Number of Postdocs Holds Steady, but Fields Shift

February 14, 2017

The number of postdoctoral researchers at American universities held steady in 2015, with a majority of the positions still in the biomedical sciences and clinical medicine. But the proportion of all postdocs who were in those fields continued to decline, while those in neuroscience, engineering and the social sciences increased, according to new data from the National Science Foundation. The statistics come from the 2015 Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering, produced by the NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics and National Institutes of Health.

The number of postdocs working at U.S. universities was 63,861 in 2015, up 0.4 percent from 63,593 in 2014. Roughly 55 percent of the 2015 postdocs were in the biological sciences (30.2 percent) and clinical medicine (24.8 percent), down from more than 60 percent in 2010.

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