This paper studies the importance of the socialization environment – nest – for the career destinations of early career researchers. In a sample of research groups in the fields of science and engineering at universities in Germany, we identify research orientation, output, funding as well as openness to industry and commercialization as relevant components. Nests that attract more public funding and are led by professors with high research performance are more likely to produce researchers that take jobs in public research, while links to industry predict jobs in the private sector. In a more nuanced analysis that differs by type of industry employment we find that larger firms also recruit from groups with higher scientific performance, while SMEs recruit from nests with a higher patent productivity. A focus on experimental development instead is associated with academic start-ups, and an applied focus with employment in consulting. Recommendations for research training are discussed.

Hottenrott, Hanna and Cornelia Lawson (2015), Flying the Nest: How the Home Department Shapes Researchers' Career Paths, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 15-050, Mannheim, published in: Studies in Higher Education. Download


Hottenrott, Hanna
Lawson, Cornelia


Researcher Mobility, Research Groups, Research Funding, Science-Industry Technology Transfer, Academic Careers