Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

To support the future of investigator-initiated research by sustaining and developing a diverse biomedical workforce with the skills and research resources to pursue emerging opportunities in science.

Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Using virtual learning technologies for workforce development

How can we harness virtual learning technologies to address the competency development needs of the modern and future biomedical workforce? Virtual learning tools, e.g. immersive learning simulations and serious games, offer tremendous possibilities for creating engaging and compelling learning experiences for biomedical scientists and providing them with opportunities to practice research skills within the context of ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Virtual learning technologies have been successfully used to promote workforce competency development in a variety of fields including defense, business, and surgery, particularly in areas that require higher-order cognitive skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, decision making by simulating the real-life situations and conditions under which these skills are developed. We believe that significant improvements can be achieved in the overall preparedness of the biomedical workforce through the use of flexible virtual training and education tools that can help address the critical competency areas that have the most impact on research success. For instance, considering the team-based nature of most biomedical research efforts requiring effective communication and collaboration of experts from different fields, new workforce development approaches must be grounded in team science. Virtual learning environments provide an excellent opportunity to practice effective teamwork skills within the context of realistic scenarios, virtual and live character interactions, and structured reflection/debriefing exercises. Similarly, harnessing the power of virtual learning tools to train up-and-coming biomedical scientists to think through scientific and organizational challenges in a disciplined yet creative way, leveraging evidence from decades of research on decision making, would help accelerate the expertise development process of a new generation of biomedical researchers

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Virtual learning tools represent a powerful mechanism for activating the principles of problem-based learning and experiential learning through anchored instruction, meaningful contextualization, active participation, intrinsic motivation, and continuous assessment. While there is a growing interest in bringing virtual learning tools to the biomedical science domain, this area remains relatively untapped and calls to advance an understanding of how particular types of instructional strategies and virtual learning tools/resources compare in terms of promoting target competencies, behaviors, and research outcomes in real life, i.e. the learning transfer. This remains a challenge considering the lack of funding opportunities available to explore not only the feasibility of bringing these tools to the biomedical sciences domain but also examining the sustaining effects of the novel training and education interventions going forward. We feel that NHLBI is better positioned than ma ny other NIH entities to address this challenge and spearhead the learning innovation efforts for the biomedical research workforce, as it reaches across a very diverse community of biomedical scientists who need to work together effectively and efficiently to solve the most pressing biomedical and healthcare challenges we face today.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Anya Andrews, Ph.D., PMP, Director of Research Initiatives, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Central Florida College of Medicine

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2 net votes
5 up votes
3 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Stop changing the biosketch

Recent changes in the biosketch do nothing to help us reviewers, and put a burden on submitters to change and learn new formats. I see no reason for this at all, the previous iteration was fine and gave all information needed.

 

Nothing more need be said.

Submitted by (@wjones7)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Reduce researcher time in preparing grant submissions.

 

Reduce administrative time from NIH staff implementing and communicating changes. Only downside is the company that produced a 64 page primer on the new format would be out of luck. So this tells the story, it takes a 64 page primer to help someone make a minor change in the bio that reviewers (speaking for myself) find neutral.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Reduces wasted time and resources. Use that money to fund some science!

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Keith Jones

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70 net votes
81 up votes
11 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Making R01 funding work for the Medical Sciences

We need to spread R01 funding around more to ensure that the best science has funding adequate to move forward. To do this I believe changing how we think about R01 funding and expenditures can be used to put the NIH funds to better use. Too often successful researchers have the majority of their salaries on R01s and the institutions have little skin in the game. PI salaries can be a large part of the escalating budget ...more »

Submitted by (@wjones7)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The impact of spreading the funding would be to improve funding rates, improve funding of new investigators, and supporting more diverse science. Negative impacts would include reduced funding some large labs. In my experience, in some cases, this would be a good thing. There could be special programs and exceptions for large labs that make significant important contributions and serve as resources to reduce negative impact. Review of grants should include information on manuscript retractions and large labs with many retractions should be carefully scrutinized for defunding.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Such changes would have to be made incrementally over time since this will require states and institutions to pick up some of the cost of science and therefore must be phased in to allow for time to adjust the workforce in specific places to align with budgetary constraints. Institutions might be encouraged to do more fundraising to actually support science to fill gaps.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Keith Jones with major input from Pieter de Tombe

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28 net votes
44 up votes
16 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Credible Data and Analysis of the Biomedical Research Workforce

There is a need for sensible policies that require collection and scientific analysis of credible data relating to the biomedical workforce. The data currently available are weak – for example no one knows, to a factor of 2X, the actual number of postdocs in the United States. The absence of credible human resource and labor market data on the biomedical research workforce is very surprising. NIH could contribute greatly ...more »

Submitted by (@teitelbaum)

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

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

NIH has begun to develop its own capacity for such data collection and analysis, a very positive step. In addition, NIH may wish to consider modest research grant funding for research on the biomedical workforce by academic labor economists.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Michael S. Teitelbaum

