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4 T e raining INTRODUCTION To initiate and implement advances in biotechnology for agri- culture will require more than appropriate institutional structures and funds. A strategy for biotechnology also requires a work force of agricultural research scientists trained to apply molecular biol- ogy techniques critical to solving agricultural problems. Because biotechnology research spans a continuum from basic science to practical application, its practitioners must be conversant with the general biology of an organism and with the biochemical and genetic details of its life cycle. This new breed of researcher must understand the techniques of molecular biology and possess the skills to modify these techniques to suit particular organisms. Scientists, administrators, faculty, and policymakers should be aware of the importance of sound education and training to the progress of agricultural biotechnology. Programs are needed to at- tract young scientists to modern agricultural research and to effec- tively train these scientists. Other programs are needed to retrain traditional agricultural scientists in biotechnological methods, so they can apply these powerful tools to two of the long-standing goals of agricultural research: improving food quality and pro- duction efficiency. Four types of programs merit increased federal support: pro- and postdoctoral fellowships, training grants, career 90

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TRAINING 91 development awards, and retraining opportunities. To be most ef- fective, these programs should be administered on a peer-reviewed, competitive basis. Training in agricultural sciences shares many features with training in other biological sciences. Therefore, for this report the committee examined existing biological and biomedical training programs that could prove helpful in improving programs for agri- cultural sciences. The following section discusses issues relevant to training in agricultural biotechnology. PERSONNEL REQUIRED FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY Demand for Scientists As biotechnology industries grow, so grows the demand for trained employees. Scientists competent in biotechnology tools are in increasing demand not only by the industries serving medicine and agriculture but also by the educational system. Academic institutions need to expand the expertise of their faculty to provide training in biotechnology. Several recent independent estimates substantiate this demand. Although it is difficult to know the precise number of trained personnel required by the U.S. biotechnology industry, which listed 1,471 companies in business in 1985 (Sitting and Noyes, 1985), employment in the biotechnology industry has been increasing by about 25 percent per year since 1973 for Ph.D.s in biomedicine (Institute of Medicine tIOM], 1985~. Based on a survey, the TOM estimated that 12,000 scientists were employed by the U.S. biotech- nology industry in 1985 and that just under half of them (4,00 5,000) had Ph.D.s (IOM, 1985~. There are indications that the number of scientists practicing biotechnology in agriculture has also increased. A 1983 survey by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) of 219 selected biotechnology companies showed that 28 percent of these compa- nies were working in animal agriculture and 24 percent in plant agriculture (OTA, 1984~. Clearly, agriculture is a major benefi- ciary of biotechnology research. The unmet demand for researchers in agricultural biotechnol- ogy is substantial. In a survey conducted by the American Council on Education (ACE), academic, government, and industry labo- ratories all cited shortages of personnel trained in plant molecular

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92 AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY biology, biochemistry, and genetics (Anderson, 1984~. In addi- tion, the 1985 TOM biotechnology questionnaire found that firms looking for plant scientists cited shortages of (1) plant molecu- lar biologists with solid training in plant science (vs. training in bacterial or animal systems); (2) plant tissue culture experts; (3) plant geneticists or breeders with expertise in a second area such as tissue culture, cell biology, or molecular biology; and (4) bioprocess engineers (IOM, 1985~. A survey by the Division of Agriculture Committee on Biotech- nology of the National Association of State Universities and Land- Grant Colleges (NASULGC) projected 35 percent growth for Ph.D.- leve! scientists and 53 percent growth for B.S.-/M.S.-level scien- tists in agricultural biotechnology over the next 3 years (NASULGC, 1985~. Companies cited many areas of expertise they required, but comments were also made about the importance of a broad ed- ucation to cope with rapidly changing science and the need for agriculturalists who understand techniques in biotechnology. The survey reported that 1,244 scientists were working at 38 responding companies. Assuming 35 percent growth, 1,678 scientists would be needed by these companies alone by 1987. Our committee has es- timated that at least 3,000 scientists are now needed in the public agricultural biotechnology sector. The TOM has pointed out that "while industry may provide an increasing share of employment opportunities . . . universities will still be counted on to provide most of the training" (IOM, 1983~. This statement applies to agricultural biotechnology, but as noted in a recent report by the National Agricultural Research and Extension Users Advisory Board (1986~: Basic science curriculums in colleges of agriculture must be brought up to the same standards as those in the colleges of science. Many agricultural colleges over courses to agriculture majors in the basic sciences that are not as stringent as those offered by colleges of science. Although the demand for trained personnel is clearly growing, only a few federal training programs exist to help fulfill these needs. To make progress in agricultural biotechnology, federal support for graduate education must be increased to ensure the future supply of scientists. In addition, increased postdoctoral opportunities in agricultural research are needed to attract, train, and keep young Ph.D. scientists in agricultural biotechnology.

