As I noted in my last post on the K99/R00 program and predoctoral fellowships, we have made some progress on implementing some of the recommendations proposed by the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) working group that studied the biomedical research workforce.
There are many more components to this complex initiative, as described in the plan I presented to the ACD in December. Implementation of these plans may have a far-reaching effect on the NIH and on you as biomedical researchers supported by NIH. Therefore, as we move forward with these recommendations, it is important that we incorporate your input. Information about your experiences, at both the personal and institutional levels, will be invaluable as we consider the best ways to proceed.
To this end, we have just published a Request for Information (RFI) in the NIH Guide seeking input on several topics:
- Developing Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for those in graduate and postdoctoral training supported by NIH funds from any source.
- The length of time NIH should provide support for graduate students.
- Benefits for postdocs.
- Gathering information about individuals receiving NIH support for their training.
- Reporting by institutions of aggregate career outcomes of graduate students and postdoctorates on a public web site.
- Considering multiple career outcomes as indicators of success when reviewing training grants.
- Launching a dialogue with the extramural biomedical research community to assess how NIH supports the biomedical community, including faculty salaries.
The RFI contains additional information about our thinking on each of these topics, as well as a link to the website where you can submit comments. I strongly encourage you to respond to the RFI and suggest you ask your colleagues to do so as well. The more information we get the better we will be able to craft policies that serve the community and achieve the goal of improve the training experience of graduate students and postdocs.
Note that while I always read your comments to Rock Talk, we will not be able to incorporate them into the RFI responses so please respond directly to the RFI.