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Project Title:

Next Generation Researchers Initiative
PIN: PGA-BHEW-16-02        

Major Unit:

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Health and Medicine Division
Policy and Global Affairs

Sub Unit: Board on Higher Education & Workforce
Board on Life Sciences
Board on Science Education
Committee on Science, Engineering, Medicine, and Public Policy
Board on Health Sciences Policy
Teacher Advisory Council

RSO: Beninson, Lida

Subject/Focus Area: Biology and Life Sciences; Education; Health and Medicine; Industry and Labor; Policy for Science and Technology

Project Scope
An ad hoc committee overseen by the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW), will examine the policy and programmatic steps that the nation can undertake to ensure the successful launch and sustainment of careers among the next generation of researchers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, including the full range of health sciences supported by the NIH.  The committee will examine evidence-based programs and policies that can reduce barriers to, and create more opportunities, incentives and pathways for, successful transitions to independent research careers.  It will also examine factors that influence the stability and sustainability of the early stages of independent research careers. 

The study will include: (1) an evaluation of the barriers that prospective researchers encounter as they transition to independent research careers.  Such barriers may include inadequate career guidance and support, insufficient access to fellowships and traineeships that may provide broad exposure to research experiences, inability to compete successfully for initial research grant awards, and postdoctoral experiences that limit options for pursuing independent research careers; (2) an evaluation of the impact of federal policies and budgets, including federal agency policies and procedures regarding research grant awards, on opportunities for prospective researchers to successfully transition into independent research careers and to secure their all-important first and second major research grants; and (3) An evaluation of the extent to which employers (industry, government agencies and labs, academic institutions, and others) can facilitate smooth transitions for early career researchers into independent research careers.

The committee will issue a report summarizing the results of these evaluations with federal and institutional policy recommendations to improve the transition to independent careers for the next generation of researchers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.

Project Duration: 21 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 01/08/2017
 Meeting 2 - 04/02/2017
 Meeting 3 - 07/12/2017
 Meeting 4 - 09/14/2017
 Meeting 5 - 10/29/2017


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Researchers: Breaking Through