Monday, June 8, 2009


Researchers with Chronic Fellow Syndrome are committed to overseas recirculation

J.C., Jr
DFCI, Boston, USA

Chronic Fellow Syndrome (CFS) is a pathological aberration suffered by young and early-mature scientists working in a foreign country, which leads to the patient´s failure as a successful researcher. The major symptoms of CFS are recurrent dizzying thoughts about one´s uncertain professional future, and feelings of doubt about validity of experimental results, scientific method and fairness of life. CFS is triggered by unknown causes, but both personal and environmental factors appear to be involved in the initiation of the syndrome. The fact that CFS is often suffered by research fellows having lunch together on a regular basis has led virologists to hypothesize that a virus (CFSV) is involved in the pathology, and different CFSV types together with bad eating habits (as a predisposition factor), have been proposed as the origin of the disease. In addition, environmental conditions favoring CFS are believed to be hormone- and weather-dependent, because they are found in the patient´s body in a random, non-stochastic manner on any given day of the week. Such mediators are likely to act by blocking at an uncertain stage the normal progression of young and early-mature postdoctoral researchers towards the happy-life status of independent, group leader scientists. In this study, we have evaluated the possibility of overcoming the CFS on an otherwise-healthy, successful early-mature fellow, by administration of a strong therapy of funding and fellowship applications, which lately could revert the disease and push the patient into the competitive selection pathway followed under normal circumstances by pre-independent scientists. Thirteen highly reputable funding organizations were chosen as the recipients of the application fellowships. Research projects were carefully written that fulfilled all the literary, scientific and administrative standard requirements, including well-supported sponsoring, fashionability, fanciness, therapeutic application of the discoveries, and correct spelling. To rule out the possibility that the applicant´s own personality as a CFS patient could affect the assessments of the advisory scientific committees at the funding organizations, recommendation letters by two influential senior scientists, strongly supporting both the candidate and the research project, were included in the documentation before sending it out. Sadly, all organizations regretted that funding could not be provided. Since this result could be due to an extreme degree of competition for the awards between very highly qualified candidates, the very same institution where the CFS patient was allocated was challenged to directly fund the project. Also, no funds were available at this level for the patient. Because the CFS patient chosen for this study had an excellent background as a successful immature, naive scientist, we conclude from our work that the fate of researchers suffering CFS is to recirculate overseas at home country institutions.

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