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TRAINING 93 The Report of the White House Science Council Pane! on the Health of U.S. Colleges and Universities (1986) noted, "the fed- eral government is the primary supporter of basic research in this country." The report called for "a substantial program of merit- based, portable scholarships . . . by the federal government at the undergraduate level.... ~and] Substantial programs of multiyear merit-based fellowships . . . at the graduate level." These types of scholarships and fellowships are needed in many fields. Allo- cating some of them to modern agricultural research would help to ensure the nation's supply of scientists trained in agricultural biotechnology. Demographic bends Another justification for increasing federal support to gradu- ate education in agricultural biotechnology as well as science in general is demographic: The college-age population is declining, and this decline will decrease the pool of graduate students and could lead. to a shortage of research personnel (Figure 4-1~. In an- alyzing the ejects of demographic factors on biomedical research, IOM recommended maintaining federal support of graduate train- ing to offset possible future shortages of research personnel (IOM, 1985~. Graduate education not only produces scientists, it also con- tributes to U.S. research productivity by the experimental work students perform for their Ph.D. theses and by their later research as mature scientists. Graduate students cannot be replaced by technicians, who usually do not design experiments or train to be- come research leaders. If the number of graduate students declines because of demographics (e.g., a declining college-age population pool) and decreased funding (for both educational and research programs), research productivity will suffer unless there is a com- pensating rise in the number of postdoctoral researchers. However, because postdoctoral researchers are supplied from the graduate student pool, their numbers will likely shrink as well. A decline in the college-age population will have another effect on training: Decreased revenues from tuition will support fewer permanent faculty. IOM has concluded that biomedical science faces a Tong-term prospect of fewer graduate students, more post- doctoral researchers with longer term, semipermanent positions,

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94 300,000 an IIJ a 200,000 In a: o I m 1 00,000 50,000 o / l I AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY Protected 22-Year-Olds ~ a` ' _ Sciences ~ TO 1960 1965 1970 1975 19801985 1990 1995 YEAR 4,000,000 In 3,000,000 9 O I at: 2,000,000 c`' 1,000,000 ~ Engineering FIGURE 4-1 Science and engineering Bachelor's degrees and the 22-year-old population. Source: Bloch, E. 1986. Basic Research: The Key to Economic Competitiveness (Fig. 10, p. 93. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. and more technicians (IOM, 1983). Because these conclusions are likely to apply to agricultural science as well, it is impor- tant to note the status of postdoctoral study in the two fields. In 1983, 59 percent of new Ph.D.s in the biological and health sciences planned postdoctoral study, contrasted with 18 percent of agricultural science Ph.D.s (National Research Council iNRC], 1983~. These figures reflect the fact that postdoctoral training in biomedicine is considered a necessary transition between graduate education and a faculty or equivalent position, but the same is not

