The committee received and reviewed additional information, including sections of previous studies from the National Academies and others, relevant articles, material provided by NIH officials and others, grant announcement and review guidelines, and additional background research conducted by National Academies staff. The committee also requested and received analyses of personnel and grant award data from the Office of Extramural Research at the NIH and the National Academies Board on Higher Education and Workforce.
The committee met in person immediately following the workshop to plan the structure and scope of the report and to begin work on recommendations. Committee members worked to develop, discuss, and refine their findings and recommendations by teleconference over the next several months.
Chapter 2 describes the current patterns and data for biomedical research careers and highlights some of the present challenges. Chapter 3 presents a vision for the future and offers a roadmap for where we want to be in 5 years. The next three chapters walk through various career stages and the steps needed to foster scientific independence at each of those steps: Chapter 4 focuses on the postdoctoral experience, Chapter 5 on the transition to a first independent position, and Chapter 6 on establishing stable research programs. Finally, Chapter 7 offers the committee’s conclusions.