Finally, the need for research in health areas is of sufficient importance, from health and economic perspectives, to the nation is discussed. The external environment changes rapidly, including job availability, crises in health care, and emerging fields. The committee recommends that a standing independent committee be created to monitor biomedical, clinical, and behavioral and social science research personnel needs, to evaluate the training of such personnel, to assess the number and nature of research personnel that will be required in the future, to assist in the collection and analysis of appropriate data, and to make recommendations concerning these matters to NIH. Such a committee would be established by and be advisory to NIH. In particular, there is a lack of data with regard to tracking career outcomes for individuals supported by NIH. The committee recommends that NIH implement a data collection system for tracking the career outcomes of its recipients of research training support. A minimum set of outcomes would include employment sector, involvement in research, and subsequent NIH awards.
By necessity, this summary is brief; the points raised here are discussed in detail in the full report. Although continual monitoring and development are required, the medical research training establishment is in good health and the NRSA program has been critical for past accomplishments and will continue to be critical for achieving future goals.