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TRAINING 95 generally true for the agricultural sciences (Anderson, 1984~. In bypassing postdoctoral study, agricultural scientists may receive tenure faster, but at the same time they may find that they have limited exposure to modern developments in research. Another notable demographic trend involves the number of foreign students in the United States. The 1985 Science Indicators report (National Science Board tNSB], 1985) shows an increase in the percentage of foreigners receiving doctoral degrees in the United States for most scientific fields (Figure 4-2~. The trend is attributed to both a decrease in the number of U.S. students earning Ph.D.s and an increase in the number of foreign graduate students in the United States. The high percentage of foreigners earning Ph.D.s in agriculture in the United States is noteworthy. In 1983, 20 percent of all graduate students and 33 percent of all postdoctoral researchers in plant biology in the United States were foreigners (Anderson, 1984~. Half of the foreign graduate students and one-third of the postdoctoral researchers received major support from their governments. These researchers are highly productive while training in the United States. In addition, many continue their scientific careers in this country, rather than returning home on completing their training. More training opportunities and incentives are needed to at- tract U.S. students and scientists to work on problems in agricul- ture. Without these new opportunities and incentives, the United States runs the risk of losing its leadership role. Therefore, federal support for training U.S. scientists in agricultural biotechnology must be increased. EDUCATION AND TRAINING Sound, comprehensive education is a prerequisite for scientific training. Furthermore, breakthroughs are often made by scientists who may specialize in unrelated fields but have a breadth of knowI- edge and an appreciation of several disciplines. Such individuals can bring fresh insights to bear on research problems. Some of these scientists will also act as innovators and guide important transitions in research. Numerous studies have documented problems in American sci- entific education: High school and college students show declining test scores in science and mathematics, the academic competency

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96 60 55 50 45 40 35 Z `2n LLI he 25 20 15 10 AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY Mathematics and / Computer Sciences - - Englneerlng / - ~Agriculture Chemistry - Biological Sciences - 1960 1 965 1970 1975 1980 1984 YEAR FIGURE 4-2 Doctoral degrees awarded to foreign students as a percentage of all doctoral degrees granted by U.S. universities, by field. Source: Adapted from National Science Foundation. 1985. Science Indicators. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Of many science and mathematics teachers is questionable, and patterns of undergraduate majors are changing that is, 50 per- cent fewer arts and sciences degrees are awarded compared with business and management degrees (National Center for Educa- tion Statistics, 1985~. The NSB has recommended several ways to upgrade the quality of science education in America, including in- creasing science and mathematics instruction in secondary schools and raising college entrance requirements in science and mathe- matics (NSB Commission on Precollege Education in Mathemat- ics, Science and Technology, 1983~. We agree that these actions are needed, as well as an earlier and greater emphasis on science and agriculture in elementary, junior high, and high schools.

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TRAINING 97 Agricultural research must be able to attract top-quality sci- entists. Appropriate institutional structures and funding patterns can help make agricultural research a more attractive career. How- ever, a sound scientific education should begin at the undergradu- ate level, when students are taught the fundamentals of the many basic disciplines that underlie biotechnology. These disciplines in- clude chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, physiology, and cell and developmental biology. Students need rigorous education in these basic sciences if they hope to go on to graduate study and later research using the sophisticated techniques of biotechnology. Specialized training in narrow research areas is more appro- priate to graduate and postdoctoral work, after students have acquired the breadth of knowledge that allows them to think cre- atively about research problems. Thus, there is a distinction be- tween education and training. Both are essential to the progress of research, but the latter cannot be effective without the former. Several types of programs can attract and train top-quality scientists for careers in agricultural biotechnology research. Pro- grams can adciress needs at several stages of research training: education at pre- and postdoctoral levels, developing careers in research for young faculty, retraining established agricultural sci- entists to use biotechnological techniques, and facilitating interdis- ciplinary projects that are critical to the success of biotechnology. Industry could play a more active role in retraining scientists by initiating and funding courses and collaborative projects. Federal and state funding of university laboratories is instru- mental in training scientists. Clearly, more training in biotechnol- ogy must be provided by agricultural schools to fulfill the personnel requirements of academic, government, and industry laboratories. However, the ability to attract graduate students and faculty to agricultural molecular biology and biotechnology will depend on a perception that job opportunities exist and that funding is avail- able. Current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) competi- tive grants average $50,000 per year for 2 years, and National Sci- ence Foundation (NSF) grants in plant sciences average $70,000 per year for 2-3 years. However, applicants to both programs have a success rate of only 15-20 percent. This fact, and the low level of funding compared to National Institutes of Health (NTH) grants, does not encourage students or faculty to enter the field of agricultural biotechnology. In the mid- and long term, this

