News of the WeekEducation

Scientists Block NIH Plan to Grant Ph.D.s

Science  11 Jun 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5421, pp. 1743
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5421.1743a

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Summary

Last week, for the second time in 6 months, opposition from several scientists on National Institutes of Health director Harold Varmus's influential Advisory Committee to the Director forced him to withdraw a plan to establish a small graduate school on the NIH campus that would enroll 15 students a year for a 5-year Ph.D. program in disease-oriented, integrative biology. Varmus and Deputy Director for Intramural Research Michael Gottesman will advance the idea again only if they can find a way around "some central crevasses," Varmus told his advisory panel on 3 June. Critics say the plan is the wrong move at a time when universities are already turning out too many life sciences Ph.D.s.