Hortensii is a group of people inside and outside academia who want to alleviate the difficulties facing PhDs without permanent academic jobs. (We take our name from the Roman Quintus Hortensius, who in c. 287 BC sponsored the Lex Hortensia giving civil rights to Roman plebeians; our photograph is of Benjamin Franklin, who would also have wanted to help.) We think that even given current unpleasant realities facing academia many positive steps could be taken. We welcome anyone who shares these goals and is in broad agreement with our proposed actions. At present the contact person for Hortensii is Eleanor Dickey, a Classicist at the University of Reading in England (http://www.reading.ac.uk/classics/about/staff/e-dickey.aspx). Find out more about Hortensii here: http://hortensii.wordpress.com/

Academics speak out: How institutions and academic associations can ease the “oversupply” and low morale of PGRs and ECRs

“As a general principle, improving the working conditions of academics with non-permanent jobs received the highest rating of any suggestion. 86% of respondents said conditions had to be improved for postgraduates and early career researchers, with every identifiable group agreeing that it is important. But some respondents argued that as long as there is an oversupply of academics their labour will be mistreated.” Continue reading