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98 AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY situation could hurt the United States' competitive advantage in biotechnology and its application to agriculture. The following section discusses the status of programs in government agencies that include training in agricultural biotechnology. Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture PREDOCTORAL In 1984, the USDA initiated a program with $5 million that supported 302 predoctora] students through peer-reviewed, com- petitive training grants awarded to university departments. These training grants covered four areas (each area's share of funds is given in parentheses): food science and human nutrition (20 per- cent), agricultural engineering (20 percent), food and agricultural marketing (25 percent), and biotechnology (35 percent). The 302 students received $5 million in funds again in 1985, but no new grants were awarded because no additional money was available. Appropriations for 1986 were cut to $3 million, which was used to cover the existing students (albeit at reduced levels), who had been guaranteed 3 years of support. A new crop of students will be so- licited in 1987, under a new $2.8 million appropriation. However, full funding for 3 years will be allocated from this 1987 appro- priation to each new student accepted. The major reduction in funding coupled with the new policy of "forward funding" means that support will be available to substantially fewer students. POSTDOCTORAL The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of USDA also initi- ated a competitive postdoctoral program in 1984 that supported 21 people for 1-2 years working on specific projects at ARS lab- oratories. The number of award recipients increased in 1985 and 1986 to 50 and 100, respectively. The 1986 appropriation for the program was $4 million, with about half of the fellowships sup- porting researchers in agricultural biotechnology. ARS fellowships pay $26,000-$31,000 per year, compared with NTH postdoctoral appointments, which pay $16,000-$30,000 per year, depending on the individual's experience. The ARS program is an important incentive in attracting young scientists to agricultural research.

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TRAINING 99 LAND-GRANT SYSTEM Most research in plant biology is conducted at land-grant universities, which also support 80 percent of the nation's plant biology faculty and graduate students. As training centers in plant biology, land-grant universities must continually update programs to reflect trends in biotechnology and must equip students with the knowledge to apply biotechnology to important problems in agriculture. THE IMPORTANCE OF PEER REVIEW The importance of peer-reviewed, competitively awarded fed- eral grants in supporting talented pre- and postdoctoral students has been demonstrated. Follow-up studies on recipients of NTH grants show that they outperform nonrecipients in their subse- quent careers in biomedical research (IOM, 1983, 1985~. Yet only 60 percent of postdoctoral researchers in plant biology receive federal support (Anderson, 1984), compared with 85 percent of biomedical postdoctoral researchers (IOM, 1983~. Furthermore, plant science is underfunded in proportion to the number of students in the field. The $98 million in federal funds used to support plant biology research was only 4 percent of federal funds for life sciences in 1982, although plant biology graduate students accounted for 12 percent of all graduate students in life sciences and 17 percent of the doctorates awarded (Anderson 1984~. Given the small number of postdoctoral fellowships awarded by USDA and the fact that they are restricted to ongoing research programs at ARS laboratories, it is not surprising that three- quarters of the new Ph.D.s In agricultural science do not plan on any postdoctoral training (NRC, 1983~. This situation is particu- larly discouraging for biotechnology, which relies more than many other agricultural disciplines on basic research. An intensified na- tional effort is needed to identify promising graduate students and postdoctoral researchers for agricultural biotechnology and award them peer-reviewed, competitive grants through USDA programs. 1'

