graduation in obtaining a high salary or working in a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics) field 3.5 years later. Initially taking unpaid work was associated with lower earnings and lower persistence in STEM compared with paid work, but those using personal connections to obtain unpaid positions were as likely to persist in STEM as paid workers. Obtaining a position in STEM six months after graduation was associated with higher rates of persistence in STEM compared with a position outside STEM for both paid and unpaid workers, but the difference is considerably smaller for unpaid workers. Socio-economic inequality in the likelihood of obtaining entry in STEM by taking an unpaid position is a well-founded concern for scientific workforce diversity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Demography; Science; Socioeconomic Factors; Adult; Salaries and Fringe Benefits; Female; Male; Surveys and Questionnaires
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2019 12:03
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:01

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item