B – Do scientists really need a PhD?

Editorial. Do scientists really need a PhD? Nature 2010;464(1785)

In the USA and Europe students usually need to finish a multiyear programme of postgraduate training before they can fully participate in the front rank of research. The Chinese Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) has enrolled about 500 university students to join the Institute soon after their graduation participating in and contributing to hands-on research. This model may be worth serious consideration although it is not sure that BGI can prepare its student-workers to meet the wide range of skills needed by industry and academia. It this approach works, BGI could find itself a model not only for creative approaches but also for education and training.