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100 AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY Programs at the National Science Foundation P REDOCTORAL NSF has supported peer-reviewed, competitive predoctoral fellowships in the basic sciences and mathematics since 1952. About 450-540 new 3-year awards are made each year from an annual appropriation of approximately $27 million; 25-35 percent of the awards are in the biological and biomedical sciences. POSTDOCTORAL NSF has peer-reviewed, competitive programs that fund post- doctoral fellows in plant biology, environmental sciences, and mathematics. The plant biology postdoctoral fellowships attempt to foster retraining for an interdisciplinary approach to plant sci- ence. Initiated in 1983 at an annual cost of about $1.2 million, these fellowships are awarded to about 20 recent Ph.D.s each year to encourage them to explore a new research direction in plant science for example, to help a bacterial molecular biologist switch to plant molecular biology or a plant tissue culturist to investigate plant biochemistry. NSF's environmental biology fellowship pro- gram began in 1984 and supports about 20 people each year at a cost of about $1 million. Similarly, the mathematics postdoctoral fellowships have supported about 30 people each year since 1979 at a cost of about $1.5 million per year. In addition, NSF funds North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) fellowships for post- doctoral study in science and engineering by U.S. citizens working in NATO countries and NATO-affiliated countries. NSF awards about 50 NATO fellowships per year at a cost of around $1 million. SUMMER COURSES Since 1981, NSF has funded a summer course on plant molec- ular biology at Cold Spring Harbor I.aboratory in New York that, like the plant biology postdoctoral fellowships, aims to give scien- tists educated in related disciplines a foundation in this relatively new field. Sixteen people are accepted into the course each year out of about 50 applicants. Seventy-five percent of the applicants are Ph.D. scientists. The remainder are graduate students or non- Ph.D. scientists from industry.

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TRAINING 101 CAREER DEvELoPMENT NSF contributes to the newly conceived Presidential Young Investigator Awards, which support the independent research of outstanding young faculty scientists nominated by their depart- ments or deans. The purpose of this program is to help universities attract and keep outstanding young Ph.D.s who might otherwise pursue nonacademic careers. In 1984, 200 Presidential Young In- vestigators were named, and 100 more were appointed in 1985 and again in 1986. NSF funds the awards for 5 years at a base rate of $25,000 per year. NSF will also provide up to an additional $37,500 each year to match funds provided to the award recip- ient by industry. The awards are divided among the disciplines of NSF's research directorates. The number of award recipients in the biological sciences were 25 in 1984, 21 in 1985, and 10 in 1986. At least one-third of these scientists are carrying out ba- sic research with potential relevance to agriculture. Examples are studies of growth-related peptides in livestock animals and the ge- netics, physiology, and biochemistry of productivity and water-use efficiency in crop plants. Programs at the National Institutes of HeaIth The NTH research and training system for biomedical science is perhaps the most effective system of its kind in the world. It is by far the major source of biomedical research training support in the United States and has been instrumental in America's leading role in basic biomedical research since World War II. The extensive NTH programs contrast markedly with the very limited programs and support provided through USDA for research training. EXTRAMURAL NIH National Research Service Awards (NRSA) support sev- eral types of extramural fellowships. NRSA predoctoral trainee- ships support graduate education in basic biomedical science; about 5,000 such positions were funded in 1985 at a cost of $73 million. Similarly, NRSA funded about 5,700 postdoctoral awards in basic biomedical science in 1985 from an appropriation of $145 million. NRSA awards are adrn~nistered either as institutional re- search training grants or as individually awarded fellowships (the

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102 A GRICULTUR^AL BIO TECHNOL OG Y latter for postdoctoral researchers only). All awards are competi- tive and peer-reviewed. In addition to predoctoral traineeships and entry-level post- doctoral traineeships and fellowships, NRSA extramural awards are given for Senior Postdoctoral Fellowships, Mid-Career Con- version Awards, Academic Investigator Awards, Clinical Investi- gator Awards, Physician Scientist Awards, Research Career De- velopment Awards to aid young scientists setting up indepen- dent research laboratories, and Special Emphasis Research Career Awards to develop an individual's multidisciplinary capacity for research. INTRAMURAL NTH appoints Intramural Staff Fellows through a different peer-reviewed, competitive program. There are three categories (the number of fellows selected in 1985 is given in parentheses): (1) entry-level Staff Fellows, who have less than 3 years experi- ence beyond the Ph.D. (318~; (2) Senior Staff Fellows, with 3~ years experience (2833; and (3) Medical Staff Fellows (327), who take on both research and clinical duties. Staff fellowship po- sitions are nontenured and may last up to 7 years. The three categories respectively allow (l) valuable training in NTH labs for junior researchers, (2) more advanced researchers to learn the lat- est biomedical techniques at NIH labs while bringing in their own expertise, and (3) the integration of clinical and basic medical research. Intramural programs also sponsor Visiting Fellows (577) and Associates (228) at NTH labs. These temporary personnel ex- changes involve foreign citizens and promote both retraining and the exchange of ideas between countries and laboratories. Other Government Programs The NRC administers a peer-reviewed, competitive Research Associate Awards program, under which scientists work as guest investigators in U.S. government laboratories. About 500 Research Associates are supported by more than 30 laboratories, including those of the National Aeronatics and Space Administration, NBS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and re- cently, NTH. ARS, however, has not participated in this program