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6 net votes
15 up votes
9 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Training approaches in lymphatic biology

The lymphatic vascular network connects the parenchymal interstitium through the nodes to the veins. Lymph serves as the transport pathway between these compartments and via its flow, controls interstitial fluid, macromolecular exchange, lipid absorption, immune cell trafficking and is critical to edema prevention/resolution, lipid metabolism, inflammation and immunity. Knowledge of this vascular network lags far behind ...more »

Submitted by (@dcz000)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

NIH has acknowledged that the lack of training in the field of lymphatic biology has impaired research progress in the area. Traditional methods that the NIH uses (T32) have not adequately addressed this issue as there are currently NO such programs in existence. One of the critical problems that must be overcome to advance the field is that few individual institutions in the US have a large enough body of lymphatic biology investigators to fit the classic training grant schemes. Overcoming this hurdle will significantly help advance research in the field. Consideration of other innovative approaches that utilize web-based or other methods to deliver distance education among local or regional institutions in this field should be investigated. Establishment of these innovative approaches would broaden the pool of investigators for research training and would significantly advance the field and thus be of high impact.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Research in the lymphatic biology field has historically lagged behind other vascular areas. However, interest in lymphatic biology and medicine has grown rapidly over the last decade. The Lymphatic Education & Research Network (formerly LRF) has had a long-standing commitment to developing research and training in lymphatic biology through its post-doctoral fellowship program, support for conferences/symposia and by providing travel funds for early-stage investigators to attend these meetings. Since very few places in the US have enough researchers trained and active in lymphatic biology, initiatives to broaden the base for research training would have to utilize novel approaches. Thus, the challenge will be to develop training programs that can address the needs of new lymphatic biologists at multiple institutions at geographically distributed sites. Approaches that use modern communication IT technology, and distance learning methods could deliver parts of the training. But innovative approaches to incorporate training beyond didactic learning need to be developed.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : D. Zawieja

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12 net votes
13 up votes
1 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Pipeline of clinician scientists

Maintaining the pipeline of clinician scientists via early and mid-career awards. Promote the development of collaborative teams.

Submitted by (@societyforvascularsurgery)

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

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Society for Vascular Surgery

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5 net votes
6 up votes
1 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT FOR APHERESIS MEDICINE INVESTIGATORS

The apheresis medicine encompasses treatment of numerous diseases many of which are directly related to blood, lung and heart. However, there are very limited opportunities for training young investigators in basic and translational research related to Apheresis Medicine. There is a need to promote Apheresis Medicine as a viable field of research for junior and established investigators. The influx of well-trained junior ...more »

Submitted by (@zbigniew.m.szczepiorkowski)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Therapeutic apheresis is the process of transiently removing whole blood from the body, separating it into various components (e.g., cells, plasma, proteins, antibodies, antigen-antibody complexes, lipids, etc.), removing those components that contribute to disease, and then returning the remaining blood with possible addition of a blood component to the body.

 

Hundreds of thousands of apheresis procedures are being performed every year in the US. Many of these procedures are life-savings while others are likely to be of limited benefit to patients and healthcare system at large. There is lack of good understanding pertaining to basic mechanisms of apheresis and optimal ways of applying apheresis to the improvement of underlying conditions as well as to the ability of apheresis to enhance other treatment modalities. This in turn is caused by significant shortage of well-educated and trained physician scientists willing to address basic science and translational-clinical questions related to applications of apheresis in clinical practice.

 

Currently there are no specific mechanisms for training such individuals. Utilization of and integration with existing educational/training programs, such as T32 grants, K23/K24/K25 grants, institutional K12 awards and CTSA educational programs would likely result in the cadre of junior investigators who can tackle questions related to basic mechanisms as well as clinical approaches to treating diseases using apheresis strategies.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Feasibility: Incorporation of apheresis medicine training into currently available resources is likely to be highly feasible. This training can be provided across many medical specialties including hematology, transfusion medicine, cardiology, pulmonology and others. Inclusion of basic scientists involved in research of blood disorders, lung and heart disorders, as well as immunology will expand the outreach. Identification of individuals interested in pursuing research in apheresis medicine might be accomplished on different levels of training starting with medical school, internship, residency and fellowship as well as early years of medical career in a variety of medical specialties.

