Sustainable Careers Paths Will Mean Better Research Outcomes and a Better UC
Jocelyne Fadiga
Specialist, UC San Francisco

In the last year, billions of dollars have been invested in research efforts in the U.S — nearly $6 billion at the University of California alone. The stakes are high because the problems we are looking to solve are complex. In my lab at UC San Francisco, I am researching adult stem cells in a Drosophila (fruit fly) ovarian tissue, a project with broad applications that could deliver new therapies for treating cancer and a host of other pathologies.

But throughout my time at UC, it has become clear to me that the way the University treats researchers is inefficient and ultimately unsustainable — and that the research suffers as a result.
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UC Must Improve Job Security and Provide Clear Paths to Career Advancement
Benjamin Lynch
Associate Researcher, UC Berkeley

I am an Associate Research Physicist at UC Berkeley and a member of the bargaining team for the newest group of unionized workers at the University of California, Academic Researchers United / UAW 5810. I study the dynamics and evolution of solar atmosphere via computer simulations of the Sun’s “space weather” in order to predict its impacts throughout the solar system and on Earth. Space weather can affect power transmission lines, satellite communications, the safety of airplane flights, and more. I became involved with organizing the union because the University of California’s research system is too often stifling, restrictive, and atomized — impeding the kind of innovation, creativity, and stability necessary for breakthrough scientific research. Changes are necessary.
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Equitable Working Conditions are Essential to Improving Research at UC
Christina Priest
Assistant Project Scientist, UCLA

It’s no secret that academic research — and STEM fields in particular — has a diversity problem. In biomedical fields, for example, women outnumber men in attaining Ph.Ds. but hold only 33% of faculty positions. For researchers from underrepresented minority backgrounds, this gap is even larger. Lurking behind these statistics are inequities in the research workplace that not only prevent advancement of women and other underrepresented groups, but hold back research progress. Workplace equity must be a priority if our research system is to reach its full potential.
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