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TRAINING 103 since 1977. The program attracts high-quality scientists, both re- cent Ph.D.s and senior investigators, who can bring stimulating ideas and new techniques to their sponsoring laboratory. Private Support Private support for basic research and training has generally been limited compared with federal support. Some private firms do fund fellowships, but such programs are quite limited. Recently, the privately funded McKnight Foundation broke new ground: it initiated a Midyear program to award a total of $15 million for interdisciplinary, problem-oriented university training grants in plant biology related to agriculture and a second 10-year program to award $3.5 million to outstanding young plant biologists. Both types of grants are awarded through a peer-reviewed, competitive process, and each grant lasts 3 years. The interdisciplinary grants of $300,000 per year pay mainly for pre- and postdoctoral fellow- ships, and similarly, the individual awards of $35,000 per year are often used to support a research fellow within the young faculty member's laboratory. Some private firms also fund fellowships. The Federal Tech- nology Transfer Act of 1986 (see Chapter 5) facilitates support of training positions in federal laboratories by private firms. Conclusions Training opportunities in biotechnology for agriculture are very limited. The USDA has recently put programs into place, but the number of trainees and the level of funding are small in contrast to the biomedical and basic research efforts of NIH and NSF (Table 11~. Expenditures given in Table 4-1 do not include USDA Hatch Act support to the Agricultural Experiment Stations that fund predoctoral trainees as graduate research assistants. Likewise, they do not include the portions of NIH and NSF basic research grants that support pro- and postdoctoral trainees, nor NIH's intramural programs. The latter mechanisms of support are considerable. Total NSF funding of pre- and postdoctoral trainees is 3- to 12-fold higher than shown in Table 4~1 if figures for students supported by their sponsor's research grants are included. Private support for research training is also limited and does little more than supplement government programs. Major federal

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104 AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY TABLE 4-1 Federal Agency Expenditures for Training Research Scientists (millions of dollars) - Agency Year USDAa NSF b NIH c Predoctoral programs 1983 - 15.0 61.8 1984 5.0 20.3 61.0 1985 5.0 27.3 73.0 Postdoctoral programs 1983 0.6 3.2 102.8 1984 0.7 4.7 105.6 1985 2.0 4.6 145 () NOTE: The table includes all funding through specific training programs but does not include support to pre- or postdoctoral trainees provided under individual research grants. a The USDA predoctoral program was initiated in 1984 and provides funds in the forth of training grants to university departments. From 1981 to 1983 the 1-year postdoctoral appointments required the same civil service hiring practices used for permanent staff; beginning in 1984, special authority under the Office of Personnel Management's Schedule B has been used to expedite postdoctoral appointments. b NSF predoctoral fellowships cover all scientific and engineering disciplines; postdoctoral fellowships exist under four programs only: Mathematics, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Environmental Biology, and Plant Biology. c NIH training grants to university departments support both pre- and postdoctoral recipients. Individual NIH fellowships are only available for postdoctoral recipients. SOURCE: Personal communications from agency program directors, 1986. increases for training programs in agricultural biotechnology are urgently needed to stem the erosion of U.S. agricultural research capability and to meet the growing need for trained scientists. These programs must include four types of support: pre- and post- doctoral fellowships, training grants, career development awards, and retraining opportunities. They should be administered on a peer-reviewed, competitive basis. INTERDISCIPLINARY C O OPERATION Traditional agricultural researchers are often unfamiliar with recent advances in molecular genetics and biotechnology. Con- versely, molecular biologists and other scientists with expertise in modern techniques usually have little background in agricultural

