Created by on 02/14/2012

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) posted a report summarizing the comments it received in response to the Request for Information: “Input into the Deliberations of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director Working Group on the Future Biomedical Research Workforce.” NIH received input from 219 commenters, reflecting the views of both individuals and organizations. Those who responded provided their perspective on 1) the issues that are most important for the working group to address; 2) how those issues affect institutions, scientists, or both; and 3) how they should affect NIH policies or processes. Respondents were generally of the opinion that supply and demand, characteristics of PhD’s, postdoctoral, and clinical research training, and the appeal of a career in biomedical research were the most important topics for the working group to address. Reducing the number of trainees it supports, improving awareness and understanding of the career path available to scientists, enhancing mentoring and career development, revising training grant review policies so that non-academic career choices are not considered training failures, increasing the National Research Service Awards stipend level for graduate students and postdocs, developing salary standards and guidance for trainees supported on research grants, and providing mechanisms to support protected time for clinician researchers were among the recommendations NIH received. According to Sally Rockey, PhD, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, “The working group is incorporating these responses in their deliberations as they consider their recommendations for a sustainable biomedical infrastructure.” The full report is available on the NIH website.