Washington Update

FASEB Co-Hosts Workshop on New Guidelines for Predoctoral Training Grants

By: Elizabeth Barksdale
Thursday, February 15, 2018

n February 12, FASEB co-hosted a workshop, Navigating New NIGMS Training Guidelines, together with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). FASEB organized the workshop to help the training community understand and prepare for new training standards in institutional predoctoral training grants (T32s) supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).

Over 60 attendees participated in small-group discussions and learning activities around themes central to the new NIGMS T32 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA): creating inclusive training environments; integrating foundational, transferable competencies into biomedical graduate curricula; defining “evidence-based” approaches; and designing training programs that lend themselves to evaluation.

Attendees — including deans, faculty, and administrative staff — started off by envisioning and describing characteristics of an ideal training program, then compared different aspects or components of their own programs to that ideal. They were asked to return to this ideal for other comparisons throughout the day.

Richard Tankersley, PhD, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, served as lead facilitator. Dr. Tankersley brought relevant perspective to the workshop, having been the program director at the National Science Foundation during a similar reimagining of its graduate research training program in 2013.

In addition to group discussions, the day featured short presentations on a variety of topics: assessing trainee progression by Victoria Freedman, PhD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Wayne McCormack, PhD, of University of Florida College of Medicine; the many meanings of “inclusive” by David Acosta, MD, AAMC Chief Diversity Officer; and using logic models to help with program design, implementation, and evaluation by Dr. Tankersley.

Workshop proceedings will be compiled and shared with the greater training community in the next few months.