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It really depends on the field -- fields with labwork tend to have more PhDs per professor because there's an incentive to get cheap labor.



https://www.its.caltech.edu/~dg/crunch_art.html claims it's about 15. Though that article was written in 1993, it seems (good read in general, btw).

Still, it seems low IMHO. Unless you start counting at the point where the person gains full tenure rather than from the point where they become some kind of "group leader", "assistant professor", or such "tenure track" type position?


I think the relevant number is the fraction of PhDs that go one to a position that mints new PhDs. (That's where the multiplier comes from.) So that almost never includes non-tenure-track positions, but does include assistant professors who don't go on to make tenure.




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