Just a brief one today — I’ve been playing with parameter settings on the funding/careers model, particularly the impact of postdoc promotions. In the base scenario, postdocs (referred to as PDRs here: Post-Doctoral Researchers) have about a 15% chance of getting promoted to a permanent position. Here’s a sample run at the base settings (which includes the mentoring bonus added last time):
I’ve finally worked out how to fix the legends on these graphs! Now let’s compare to a scenario in which 50% of postdocs get promoted:
Note that the mean productivity of grant-holders (the green line) is overall a bit higher than in the 15% case. The productivity of promoted postdocs (the orange line) also tracks higher over time than in the 15% scenario.
Now let’s try 100% promotion chance:
Here the productivity of grant-holders and promoted PDRs is higher than in either the 50% case or the 15% case.
So does this mean that promoting more postdocs is our ticket to a more productive research community? Well, in this virtual academia it seems to help — but still we’re seeing a lower level of productivity than in the postdoc-free scenario. Not to mention that there’s still quite a bit of statistical work here to be done to determine how significant these effects are — but it’s an interesting result from today’s work and one I hope to address in the paper, assuming that the analysis bears it out.