The IPFP (Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs) Program was initiated by HEC in 2009, both to provide employment to fresh PhDs, and support universities in attracting qualified faculty. IPFP provides all Pakistani fresh PhD graduates an opportunity to be placed as Assistant Professors on a tenure track system for a period of one year. Under HEC rules, the host institutions are required to advertise corresponding faculty positions and afford an opportunity to IPFP scholars to compete for positions. Since 2009, HEC has placed around 4,300 fresh PhDs in the IPFP Programme in universities. A recent review of the program has shown that the program was successful in placing about three-quarters (74.64 per cent) of the participants in long-term faculty positions (in the same or other universities). Of the remaining one-quarter of the participants, about half dropped out before the conclusion of the program (presumably to pursue other career choices), while the other half have faced delays in finding suitable permanent positions.
However, because of the increase in the number of PhD holders, there is growing demand for such interim opportunities. Meeting the expanded demand at current rates of remuneration would be unviable, especially under the current financial constraints. The financial crisis has also forced universities to cut down on recruitment of new faculty, which adds to the pressure.
The challenge requires fresh thinking, including on the contours of the IPFP program. Accordingly, HEC has reviewed the IPFP policy, and proposed significant changes, both to be able to expand the size of the program within the existing budget, and to ensure that it helps support longer-term career plans of the participants
HEC has shared list of 622 eligible applicants with Vice Chancellors of Public Sector Universities via email for initiation of placement process. This step has been taken to save the time of applicants and to bridge the gap of NAHE training in batches. However, HEC will share the pre-assessment and post assessment result with the universities.