How Biomedical Research Is Destroying Itself: Shit Wages

In case you have not figured it out yet- academic research is rapidly destroying itself all over the world. Certain areas have however been far more affected than others.

Biomedical research is, in my opinion, the most fucked up of all sciences. It is also the most highly funded on an aggregate basis- if not per capita.

I started my MSc at 20 in an area of biomedical research. However my adverse experiences made me leave that area, and switch fields, after finishing my degree. I then went into an area somewhat related to bio-medical research, but with significantly better job prospects- at least at that time.

So what is the real problem with biomedical research?

For beginners- there are many systemic and somewhat interlinked problems with that area. The single biggest problem is however that it offers shitty wages and low chances for advancement.

How shitty are the wages?

For starters, MSc and PhD students receive a stipend that is barely above minimum wage. Even scholarships and bursaries do not make much of a difference. You are looking at something between 20k-30k per year (pretty much tax-free). Even these wages could be justified if the next step in your career paid significantly more- but it does not.

Biomedical researchers, unlike those in chemistry, engineering, mathematics have few job opportunities outside academia or various institutes. Nor are their skills of much use outside their very narrow fields. A person from almost all specialties in chemistry, engineering or mathematics is employable in a number of other areas that require those skills.

Consequently most of them are stuck in academia type positions. The average postdoc in N. America makes about 35-50k/ year, often working long hours, in jobs with no overtime and pretty low job security or room for advancement.

For comparison, a manager at an average restaurant or Starbucks makes between 50-60k/year and you can get another similar job with that experience. Similarly a clinical clerk, medical tech/help type can make more than a postdoc by working 9-5 than a postdoc can ever make- with much less education, skills and intelligence.

The point I am trying to make is that obtaining a PhD which does not help with getting a job at a company (80-120k/year) or starting your own business (tech startup) is a horrible waste of time and money. The single biggest reason that many science fields, especially biomedical research, have few whites (or native-born) people studying or working in them is that the wages and working conditions are so shitty! -People who deliver large water bottles for office coolers probably make more than biomedical postdocs. As a consequence, most whites (or native-borns)who enter that area leave it after a short stint.

Greedy morons, also known as established academics, try to benefit from this situation. They are aided in their cynical and sadistic quest by funding agencies who prefer connected, political conmen pushing fraudulent “incremental” research over real innovation. The quality of biomedical research has been dropping over the last 20-odd years and today it is acknowledged that probably half the research published in top-tier journals is essentially unreproducible- aka bullshit. Even reproducible research is often exaggerated, manipulated or trivial.

In the next part of this series, I plan to write about the effects of such scam ridden crap on the credibility of biomedical research- and the public view of science in general.


  1. June 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I thought you were a software engineer in San Jose….

    …..anyways, reading your site I’ve learned that prostitutes in Canada make $200 an hour. So the solution is simple, my friend, save up some money from your stipend. Get a sex change in a third world country. Become a citizen of Canada. Blog all over feminist sites that the wage gap is a total lie and that you now make 5 times as much money as a woman lying on your back. (Education credentials not necessary.)

    Maybe you did not read that post carefully. I left that field years ago.

    I triple dog dare you!!!

    • June 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm


      maybe I’m just a stewpid amerucan wit’ baddd reading comprehwnshun….

      still, it would be funny, just sayin’

  2. June 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks for spreading the word. My sister switched from bioengineering to computer science with some statistics thrown in after she got tired of spending her first year of undergrad learning tons of hard stuff and not knowing what she could do with it. Now she’s in a position to work in finance, tech, biomedical, or any other field she wants, since basically everything important runs on computers and math these days.

    I think there’s been a real Ph.D bubble over the past few years with governments and corporations throwing tons of money at universities to generate “innovations” and native-born white students not knowing what else to do with themselves besides go to grad school. Ironically, some of our best-educated citizens doing our most “cutting edge” research are there because they couldn’t innovate enough in their own career paths.

  3. Ryu
    June 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I’ve always had difficultyunderstanding as to what biomedical engineering actually was. To be frank, it seems like they tape half an engineer to half a biologist. I think a man would be better off choosing one and knowing that most projects are collaberations.

  4. DoesNotMatter
    June 9, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    My friend took 11 years for his PhD. Made $1300/mo, worked 12 hours a week and fucked a new college babe every week. Now he does a Post-Doc that pays 40K/yr. He now works 20 hrs a week and fucks a new college babe 18-21 yrs old every 10 days. Not bad! While you go around moaning and whining and raging and paying big money for hookers, he beds hot college babes for no money at all. Yay for him! boo for you. Oh BTW, he’s libertarian. ha ha ha ha ha

  5. DoesNotMatter
    June 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Did I forget to mention that my friend is Indian, weighs 120 lbs, 5’9″. He beds liberal hippie chicks. Pretty hot. While you complain about racism, he’s sleeping with hot white nubile girls. ha ha ha ha. You are an amusing fellow

  1. June 12, 2011 at 1:06 am

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