NEW resource: Tracking career outcomes of PhDs and postdocs at institutions

NEW resource: Tracking career outcomes of PhDs and postdocs at institutions

  For decades, institutions have been asked in various reports to track and report out on their PhD and postdoc alumnae career outcomes. A number of recent efforts by a variety of stakeholders in the last year suggest that 2018 may be the year when this comes to pass, and we are keeping track of all the efforts and which institutions have released data in our new Tracking Career Outcomes at Institutions resource.   As stated in a Policy Forum by ten University Presidents in Science, “A new data effort to inform career choices in biomedicine,”:   “The biomedical research enterprise finds itself in a moment of intense self-reflection, with science leaders, professional organizations, and funders all working to enhance their support for the next generation of biomedical scientists. One focus of their attention has been the lack of robust and publicly available information on education and training outcomes. In the absence of such information, students are prevented from making informed choices about their pre- and postdoctoral training activities, and universities from preparing trainees for a full range of careers.   The piece points out that reports that have asked for this data have included: Sustaining Discovery in Biological and Medical Sciences: A Framework for Discussion (FASEB, 2015); The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited (National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2014); Bridges to Independence: Fostering the Independence of New Investigators in Biomedical Research (National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2005); and Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers (National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 1995).   Greater transparency could allow junior researchers to act more rationally, or prepare in a more informed manner, their...
FoR Statement on the “Coalition for Next Generation Life Science”

FoR Statement on the “Coalition for Next Generation Life Science”

You can find a PDF copy of the statement below here.   Information on the biomedical labor market is necessary both for the formulation of policies that ensure its sustainable future as well as for informing individual career decisions.   Despite repeated calls (beginning at least as early as 1969) information on the career outcomes of life sciences graduate students and postdocs has remained poor or altogether unavailable. This has recently been discussed in an effort coordinated by Rescuing Biomedical Research and spearheaded by existing efforts to track career outcomes of PhDs, particularly NIH’s BEST Consortium. These efforts are currently focused on graduate programs and PhD outcomes, and do not currently encompass data collection on postdocs.   Today’s announcement in Science that a coalition of universities pledges to release information on all of their biomedical graduate students AND postdocs represents an unprecedented watershed moment. Previous efforts have been driven by prominent advisory committees, individuals, or other groups, but in this case, strong leadership is coming from within universities themselves.   The information to be released includes:   Admissions and matriculation data of Ph.D. students Median time to degree and completion data for Ph.D. programs Demographics of Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholars by gender, underrepresented minority status, and citizenship Median time in postdoctoral status at the institution Career outcomes for Ph.D. and postdoctoral alumni, classified by job sector and career type   FoR congratulates UCSF, Johns Hopkins, University of Wisconsin, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Pennsylvania, University of Maryland, Cornell University, Duke University, MIT, and University of Michigan. for leading this movement. We urge other universities to join...
FoR public statement on the “Next Generation Researchers Initiative” study at the National Academies

FoR public statement on the “Next Generation Researchers Initiative” study at the National Academies

The Board of Future of Research has submitted the following to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine study, the “Next Generation Researchers Initiative”. As Executive Director Gary McDowell and President Jessica Polka are both members of the study committee, they recused themselves from drafting this statement:   Future of Research advocates for training early career researchers to be successful in independent research careers, and the long-term sustainment of such careers. As an organization, we provide opportunities for and encourage early career researchers to speak up about issues they have experienced within the scientific system, while also collecting and analyzing data to identify ways the system should change to better fit their career preparation needs.   The Next Generation Researchers Initiative study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, brings much of our own concerns to light in terms of the barriers encountered by researchers when transitioning into independent research careers. One of the biggest barriers is the lack of career guidance and support needed to prepare them for successfully transitioning into a variety of research intensive roles within and outside of academia. The Committee could make a positive impact by gathering data on what researchers in these fields need (including longitudinal studies) and encouraging universities and research institutes to implement career development programs to help them in this transition.   More broadly exposing early career researchers to multiple types of research experiences could be achieved by internships and other programs at the university level, enabling them to become better prepared for research intensive careers. We recommend the Committee discuss how mentors can encourage trainees to...
ONE WEEK LEFT to submit comments to Committee on Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century

ONE WEEK LEFT to submit comments to Committee on Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century

Two studies, currently underway at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, are soliciting public input as part of their process, and they need to hear from you. ONE of the studies has only ONE WEEK LEFT for you to submit input.   The Committee on Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century invites public input here on its Discussion Document and Call for Community Input through September 22, 2017.   See our action page at http://futureofresearch.org/nasfeedback/ for more info....
Tweetchat on Mentoring the Future, September 12

Tweetchat on Mentoring the Future, September 12

  On Sept 12, from 1-2pm EST Future of Research (@FORsymp) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (@SciNetUCS) will co-host a Tweetchat on “Mentoring the future,” talking about what mentoring in science is/should be, and how we should change the culture of mentoring in science. Follow along at #MentoringFutureSci   Questions will be posting the questions from the @FORsymp account and then made that into a Storify, such as we did here for the #forchangingscience tweetchat we held recently. Invited participants include: The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN): @NRMNET The Future PI Slack Channel: @FuturePI_Slack Addgene: @Addgene Labmosphere: @labmosphere Postdoc Pinar Gurel: @pinar_gurel Corey Welch, Director, STEM Scholars Program for UR-students: @CoreyWelch_STEM   This chat is to help prepare us for discussions at the Ethical and Inspiring Mentorship in STEM (FoR College Park) meeting to be held September 21st, 2017 at University of Maryland, as part of National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week #NPAW2017. You can find out more info about that meeting here, and register to attend here!     This event is co-hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists.  ...
Building your brand while in a career transition

Building your brand while in a career transition

This post originally appeared on the GCC Carpe Careers blog published on the Inside Higher Ed website on July 3, 2017. Re-posting with permission from Inside Higher Ed. This is a post by policy activist Adriana Bankston.   What do you want people to know you for? Surprisingly this is not an easy question to answer, depends on your personal goals and motivations, and may not be your actual job. And while I am not an expert in this topic, I would like to share my personal perspective and advice from my own experiences.   If you are an academic scientist in training and want to become a PI, your main goals are of course for people in your particular research field to know you for your scientific work, typically through publications and presentations at conferences. Therefore it makes sense that you would highlight these particular accomplishments as your brand.   On the other hand, if you are currently a graduate student or postdoc and want to pursue a non-academic career, you are likely to invest a great deal of time (after hours and on weekends) on building the skills and experiences you will need to transition out of academia. This may include volunteering with relevant organizations, writing blog posts or other statements about issues of importance to you, as well as giving talks or participating in workshops or panels in your field of interest.   Overtime, these experiences which you may only do “on the side” of your work initially may become the body of work that you can use to transition out of academia. Personally, I volunteered...