New publications: Using Census Data to See the New Face Of U.S. Science

New publications: Using Census Data to See the New Face Of U.S. Science

One of the key challenges in our work pushing for reform of the academic system and the scientific enterprise is convincing those resistant to change that there is a problem. Part of the issue in dealing with this is the debate about the quality/quantity of data available about the scientific workforce; with almost no tracking of career outcomes for graduate students and postdocs, and the variable degree to postdocs are administered in the U.S. hindering data collection efforts, a key argument against reform is the scarcity of data with which to make informed changes.   To combat this, we have started working more closely with those in science policy and the social sciences who work on these issues, and recently teamed up with labor economists at the U.S. Census Bureau/NIH to look at the U.S. biomedical workforce using census data. We have produced a comprehensive analysis of the historical size, shape and demography of the biomedical workforce in our working paper, “Preparing for the 21st Century Biomedical Research Job Market: Using Census Data to Inform Policy and Career Decision-Making” which is discussed in our comment in Nature out today, “The New Face of Science in the U.S.”. Our hope is this analysis will be of use to policy-makers, and can also help to inform junior and senior scientists alike (particularly in academia) about the realities we currently face.    We used the Integrated Public-Use Microdata Series-USA (IPUMS-USA, University of Minnesota) dataset, which contains data from both the decennial census and the annual American Community Survey (ACS), to look at biomedical scientists in the U.S. (for more details on the methods, see Appendix...

FoR receives grant to fund new non-profit and begin full-time operations

The team at Future of Research has been extremely busy over the last few months, and is pleased to announce that The Future of Research, Inc., or (FoR), is officially a MA-based non-profit organization and has received support for full-time activities through a generous grant from the Open Philanthropy Project. The Open Philanthropy Project identifies outstanding giving opportunities, makes grants, follows the results, and publishes its findings. Its mission is to give as effectively as it can and share the findings openly so that anyone can build on them. You can read more about the grant from the perspective of the Open Philanthropy Project here.     We have issued a press release about the grant, which will fund full-time support through the new Executive Director Gary McDowell and assist in developing infrastructure and projects for FoR. The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors, who will be holding their first retreat in Boston, MA on May 1st.   Full-time work for FoR will begin in May 2016. While the non-profit will be based in MA, members of the Board have been drawn from across the country, and work will be based at the Manylabs open science workspace in San Francisco, CA, where a 6-month residency has been awarded funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.   Everyone at FoR is very excited, and is looking forward to being able to have full-time support for junior scientists, who have been advocating for changes to science on top of their scientific research. Please stay tuned as we go forward, and get in touch with us at info[at]futureofresearch.org or on Twitter or...

FOR Blogpost at Cell Press Careers Under the Microscope

Future of Research Boston 2015 lead organizers Sarah Mazzilli and Gary McDowell have written a blogpost as part of the Cell Press “Careers Under the Microscope” series, “How Does the Number of Graduate Student and Postdoc Positions Affect YOUR Career in Science?“discussing the goals behind the 2015 Boston symposium. Don’t forget to register for the symposium here!...

Results from the FoR NatureJobs Career Expo workshop on Career Awareness published

Patricia Goodwin, Kearney Gunsalus, Erica Walsh and Gary McDowell from FoR gave a workshop at the NatureJobs Career Expo in Boston, May 2015, entitled, “Future of Research: How Can We Improve Career Awareness and Preparedness?” You can read a lengthier description of the questions discussed at the workshop here, as well as a perspective of the workshop by a moderator and by a participant, in the NatureJobs blog. In a similar manner to the Future of Research symposium, data was gathered to be written up and redistributed to everyone. You can look at the results which have now been published here in the Winnower, and you can also comment on the results below the article. The raw data is also available in the Supplementary Materials....

NatureJobs Podcast on Postdocs and the Future of Research

As part of a series on postdocs, this edition of the NatureJobs Podcast discusses the National Academies Report, “The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited“, and the Future of Research Report, “Shaping the Future of Research: A perspective from junior scientists“. In the podcast, Julie Gould interviews Gregory Petsko, chair of the National Academies Report, and Kristin Krukenberg and Gary McDowell, of the Future of Research. You can listen to the podcast here....

Podcast from Harvard Medical School discussing FoR

You can hear a podcast here from the Harvard Medical School podcast series, talking about the postdoc problem in an interview with Future of Research Symposium lead organizers Kristin Krukenberg and Jessica Polka. From the podcast website: “For many students and young researchers today, pursuing a career in science can seem more frightening than energizing. A wealth of qualified postdocs seeking a limited number of academic positions, ever-shrinking funding, and pressure to publish all fuel a hypercompetitive atmosphere in which the quality of science can suffer. In this month’s conversation, postdocs Kristin Krukenberg and Jessica Polka, lead organizers of Future of Research and authors of the Science article Making Science a Desirable Career, discuss ways the scientific enterprise can be changed to alleviate some of these challenges and make room for the next generation.”...