To all PhD students and PhD's form everywhere,
and to all people interested in University and research.
United we stand, divided we fall (Pink Floyd, The Wall)
for a long time, many problems have been affecting PhD students in France.
More than ten years ago, some inspired
people tried to defend and promote PhD training, with some success.
However, the main problems are still there, and the 1993 economic crisis
has raised the spectrum of a deep unemployment crisis for PhD's.
For these reasons, in December 1994, a group of French PhD students and young researchers decided that it was time to do something and created a mailing list called HotDocs on the Internet. Later this mailing list gave birth to a bunch of Internet services called Guilde des Doctorants, which contains the page you're reading now. Now we want to focus people's interest on PhD training problems and more generally on research and higher education questions. We think that it is time to advertise what has been done here in France in a broader way. In April 1995, a reference document called the HotDocs report has been written, and sent to more than 300 politics, scientists, journalists, political parties, university rectors, regional education offices, industries and published freely on the Internet. A short English version is available since the original document is in French. This report settles some issues on the role of PhD training in our society, draws an analysis of problems encountered by students during and after their PhD training and emits some proposals to improve the situation. Since April 1995, progresses have been attained: a representative confederation of associations, called CEC has been created, some contributors to the HotDocs report now run a reflexion group, called Action-HotDocs and devoted to PhD training, research and higher education, and the Guilde has developed more Internet services. Discussions with the Research and Education minister are currently under way about our proposals for the improvement of PhD training and professional insertion.
We strongly think that an improvement of the situation can only arise through an important participation of the maximum number of concerned people to discussions and actions on these issues. Therefore we beg all PhD students', former PhD students' and PhD's to help, and support from anyone sharing our opinion, both inside and outside University and research. We also wish to encourage the emergence of reflexions on these issues at the European level.
PLEASE DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO MAKE THIS INFORMATION SPREAD OUT.
We encourage you to transmit
this information to your supervisors, professors, colleagues, friends,
relatives and journalists. We encourage you to let us know about your action.
Thanking you for your attention,
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