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Attitudes towards employing researchers over 35 year in Europe

  1. Jan 10, 2010 #1
    I am reading about the eligibility criteria in order to employ researchers they ask non older than 35 years old and also if you want to apply for an assistant professor.
    I just do not understand why.
    I know someone who had almost 5 years before university a job and switched the professional career to another by attending the university, Bachelor, Master, PhD and now due to the age cannot apply to any of these position. and I try to understand why this restriction.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2010 #2
    You haven't actually asked a question. Sorry. Maybe the question is implied but not specific at all.

    If you are asking why your friend did not receive an academic position at a specific institution then did he only apply to that institution?

    Also where specifically in Europe? I am certain most of Western Europe would be pretty open to variances in ages of employees. I think just about every university website that I have looked at across Europe (mainly Holland, France, Germany, Beligum, Sweden) has had a portal for potential employees. For some universities I have seen that they even require professional experience.
  4. Jan 17, 2010 #3
    It looks like he asked a question to me. He/she claims they will not accept applications for assistant professorship from those over 35. His/her question is why.
  5. Jan 17, 2010 #4


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    It's difficult to answer questions like this without further details. What worries me is that it's promoting an idea that you're washed up if you can't get an academic position by age 35 - which to the best of my knowledge isn't the case. (Although, for the record, I know very little about the european system.)

    One possible explanation is that the specific positions may be funded by grants that have been established to promote new or "young" investigators - which I've seen defined as under 35 or so. In that case, being over 35 doesn't mean you can't get A job as a researcher, but it means that you don't qualify for THAT job, because the funding can't be awarded to you. The reason such funding initiatives exist is largely part of the recognition that it's difficult for newcomers to compete for large grants with established researchers, depsite having new and innovative ideas that are worth pursuing.

    In the worst case scenario, this would be an example of agism, which unfortunately does exist, but can be challenged on legal grounds.
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