Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Institutional Support for K applicants as they transition to independence

What can research institutions do to entice and support potential and actual K award applicants to become independent scientists?

Tags (Keywords associated with the idea)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The period between the end of the K award and the first R01 is a critical one wherein many trainees, with no financial support from their institutions, opt out of a science career and pursue other viable sources of income, such as in the clinics, in teaching, or in the private sector. An investment from their institution, either by way of bridge awards, protected time, or salary commitment will enable retention of these highly- trained individuals and ensure a vibrant research workforce in the years to come.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

This type of activity can be initiated immediately by the private institutions as a way of motivating physician- scientists and other scientists to remain in the academe, and eventually reap the rewards by way of research awards that bring prestige and indirect costs back to the institution.

In an analysis of 132 NHLBI Division of Lung Diseases K08 grantees between FY2005-2011, only 52% applied for subsequent NIH grants, whereas 48% did not even try, suggesting more incentives should be given for them to stay within the biomedical research workforce. However, among the Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) funded in 2013, 58% had previous training grants, suggesting training grants give Research Project Grant (RPG) applicants a definite edge.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff


74 net votes
102 up votes
28 down votes
Idea No. 78