I have been working at Trinity College Dublin full-time (More than a year)
Great research opportunities
Nice weekly research activities
Situated in city centre
Unpaid extra hours
I worked at Trinity College Dublin as a contractor (More than a year)
not sure what to say here....
Poor environment to work in, very political, not particularly smart people in my department...
Projects are small (research, pre-startup type of work, usually less then five people) so there's a wide range of stuff to tackle and be exposed to.
There's often enormous freedom in choosing work topics, times, tools and approaches.
The objective is to get the job done right, not bill for hours spent or to get something shipped, and you can often publish your work publicly.
*If* you are fortunate and your PI or supervisor is good, it can be very intellectually rewarding, or financially (Havok, Iona and others all spun out of TCD).
There aren't many good PIs or supervisors. And a bad one will lead to a lot of mental stress from very poor management skills, technical skills, even basic people skills.
Contracts are usually for less than two years, and job security or prospects for academic careers are currently nonexistant and that's unlikely to change in the coming decade thanks to government policy, budget cuts and basic maths (tenure track posts are few and oversubscribed by several orders of magnitude).
Things you would normally take as granted as being banned by HR are rife. Work/life balance is nonexistant, and it is expected that you will accept this.
Pay is lower than the private sector to start; if you're doing a PhD you're on a stipend of less than €15k per annum and *may not* earn more than that or you lose the stipend. If you're on contract, your pay is docked by public sector pay levies and pension levies even though you have no job security which is the usual compensation for those levies.
If you are expecting equity deals or the like for a spin-out, you need to get that in writing well ahead of time. College policy will not back contract employees over staff in the event of dispute.
The mental paradigm of PhD students being serfs to academics, and the newer paradigm of contract researchers being vassals of the department, are both rife amongst some sectors of the college, though a good PI or supervisor will not subscribe to those paradigms. Hopefully.
Internecine politics is rife at all organisational levels from the board on down to individual academics, and in a wide range of severities.
Advice to Management
Make basic project management courses mandatory for all academics supervising projects or students.
Give courses for prospective new students/contractors to explain what may go wrong and how to avoid pitfalls.
Change the culture, fundamentally.
This will replace the current featured review for targeted profile. Are you sure you want to replace it?
Are you sure you want to remove this review from being featured for targeted profile?