I think this is very interesting -- I have heard of these sorts of opportunities, but I've never actually seen one "in the flesh", so to speak. I don't think it's particularly scandalous, for what it's worth. Seems to me that there's a perfectly legitimate reason for such a job to exist.
But it raises a very interesting question about the nature of the chemical enterprise in the United States, both industrial and academic. For generations now, graduate students have come to the United States (especially from developing countries) and gotten their technical training here and gone to work here. The vast majority have stayed in the US (or other Western nations), relatively few have gone back home, contra Mark Zuckerberg and half of Congress. The pay is better here, benefits might be better, etc., etc.
But over the past few years, as job opportunities in the US have become scarcer and jobs 'back home' have become more plentiful, I imagine the 'settlers'/'returners' ratio has begun to shift towards 'returners'. The job opportunity above is an indication of this changing ratio, but as I see it, most graduate students and postdocs from other countries still manage to find work in the US.
I have 3 questions for readers:
- For chemistry, what do you think the 'settlers'/'returners' ratio is? I suspect that it is currently 5:1, but I think it is definitely
higherlower than 10 to 1.
- Do you think the ratio is climbing or falling? When will it peak?
- What would be the best way to measure this ratio for chemistry?