New report: Fewer PhDs in life sciences

A new report from Vinnova suggests that competency returns in the life science sector are declining.

In 2021, the Swedish government commissioned Vinnova to analyse the company population in Swedish life science with the aim of creating a method for keeping statistics over time. The first report has now been published.

The new figures suggest that while the sector is growing, competency returns seem to be declining. The number of PhD students in life science-related research dropped between 2011 and 2021, despite the sector’s increasing turnover.

In 2021, one-third of all PhD students at Swedish universities were working on a PhD in a life science subject. The statistics also show that more women than men are doing PhDs in the field.

However, the figures show that more people were employed at Swedish universities from 2012 to 2021 in research and education. In 2021, 25% of all employees were employed in research and education in a subject related to life science.

“Attracting experts and cutting-edge expertise to Sweden is crucial to ensure a viable life science sector. Today, many companies find it difficult to find the right expertise in Sweden,” says Frida Lundmark, life science expert at the Swedish Medical Products Industry Association (Lif), in a news article on Vinnova’s website.

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