This article argues that the portion of federal funding is decreasing more and more in the US while funding by corporate and philantropical sources is increasing within the last decade.

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I'm wondering if this shift/drift, which looks quite significant in the chart to me, means a much worse likelihood of success for postdocs trying to acquire funding, due to the fact that most postdocs have no reputation/infrastructure (offices, labs, staff,...) and are unlikely to be chosen/visible by/to corporate/philantropical sources.

Is the situation as I imagine it myself or did maybe postdocs never had high likelihood of federal funding in the US (which would be very different to europe) and the competition is not increasing drastically with less federal funding. I would like to see some numbers/statistics, no common sense/experience arguing. I hope there are maybe also statistics how much funding assistant, associate, full professors acquire and how this has changed over time.

EDIT: Independently from the discussion in the comments about postdoc/assistant professor definition, to me the answer/insight is if the drift from federal to corporate/philantropical funding is siginificantly reducing the chances of PhD's, assistant professors to acquire funding and most of the non-federal funding goes to universities/full professors? Any statistics/experience would be interesting here to me.

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    I’m not sure if post-docs, as individuals, ever had a large share of any of that funding. Usually post-doc funding comes as parts of larger grants. Sure, there are some programs for post-doc fellowships, but those have never been all that large. – Jon Custer Mar 21 '19 at 16:47
  • @JonCuster Ok, which sounds very different to europe where you can get funded for some years with own staff as a PI after having a PhD. But I also suspect for assistand/associate professors in the US this shift is quite "perceptible" and making them more dependent... – user48953094 Mar 21 '19 at 16:53
  • Who are you defining as a post-doc? The people I think of as post-docs in the US are people who have jobs as post-docs. It doesn't make much sense to think about what funding they have access to (unless you consider fellowships specifically, which are different), because they have their position and are a post-doc specifically because that funding exists. There's no such thing as a post-doc without an office/lab because they are indeed hired to a position in an office/lab or sometimes as an instructor/lecturer. – Bryan Krause Mar 21 '19 at 16:54
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    I'd say that the European and US definitions are generally not compatible. A US assistant professor is not considered a post-doc in any way. And, there are a variety of grant programs specifically for new professors from a wide range of funding sources. – Jon Custer Mar 21 '19 at 17:06
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    @MichaelSchmidt I'd say a post-doc in the US is more like a "more independent graduate student" than a "less independent assistant professor" - like graduate students, there are opportunities for independent funding, but independent funding is not the norm (independent meaning not coming through a more senior professor-track PI). – Bryan Krause Mar 21 '19 at 18:09

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