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TRAINING 105 research. Insufficient interaction between basic and applied re- searchers impedes training and thus inhibits practical applications of biotechnology to agricultural production. Human health-related research provides another route of in- terdisciplinary information flow into agricultural research. The development and application of biotechnology have progressed faster in health research, because of larger public and private investments. Agricultural scientists should keep in contact with the latest achievements in biomedical research, which often have direct and/or indirect significance for animal and plant research. Agricultural scientists and research institutions need to reach out and develop new links with basic science disciplines. These new links could take a variety of forms. Curricula. Universities can promote interdisciplinary coop- eration by two complementary tactics. They must first provide a broad education for undergraduates that covers the basics of all the sciences. This should include agricultural science as well, which is often orn~tted from curricula in non-land-grant institutions. Con- versely, colleges of agriculture should strengthen their curricula in other basic sciences. Universities must then create graduate curricula and graduation requirements that include coursework complementary to students' specialties (for example, courses in physical chemistry to understand the physiology of plant stress). Training Grants. Peer-reviewed, competitive training grants for research areas spanning several disciplines are another way to electively educate pre- and postdoctoral students and at the same time promote interdisciplinary cooperation. These grants provide stipends for students and may also cover the costs of equipment and research. By bringing common goals to several different fields of research, such training grants can encourage young scientists to creatively apply ideas and methods from complementary disci- plines. Career Development. Similarly, career development awards for young, independent faculty contribute both to the advance- ment of research and to the education of students. The NTH, NSF, and NRC fellowship and career development programs show

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106 AGRIOULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY the effectiveness of federally supported peer-reviewed, competitive awards for educating and training researchers. Retraining. Faculty sabbaticals and senior postdoctoral ap- pointments that cross traditional disciplinary lines are very impor- tant avenues for the exchange of ideas and personnel retraining. Providing established researchers with opportunities to learn new biotechnological methods capitalizes on their existing expertise in agricultural systems. Furthermore, these established agricultural scientists will be instrumental in educating the next generation of researchers. Their adoption of biotechnology will allow them to teach students about agricultural science in a way that integrates classical and modern approaches. Biotechnology relies on large-scale team approaches, orches- trated both within and among laboratory groups. Thus, inter- disciplinary cooperation is needed for the growth of agricultural biotechnology and its application to real-world problems. This is true not only for industrial R&D but also for solving complex problems in the underlying biological sciences. For example, com- munication and cross-training among laboratories studying ento- mology, neurochemistry, and molecular biology are essential for a modern approach to pest control through biochemical modifica- tion of insect behavior. These types of interdisciplinary projects must be supported with new sources of funding and new rewards. They also require curricula and educational programs that give collaborating researchers an understanding of each other's fields. REC OM~NDATIONS Scientists, administrators, faculty, and policymakers in all sectors should be aware of the importance of state-of-the-art ed- ucation and training to the future development of agricultural biotechnology. Specifically, the comrn~ttee makes the following recommendations. INCREASED FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR TRAINING Major increases in federal support for training programs are urgently needed to provide a high-quality research capability that ensures the future of U.S. agriculture and meets the growing need for scientists trained in agricultural biotechnology. Four types of

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TRAINING 107 programs must be supported: pre- and postdoctoral fellowships, training grants, career development awards, and retraining oppor- tunities. These approaches, used successfully in the biomedical sciences, have put the United States in the forefront of human medical advances. These programs should be administered on a peer-reviewed, competitive basis. USDA should support at least 400 postdoctoral positions at universities and within the ARS, which represents a quadrupling of the present number, and main- tain strong support for graduate-level training. INCREASED RETRAINING PROGRAMS For the short term, highest priority should go to increasing the retraining opportunities available to university faculty and federal scientists to update their background knowledge and provide them with laboratory experience using the tools of biotechnology. This retraining will expand the abilities of researchers experienced in agricultural disciplines. USDA should take the lead in adminis- tering a program to supply at least 150 retraining opportunities a year for 5 years, starting in FY89.