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NIH has done much, and for years it has wanted to do more. Each new major report from NAS calls for more data, but there have been persistent difficulties, and some new difficulties have emerged as well. Knowledgeable staff retire; personnel have not been replaced; and new responsibilities are added. There are several additional needs and concerns. Some of these are:

  • degree/data quality issues;

  • cost-benefit comparisons of training/career activities;

  • data capture improvement (e.g., “program” Ks and nonprincipal investigator personnel on research grants);

  • SDR-like tracking for researcher M.D.s, R.N.s and D.D.S.s, as well as for foreign-earned Ph.D.s;

  • collaboration between NIH outside organizations with similar career development evaluation interests (e.g. HHMI); and

  • new data access/privacy issues.

NIH leadership is becoming aware of these issues and is likely to address them to improve evaluation of its research training portfolio.


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Carter, G. M., J. D. Winkler, and A. K. Biddle-Zehnder. 1987. An Evaluation of the NIH Research Career Development Award.

Coggeshall, P., and P. W. Brown. 1984. The Career Achievements of NIH Predoctoral Trainees and Fellows. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Garrison, H. H., and P. W. Brown, eds. 1986. The Career Achievements of NIH Postdoctoral Trainees and Fellows. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Pion, G. M. 2001. The Early Career Progress of NRSA Predoctoral Trainees and Fellows. Bethesda, Md.: National Institutes of Health.

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