News & AnalysisBiomedical Careers

NIH Offers to Help Universities Improve Training, Boost Diversity

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Science  14 Dec 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6113, pp. 1405
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6113.1405

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Although some social scientists and biomedical researchers have complained that U.S. universities are training far more graduate students and postdocs than will ever find jobs in academic research, and others argue that any potential oversupply will find jobs in industry or other sectors, almost everyone agrees: The current training system takes too long and isn't designed to prepare young biomedical scientists for nonacademic jobs. So last week, the National Institutes of Health announced a plan to prepare scientists for a range of careers, move students through their Ph.D.s faster, and bolster the pay of postdocs. Officials say the changes are not aimed at reducing or even stabilizing the number of graduates but are intended to improve the training experience.