NIH Recommendations for Graduate Training

Rachel Howell
June 30, 2014

The NIH recently released the executive summary of the report from the Biomedical Research Workforce working group listing the recommendations that the group is passing on to the NIH Director. Among the recommendations for graduate training: “The working group believes that graduate programs must accommodate a greater range of anticipated careers for students. Graduate programs should reflect that range, and offer opportunities for students to explore a variety of options while in graduate school without adding to the length of training. Graduate programs also should openly communicate the career outcomes of their graduates to potential students.” (p.3) Among the recommendations for postdoctoral training: “The working group believes that the postdoctoral experience be considered an extension of the training period primarily intended for those Ph.D. graduates who intend to pursue research-intensive careers. Fellows should be given structured career development opportunities and there should be incentives provided by NIH to move postdoctoral fellows to more permanent positions as soon as possible. The working group also recognizes that postdoctoral fellows have spent years in graduate training, and should be compensated accordingly.” (p.4)

Also, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a summary of comments regarding the "NIH Request for Information: Future Biomedical Research Workforce." It’s an interesting read, and the committee made numerous recommendations that are interspersed throughout the summary. The report itself is not that long, but if you want the “cliff notes” version, read the blog entries by ScienceCareers and the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research.