Policy ForumLife Sciences Careers

A new data effort to inform career choices in biomedicine

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Science  15 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6369, pp. 1388-1389
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar4638

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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. Today, we presidents and chancellors of nine U.S. research universities and one research institute are announcing a new initiative, the Coalition for Next Generation Life Science (1), that responds to these challenges by adopting a series of transparency enhancing efforts, the first of which is to begin reporting data in early 2018. We have agreed to start with the biomedical research arena because of the considerable attention that workforce issues in this domain have received, but the logic of our initiative extends to other scholarly disciplines.