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4 . LURE DIRECTIONS The National Research Service Award Act of ~ 974 specifies certain i ssues that should be addressed in the study of national needs for biomedical and behavioral research personnel (see Appendix it). These issues and the Committee ~ s continuing efforts to respond to them were discussed in Chapter 1. This chapter will be concerned with several important questions that emerge from the legislative history of the Act. The Committee believes that these questions and others that concern the ef fectiveness and o,?eraIl impact both of the provisions of the Act and of the guidelines used by the agencie s to administer the program must be specifically addressed. They include the following: i. Does a significant proportion of the students trained in these programs subsequently pursue careers in areas other than biomedical and behavioral research (and teaching) ? 2. Are Here alternative- federal support programs available to students planning research careers in these fields? 3. Are there more appropriate and effective alternatives to the training grant and fellowship mechani sm s? 4. Is it inequitable for the federal government to provide more support for graduate students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences than in many other fields? 5. Do individuals trained in NIB- and ADA3~HA-supported Programs subsequently earn incomes that make it reasonable to requir e them to bear the costs of their own training? 6. Should NIH and ADAMBA provide support for only those unatI e to pay for their awn training? The Committee has attempted to address several of the issues and questions raised in the National Research Service Award Act of 74, primarily relying on data that have already been collected arid on the exFert judgment of its panels. Although all the available data have not been fully exploited, it is felt that at this stage important limitations in the data resources have been identified and that additional information now is needed to explore adequately these issues arid questions. The Committee has specified four areas that will require special attention. 66

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DEFINITION OF RES MUCH POP=ATION One area is to def ine and identify mere precisely the research component of the total population of biomedical and behavioral scientists. In the market analysis described in Chapter 3 a it wa s not pos sible, for example, to id~entif y the subset of Ph. D. scientists employed in health-related research positions. Consequently, included in these analyses were hydrologists, clinical psychologists, and other groups, of which probate, y only a small fraction were working in areas covered by this statute. The prob, ems assocza~ with the identification of appropriate research populations in both the clinical sciences and the health services fields are even more demanding. At this time the Committee has very little information about the number a:E M. D. researchers not on medical school faculties ma virtually no reliant e data about the number of health services research personnel. The lack< of information about the latter group is, in part, due to the fact that health services research is a rapidly growing app7 fed area in which nearly all of its participants received training in conventional biomedical and behavioral disciplines, health care administration, relevant quantitative areas, etc. REFINEMENT OF ST3PPLY/DEMANE ANALYSES A second area requiring special study is that of elaborating and ref ining the supply/demand analyses presented in Chapter 3. In these and ether market analyses, `the methodology used places emphasis on the trends of ma jor factors affecting supply and demand, without: adequately taking into consideration the dynamics of the total market situation. As pointed out in Chapter 3, if current trends indicate a potentially significant imbalance in supply and demand, some market ad justments quite likely will occur to minimize the number of either unfilled vacancies or unemployed personnel. These ad justments often affect the utilization patterns of personnel already trained. ~ a pro jected oversupp~ y situation many individuals, especially those just entering the labor force, may be forced to accept employment positions that do not fully utiliz e their training. Unfortunately, there is very little information on the extent to which this underutilization already has occurred in areas that are the concern of the Committee. For example ~ in the analyses of the markets for Ph. O. scientists in the biomedical and behavioral fields. some attention was given to the moderate decline in the proportion of this population Evolved in research activities. In sununary, the Committee recognizes the need to investigate changes in utilization patterns of biomedical and behavioral scientists in order to develop more precise 67

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measures of underutilization and to study special markets ~ such as those for clinical and health services researchers. Such studies, in con junction with these described above, will provide the foundation for making future assessments of the sizes and kinds of markets for selectee subgroups. PERSCNNEI NEEDS IN S EEC LALTY AR EAS A third area requiring special attention is the set of criteria and bases employed to cliff erentiate among the personnel needs in the various specialty areas within the bion edica ~ and behavioral science fields. At present the Corrun~ttee recognizes that reliable criteria are not available on which to base such differentiation. It is evident f rom the OCR for page 66
2. What alternative mechanisms are there to the present NRSA program and what are their advantages and di sad~rantag es ? In addition to the alone points, the Committee and its panels already have given considerable attention to the appropriate mix of predc~ctora' and postdoctoral support, as we, ~ as tc' the most desirable balance between training grants and fellowships within the four broad fields. and have recommended that some changes will monitor the impact of changes result of these recommendations and adjustments as indicated. te made. The Committee that are made as the recorrunen ~ f urther Final ly, the Committee recognizes the i.~nportance of maintaining and enhancing the quality of research scientists There is a great need to assure that high-quality is provided. To this end, the Committee will to study various aspects bearing on training ~ ~ ~ of a] ternati ve mc~c]~: of f or and produced. There is a great training is provided. To this endeavor quality ~ including the merits or a~:~rnac~ve moctes support, the future success of trainees, the needs role of women and minorities in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, the needs for mid-career research training, and the importance of an component ante and beyond student institut~cnal support supp<: ^. 69

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