WHEN I SOUGHT a faculty position at top
universities in China, they often replied
that faculty positions were reserved for
those who have a foreign Ph.D. degree
or many years of research experience.
Such staff recruitment policies postulate
that all domestic Ph.D.s are inferior to
My advice: Institutions or professional
societies should establish comprehensive
evaluation systems that rely on ability
and achievement rather than foreign
diplomas and university ranking.
This would open the door for domestic
scientists to show their potential.
School of Engineering Management, Nanjing Audit
University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 211815, China.
“OVERSEAS RETURNEES” (those with
degrees from foreign institutions) are
expected to be more productive in research
than those trained in China, but we are
also required to spend as much time as
local faculty members teaching courses,
applying for grants, advising students, and
providing administrative services.
My advice: Leaders in Chinese institutions
of higher education should dispense with
the double standard and adopt a fair
evaluation system for all faculty members.
Department of Marketing, Shanghai Jiaotong
University, Shanghai, 200030, China.
WHEN I SHARE my interest in pursuing
a career in the biomedical field, many
assume that I want to be a nurse, whereas
In his 30 September 2016 Working Life “Doing science while black” (p. 1586), E. J. Smith wrote that a fellow researcher
had once mistaken him for a delivery man. To follow up on his story, in October, we asked young scientists these
questions: Have you ever been prejudged based on your appearance or background? What advice would you
give to a scientist who had the same experience that you did? What can institutions, professional societies,
or individuals do to prevent such experiences in the scientific community? We heard from researchers facing
a variety of assumptions and stereotypes, some of whom requested that we withhold their names. Here, we present
some of their experiences and advice. Edited by Jennifer Sills