Click for next page ( 11


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 10
- 10 - advanced predoctoral levels; (2) suggestions for curriculum change to meet new needs; and (3) most importantly, the award of postdoctoral fellowships and traineeships to facilitate field switching and to smooth out market fluctuations. The two types of recommendations would be transmitted in annual reports to the Secretary (and to the academic community). V. OBJECTIVES The major foci of a Continuing study of national heeds w;11 be aggregate num' hers, estimates by f~elds---and, where possible, subtields---stability, flexibil- ity, and excellence. While closely interrelated, study approaches along these dimensions will vary, as will the time frame for their accomplishment. In view of the time constraints set by law, it is therefore necessary to distinguish between activities to be undertaken in an initial period extending from March 1, 1975, to June 30, 1975, and those to be addressed over the longer term. A e Initial Objectives - The immediate need is for aggregate projections for the bromedical/ behavioral sciences and for estimates by major field, leading to recommenda- tnons of levels of training support. Aggregate projections. the comtn;ttee belie ~ it feasible to pro~o'ect de- mand for biomedical and behavioral research personnel, based on suitable as- sumptions concerning levels of research support, by allowing the analysis to be directed by demographic factors and by expert judgments concerning the emergence of new areas of knowledge and technology. In addition, it seems feasible in the initial period to develop econometric models of supply and demand in these fields, using national time-series data for the biomedical and behavioral sciences in the aggregate, and to test such models for their applicability. In particular, one of these models would involve the use of relative-salary data. Models of this type have been used with some degree of success to provide estimates for physics, engineering, and law. For owing the strategy of previous scientific manpower model-building developed by Freeman and others, the Committee would seek to use available data on de- grees, salaries, R&D expenditures, enrollment, etc., to forecast supply and demand contingent upon exogeneous policy variables. It will be essential in making these projections to take into account changing opportunities and demand for women end members of minority groups within the Nationts biomedical/behavioral research programs. Field projections. Since adequate studies exist on the numbers of doc- toral degrees awarded by field each year, short-term projections can be at- tempted during the initial period of continuing study. The feasibility of making forecasts by field, as suggested under III-A above, has limitations. The narrower the fields covered, the greater will be the problem of substi- tutability. Another way of stating the problem is that the number of those with first training in a given field is an inadequate measure of the supply

OCR for page 10
~ l 11 of persons capable of working in that field. Moreover, the further into the future that forecasts are made, the greater the barriers to measuring supply in narrowly defined fields. The margin of error may be minimized through projecting by broad fields in contrast to aggregating suLfields. Broad-field projections can be supple- mented by judgments of expert panels to delineate rapidly growing fields and those showing a more modest or relatively slow growth or decline. Although not currently available, models analogous to those referred to above can be developed relatively early for selected fields and suLfields and to a limited degree could be made to reflect the extent to which workers could shift among fields. This analysis would make use of field-switching data developed by the National Research Council and other organizations. Levels of training support. Based on the foregoing projections and exam- ~nation of current trends in supply---including the output of other training efforts---recommendations would be made for the levels of NIH/ADAMHA training programs in FY 1976. As in the case of the projections of demand, these would be made by broad field. B. Longer-term Objectives Special importance is attached to improvement of the data base and contin- ued refinement of methodology. Over the next several years, the full poten- tial of the plan diagrammed in Figure 1 seems likely to be realized and should provide the basis needed for increasingly detailed recommendations by the Com- mittee. me usefulness of current studies, such as the NRC-maintained Roster of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers, could be significantly enhanced for pur- poses of the continuing study. A suitable enlargement of the survey sample size would help to ensure representativeness of employment data for a greater variety of subtields in the biomedical/behavioral sciences. With respect to methodology, a detailed analysis can be made of the specific features of the biomedical/behavioral manpower market and second-round model-building can be designed to incorporate these features. Studies of manpower flow in academic medicine need to be made. It would also be desirable to conduct a study com- paring the number of the Ph.D.'s awarded as a percentage of the number of bac- calaureate degrees in prior years to determine the effect of support programs. Other steps would involve bringing to bear on supply/demand problems the exper- tise of persons in the market facades c deans, department chairmen, students, and research directors). The continuing study would involve also a more care- ful analysis of the characteristics of different sectors of the market and modes of adjustment to changing market and support conditions than has been possible in the past. me use of non-salary adjustment mechanisms, such as postdoctoral fellowships, could be taken into account in the economic modeling. VI. PROJECT ORGANIZATION me continuing study would be carried out within the framework outlined in Fig- ure 1 under a committee and panel structure within the National Research Council's Commission on Human Resources. Figure 2 illustrates a possible organizational plan.