Visa issues, funding cuts costing US top researchers

July 21, 2014

A protracted debate in the US over whether or not PhDs in the sciences should be granted visas could cost the country highly qualified researchers, reports an article in the New York Times. Policy makers have been debating the issue for years now, and many scholars are electing to pursue opportunities elsewhere rather than wait any longer. Even if the visa issue is resolved, cuts to federal support for science in the US have also been contributing to the brain drain. Countries like China, Singapore, South Korea, and Brazil have been taking advantage, offering top researchers lucrative employment packages. Many say that this is a bigger problem than the green card issue. “A visa is definitely not too much of a problem for many good people,” said Xiao-Wei Chen, a former University of Michigan professor who was has accepted a position at Peking University. Chen noted that in some high-profile cases, scientists even gave up their US citizenship to pursue opportunities in Asia. New York Times