These data are reported by the institutions and represent almost all doctoral programs. In 2005, the reported total of Ph.D. students in the biomedical sciences was 41,115 or about 7,500 fewer students than the NSF data, which most likely reflects the inclusion of masters students. These data again show more female than male students, but only by a few hundred. Data from the research-doctorate study for the period from 2002 to 2006 on first-year enrollment mirrors the growth of the NSF data (see Table 3-2) and is generally about 1,500 less, accounting for master’s students. Projecting the research-doctorate data, using the change in the NSF data, shows an increase in 2008 to about 10,000 first-year enrollees in Ph.D. programs.

Data on citizenship and race/ethnicity of doctoral students in the biomedical sciences are also available from the research-doctorate study. The percentage of doctoral students on temporary visas is about 30 percent, although the percentage of doctorates conferred on such students is somewhat less (see Table 3-3 and Figure 3-3), likely reflecting a continuing increase in the number of international students admitted into graduate programs and the attendant delay of five years before graduation.

Similarily, the percentage of underrepresented minority doctoral students in biomedical graduate programs is 11 percent from the research-doctorate data, but in the same year these student make up 8 percent of graduates, again likely reflecting an expanding pipeline (see Table 3-4 and Figure 3-3). It is unclear why these percentages are greater, but these students might take longer to get their degree.

THE NUMBER AND DEMOGRAPHICS OF BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES PH.D. RECIPIENTS

The increase in funding and enrollments led to increases in doctoral degrees. The numbers of Ph.D.s in the biomedical sciences awarded by U.S. institutions have increased from roughly 3,000 during the 1970s to 6,895 in 2007. The increase presumably reflects increases in the Gross National Product (GNP) as well as increases in the NIH budget over this time period, although over the past decade the percentage increases in the NIH budget have substantially exceeded those of Ph.D. output (see Figure 3-2).

Most of the surge occurred in the early to mid-1990s and, more recently, from 2003 to 2007. The latter increase can

TABLE 3-1 Number of Ph.D. Students Enrolled in the Biomedical Sciences, Fall 2005

Field

Male

Female

Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology

3515

3021

Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering

2842

1589

Cell and Developmental Biology

2602

2989

Genetics and Genomics

1230

1495

Immunology and Infectious Disease

1155

1429

Integrated Biomedical Sciences

3285

3664

Microbiology

1200

1592

Neuroscience and Neurobiology

2007

2019

Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Environmental Health

1755

1989

Physiology

784

953

Total

20375

20740

SOURCE: NRC. 2010. A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

TABLE 3-2 First-Year Enrollment in Biomedical Ph.D. Programs

Field

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology

1334

1385

1556

1445

1437

Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering

716

784

921

938

924

Cell and Developmental Biology

1365

1464

1558

1556

1610

Genetics and Genomics

594

582

654

674

619

Immunology and Infectious Disease

712

728

774

803

812

Integrated Biomedical Sciences

1288

1367

1398

1497

1519

Microbiology

669

672

731

728

688

Neuroscience and Neurobiology

761

891

957

886

913

Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Environmental Health

812

825

844

886

822

Physiology

397

417

481

456

445

Total

8648

9115

9874

9869

9789

SOURCE: NRC. 2010. A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.



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