 

Challenges: The primary challenge is related to perception. Apheresis has an undeserved reputation as an "old" science; one that in recent years has been overtaken at times by newer medical treatments. Yet it still is the only and often life-saving treatment for certain conditions. Apheresis remains the go-to procedure for treating many common and rare maladies alike, such as TTP, and new treatment indications are being added. Although many specialists like hematologists, neurologists, nephrologists see the evidence and benefits of therapeutic apheresis in their everyday work, the progress of Apheresis Medicine as a medical specialty has been generally slow. The other major challenge is lack of funding of basic research and translational research related to Apheresis Medicine.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Zbigniew M. Szczepiorkowski, Yanyun Wu on behalf of ASFA

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108 net votes
127 up votes
19 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Science communication skills of researchers

How do we add communication skills to our training programs to improve scientists’ communication with the public?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Improving the ability of scientists to communicate the importance of their research will make science attractive to younger generations, increase collaborations and funding opportunities, and may increase general public support for research and researchers.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Tested models already exist in other countries. The public seems to be increasingly interested in reading press releases about discoveries in different areas, which now are regularly published in popular press (e.g., NYT)

Researchers rarely receive formal training for teaching, public speaking, and many lack even basic communication training. Learning how to better communicate science can help increase the attractiveness and impact of science by engaging colleagues, collaborators, attracting interest from potential future scientists, subjects for clinical studies, funding agencies, and the public in general. Being able to explain the research goals, scientific approach, and discoveries in clear and simple terms, makes science sound "cool" and can attract wide interest (for instance, think "CSI"). In other countries, science communication is part of the science graduate curriculum and their funding agencies require having a communication plan for the wide dissemination of findings of the research proposed (which is part of the application score!).

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

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20 net votes
41 up votes
21 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Supporting early-stage investigators

How can we provide better support for junior investigators who are transitioning from K Award to R Award funding?

Submitted by (@ed.silverman)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

With the challenging NIH funding climate, many junior investigators are struggling to obtain their first R series grant. Without better support of our junior investigators, the next generation of investigators in academic medicine is in peril.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Edwin K. Silverman

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281 net votes
313 up votes
32 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Training the public to respond to cardiac arrest

What is the best way to train the public to recognize sudden cardiac arrest, perform CPR and utilize an AED?

Submitted by (@rebecca.lehotzky)

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

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : AHA Staff & Volunteers

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3 net votes
6 up votes
3 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Reproducibility Initiatives in Heart, Lung and Blood Research

Scientists feel tremendous pressure to publish numerous scientific papers in order to receive NIH funding and tenure at academic institutions. Cognitive biases of scientists and publication biases of journals that publish this barrage of papers will likely result in the publication of findings that are probably not reproducible (see "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False" by John P. A. Ioannidis in PLOS Medicine ...more »

Submitted by (@jalees)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

By distinguishing research findings which are reproducible from those which aren't, researchers will be able to build future research programs on solid scientific foundations.

 

There are many reasons for why research may not be reproducible, ranging from simple biological variations (cells from one supplier may behave differently than cells from a different supplier) to conscious/unconscious biases or misconduct. No matter what the underlying cause is, irreproducible research findings that are not recognized as such will result in a tremendous waste of time and resources. Graduate students or postdoctoral trainees may waste entire years of their precious training period conducting experiments that are based on published papers which may turn out to be irreproducible.

 

NHLBI could significantly improve the quality of research by building an infrastructure that supports the assessment of reproducibility and widely shares these findings.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

One of the challenges for assessing reproducibility of published work is that it is considered not very innovative and there is no funding available. NIH grants are awarded to highly innovative proposals which venture into new territories and not proposals which want to confirm the validity of published work. However, the returns of investing into reproducibility testing might be enormous because irreproducible results would be identified and weeded out, thus preventing loss of resources and time.

 

The NHLBI could develop funding mechanisms specifically designed to support research proposals that will test the reproducibility of high impact findings that have not yet been independently verified. The study sections would review these proposals using novel criteria designed for such studies. The emphasis of the study section review would lie on questions such as "Is this an important enough question that it merits reproducibility testing?" instead of the traditional "Is this a cutting-edge technology that nobody has previously used?"

 

Challenges would include identifying journals that would published results of these studies and agreeing on what constitutes reproducibility (i.e. is it enough if the major conclusion or effect is reproduced even though the effect size may be very different?).

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Jalees Rehman

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2 net votes
5 up votes
3 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Establishment of an independent study section on Pulmonary Vascular Biology and Translational Research

The research on pulmonary vascular biology including smooth muscle cell biology and endothelial cell biology and related pulmonary vascular diseases such as pulmonary hypertension and related right heart failure, and endothelial dysfunction in lung vascular inflammation and acute lung injury, as well as pulmonary embolism and lung transplantation has been rapidly expanding. The field is attracting an ever increasing ...more »

Submitted by (@yyzhao)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Establishment of a study section on Pulmonary Vascular Biology and Translational Research will provide adequate funding to stimulate innovative research on this rapidly expanding field and promote translational research and thereby promote human health by providing potential novel therapeutic strategies for the devastating diseases such as pulmonary hypertension and acute lung injury.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Youyang Zhao, Kurt Denmark, Asrar B. Malik, Mark Gladwin, Jahar Bhattacharya, Michael Matthay, Sharon Rounds, Jason Yuan

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23 net votes
50 up votes
27 down votes
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