Oh boy… the recession sure made things harder. I’m glad you’re asking about the economic side of science – people forget how important this is.
So I graduated just as the recession started, which meant that I hadn’t started any research yet, but it certainly made finding a job harder. And then after I found a job, and done my MSc degree, and done another job, there was still a recession! Eeek. So while all this was going on I was trying to apply for funding for my PhD project idea. The funding for research can come from different places, but mine comes from a government funded research council called NERC. So with the government cutting funding to research less grants could be given out the the competition was really tough!
Luckily I got the funding – which was awesome! But it meant my research started a little later than I would have liked.
Touchy subject, but I reckon I could have had my PhD by now if it wasn’t for the government cuts, meaning budgets to pay for maintenance and research projects were reduced. Fewer opportunities.
Even now I am doing my PhD, I still have to look for funding so I can effectively do research. Its never been easy getting funding, but it seems to be even harder now. It was noticeable from 2008. The university gives me a little to get by, but I barely scrape along. Its tough. Its still a struggle one year into my PhD.
Oh yes…we normally apply to research grants or are funded by the government, so when the crisis broke through, getting funding became harder and harder! In my case, I had a contract for 4 years, which is great 🙂 but getting one after this is by no mean fit! You need to look much harder and also have a bit of luck, since there is less money and more people looking for jobs/funding!