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 ...more »

Submitted by (@teitelbaum)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Many including National Academies committees suggest that the 75-80% figure should be gradually reduced to around 50%, without increasing overall numbers, i.e. both limiting numbers supported under research grants and increasing numbers supported under training programs. Moderating the currently strong linkages of PhD/postdoc numbers to research funding should make future biomedical research careers more attractive than they have been in recent years.

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

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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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