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Question: As a scientist do you have an income or are you effectively "payed as you go", where you only get payed for certain accomplishments?

Asked by evilevo to Dalya, Derek, Sarah, Tim, Tom on 14 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by sciencebox.

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  • Photo: Tom CrickTom Crick answered on 14 Jun 2011:

    Hello evilevo — I am employed by my university (UWIC) to do research and also lecturing, so it is nice to have a regular income! I also do research consultancy, which I do get paid for, but this isn’t too regular.

    I also do a lot of stuff that I don’t get paid for (but very much enjoy) e.g. science communication/policy, public engagement and working hard to try and change computing education in UK schools!

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  • Photo: Tim MillarTim Millar answered on 14 Jun 2011:

    Now I am a lecturer I have a salary. Before this level, scientists are usually on contracts where the money comes from a grant of known amount. The contracts are usually 3 years, but can be anything form a few months upto 5 years (these are rare).

    For me, even though I am salaried, I still need to bring in grant money for my staff, and if I don’t then I might loose my job. To gain grants you have to accomplish something, which usually means publish some work and show everyone else that you are worth spending mone on. This is a little like being payed as you go.

    From time to time, you can have an increase in salary during promotion, but again quite rare.

    The other way to make money is to be consultant to companies and work in enterprise, or generate patents which then are sold. The University takes a hefty slice though and limits our “outside of work” consultancy pay.

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  • Photo: Sarah ThomasSarah Thomas answered on 14 Jun 2011:

    I’m a PhD student and I get an income called a stipend. It’s kind of like a normal job as the money gets paid into my bank account every month. I get around £1000 a month, and extra if I have been doing any teaching or lab tours etc. The money is tax free and I am still a student so I don’t have to pay council tax either. So it works out pretty good! And I still get student discounts in the shops and at the cinema and stuff!

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  • Photo: Dalya SoondDalya Soond answered on 14 Jun 2011:

    Usually you have a set income. I am paid £27,500 every year before taxes, by the way…People were asking on the chat yesterday.

    However, you could also sometimes get paid for additional work like extra teaching or acting as a consultant to a drugs company. You can also do contract work through a temp agency (though not at the same time as full-time employment) and then you would get paid on an hourly basis just for the jobs you have done.

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  • Photo: Derek McKay-BukowskiDerek McKay-Bukowski answered on 14 Jun 2011:

    I have a set income and get paid every month. This keeps my bills paid.

    Sometimes, in addition to that, I do volunteer work, where I don’t get paid, but the institute will pay for my travel and accommodation expenses. Recently, I’ve been doing a few months of volunteer work each year. Then there are the little extras, such as giving public talks, answering calls for technical support on weekends, writing the project web log, and participating in IAS2011… these I do at my own expense for the fun of it.

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