Having controlled for these factors, to what extent does URM enrollment cluster within universities, and which universities exceed URM enrollment expectations?

Since many universities have a large number of Ph.D. programs in the Assessment, the panel also investigated whether there are unmeasured characteristics of each university that attract URM Ph.D. students beyond the predictors considered above, i.e., whether URM students cluster in biomedical science programs at a given university due to a random “university effect” that is common to all the programs within that institution. Table 5-3 lists the 10 universities with the highest values, which indicate the attractiveness of the university’s programs to URM students beyond what is predicted by the field, percent of URM faculty, and research productivity.

Profile of Neuroscience and Neurobiology

The panel also looked at data from the Assessment’s survey administered to students admitted to candidacy in neuroscience and neurobiology and compared these results to other science and engineering fields included in the student survey (chemical engineering and physics). Although we do not have similar data for the other biomedical fields, we found that 95 percent of the neuroscience and neurobiology students were somewhat or very satisfied with their training program, and (along with chemical engineering) they reported the highest levels of student productivity in research presentations and publications. Neuroscience and neurobiology students were more likely to have their academic progress assessed by program faculty than students in the other surveyed fields, and 86 percent of the programs collected data on students’ postgraduation employment. As in the other biomedical science fields, the percent of female faculty in neuroscience and neurobiology (26 percent) did not correlate with the percent of female students (52 percent), but it did correlate with shorter times to degree (-0.346).

Postdoctoral Scholars

Not surprisingly, most faculty members in every biomedical science field have spent time as postdoctoral scholars, with older faculty having a smaller percentage of people with postdoctoral experience. About 90 percent of the faculty who received their Ph.D.’s in the 1990s, e.g., have held postdoctorates, except for those in biomedical engineering and nutrition. Postdoctorates are concentrated in the largest programs, and they are also concentrated in the programs that are in the top two quartiles for research productivity (Table 7-4). The largest numbers of postdoctorates are being trained in, and presumably are contributing to, the most productive research environments.

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