“I’m Disoriented…They’ve Truncated my Professional Career”

Beatriz Pérez
Beatriz Pérez, former grant holder at the Prince Felipe Research Center in Valencia. Photo by Jordi Vincent.

“I’m Disoriented…They’ve Truncated my Professional Career”
Budget Tightening Leaves Beatriz Pérez Without Her Grant or Doctoral Thesis
El País: “Estoy desorientada… han truncado mi carrera profesional”
Jaime Prats reporting from Valencia September 30, 2011

Beatriz Pérez, age 28, is licensed in chemistry and biochemistry with a master’s in cellular and genetic molecular biology. After serving two years on a grant from the Prince Felipe Research Center (CIPF) in Valencia (with an annual salary of 13,200 euros), just when the institution was obligated to give her a contract, she was put out on the street with neither compensation nor the right to unemployment payments and with her doctoral thesis half-finished.

“I received the letter from human resources which gave me the drop on July 29. They told me they couldn’t give me a contract when they were about to lay off many more people.” The young researcher is still stunned. “This is serious. I’ve never heard of a person with a predoctoral fellowship like mine being cut off with his thesis still hanging and without the option to finish it.”

Beatriz came to the CIPF through a training program for researchers which, as established by Royal Decree 63/2006, consists of an obligatory two years on scholarship and two years under contract. “I’m disoriented, disconcerted, surprised…they’ve truncated my professional career.”

The Prince Felipe center was inaugurated in 2005 with an investment of 60 million euros, 70% of that defrayed by various European sources. It was a big bet on biomedicine by the Generalitat (the Valencian government), which contributed generously. Enthusiasm for research did not last long in the Valencian statehouse, however; in 2009, it began to make cuts. Its 9.7 million euro annual contribution in 2009 shrunk to 4.6 million by 2011. This radical reduction caused a serious crisis at the CIPF. One month ago, its science directors submitted a block resignation, and a week ago its management announced a radical round of layoffs affecting 104 of its 250 employees, including Beatriz, who had already been pushed out the door.

Pérez – who, paradoxically, will be credited as principal researcher in an article soon to be published in a highly influential journal – was given three days to remove her personal objects from the center. Since then, she and her tutors have occupied their time thinking about how to “save the thesis,” which deals with the role of a protein in the development of lymphoma, a kind of tumor. She will present her next report to save her contract and her employment.

Explore posts in the same categories: Politics, Science, Math, Technology, Spain, Translations

Tags: ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: