Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Moderating Positive Feedback between Research Funding and PhD/postdoc Numbers

A critical challenge will be to limit future destabilizing expansion of the number of PhD students and postdoc trainees. Because 75-80% of biomedical PhD students and postdocs now supported by NIH are funded by RO1 and other research funding, if/when research grant budget increase the number of PhD and postdoc “slots” would automatically expand--even if there is no expectation of comparable increases in demand for scientists beyond the PhD and postdoc -- leading to excessive competition among talented early-career scientists for limited research-focused positions.

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Idea No. 649