BACK TO THE FEATURE INDEX

If being part of a dual-science-career couple is so bad, then how can one explain a science-only dating service? There must be something to this scientist-couples thing.

Indeed.

Despite the problems, being part of a two-scientist couple has its advantages. For one, despite the geeky stereotypes, some of those scientists are interesting and--dare we say it?--sexy. Besides, most scientists love to talk about their work, and it's even better if the person you're talking to can understand what you're saying.

Not hetero but still want a partner with whom you can talk bench during dinner? Then check out Science Connection's companion site, the Alt Science Connection.

The Dual-Science-Career-Couples Web site was born from a survey of the difficulties scientist couples experience when trying to find employment in the same location--far from giving a bleak perspective, the site offers solutions and useful links.

One very promising approach to meeting the dual-career challenge, while also helping colleges with faculty recruitment, is to create a special fund for paying the trailing spouse. It's a rare approach so far, but it exists.

Britain's Royal Society is offering Relocation Fellowships to start in 2004 in response to the Greenfield Report which concluded that women are more likely to be the trailing spouse, to the detriment of their own careers.

The Mellon Foundation has funded a similar program at a consortium of five colleges in Massachusetts. Look for this practice to become more common in coming years.

The British Council is pointing women towards sources of advice to help them tackle the different aspects of the work/life balance.

Partnerjob.com is a job database for dual-career couples on the move. The site tries to facilitate the geographic mobility of certain member companies' employees (among them Hewlett-Packard, Danone, and Schlumberger) by helping find partners a job at a new location. The participating companies are mostly European but not exclusively: Hewlett-Packard is a founding member.

A few colleges and universities have made their spousal hiring policies explicit and posted them on the Web. We're sure it isn't comprehensive, but here's a list of links. If you know about other institutions with Web-posted spousal hiring policies, please let us know by sending e-mail to jaustin@aaas.org.

Other Resources

Peter Taylor of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, has written a set of proposals intended to help administrators deal with the two-body situation.

http://omega.cc.umb.edu/~ptaylor/partnerhiring.html

The University of Illinois Press has published a book on the subject, Academic Couples, Problems and Promises , which you can purchase from its Web site.

http://www.press.uillinois.edu/f97/ferber.html.

The University of Michigan's Graduate Student Services office provides advice aimed at graduate students on job searches for dual-career couples.

http://www.cpp.umich.edu/cpp/students/grad/academicjob/dcarcont.htm

One Ball State University professor provides some reassurance: Happiness is possible, apparently, even for dual-career couples.

http://www.bsu.edu/news/article/0,1299,3054~~,00.html

Jim Austin is the editor of Science Careers. @SciCareerEditor on Twitter