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On September 1st, the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAGW/ASSH) published an article summarizing the results of a study that looks more closely at careers that occupy the little-studied “third space” between research and administration.

The authors of the German-language study, “Next Generation und Third Space: neue Karriereprofile im Wissenschaftssystem” (Next Generation and Third Space: new career profiles in the science system) characterize and assess the extent of “third space” positions in the Swiss scientific system today.

Briefly, they conclude that:

  • More than one in six positions in Swiss universities is a full-time, third space position
  • The need for such positions will continue to increase, but with increasing requirements that can’t be met with a PhD alone
  • Vague definitions of such positions can mean that they are not recognized as distinct staff profiles
  • Third space positions are often not seen as valuable academic careers in themselves, but are associated with having missed out on a career
  • The proportion of women in the third space is around 70%. There is a risk that this career path will be seen as a refuge for women with family responsibilities.

The study, by Sabina Schmidlin, Eva Bühlmann and Fitore Muharremi has been published in Swiss Academies Reports 15.3.

Source: SAGW. 01.09.2020. Next Generation et Third Space : nouveaux profils de carrière dans le système scientifique.


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