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Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future (2007)

Chapter:Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

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Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

SUMMARY

As educators of the nation’s future scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and K–12 teachers, US 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities are the central institutions in building the human resources needed for scientific and technological leadership.

However, these institutions face a number of challenges in producing knowledgeable graduates and trained professionals. Today, the United States ranks 17th globally in the proportion of its college-age population that earns science and engineering (S&E) degrees, down from third several decades ago.1 Many other nations now have a higher fraction of 24-year-olds with S&E degrees (see Figure HE-1). And even though the proportion of its population who attends graduate school is small, because of its large population China graduates three times as many engineers from its colleges as does the United States.

In the past, the United States has relied on international students and scientific and engineering professionals to maintain its base of human resources in these fields. But global competition for S&E talent is intensifying, and enrolling higher percentages of US students in these programs would have many benefits.

This paper summarizes findings and recommendations from a variety of recently published reports and papers as input to the deliberations of the Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century. Statements in this paper should not be seen as the conclusions of the National Academies or the committee.

1

Council on Competitiveness. Innovate America. Washington, DC: Council on Competitiveness, 2004.

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
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FIGURE HE-1 S&E bachelor’s degrees, by field: selected years, 1977-2000.

NOTE: Geosciences include earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences.

SOURCE: National Science Board. Science and Engineering Indicators 2004. NSB 04-01. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2004. Figure 2-11.

To meet this goal, many believe that the United States will need to attract S&E students from all demographic groups. Today, Blacks, Hispanics, and other underrepresented minority groups are about a quarter of the US population but make up only 17.9% of the undergraduate population, 2.5% of the these majors, and 6% of the S&E workforce (see Table HE-1 and Figure HE-2). Only a quarter of this workforce consists of women, though women are almost half the total US workforce. By 2020, more than

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

TABLE HE-1 Ratio of Bachelor’s Degree to the 24-Year-Old Population, by Selected Fields, Sex, and Race/Ethnicity: 1990 and 2000

Sex and race/ethnicity

Degree

Degree

All bachelor’s degrees

All S&E

NS&E

Social/behavioral sciences

24-year-old population

Bachelor’s

NS&Ea

Social/behavioral science

Number

Ratio to 24-year-old populatiob

1990 total

1,062,160

345,794

169,938

175,856

3,722,737

28.5

4.6

4.7

Male

495,876

199,917

117,249

82,668

1,855,513

26.7

6.3

4.5

Female

566,284

145,877

52,689

93,188

1,867,224

30.3

2.8

5.0

White

856,686

270,225

127,704

142,521

2,628,439

32.6

4.9

5.4

Asian/Pacific Islander

38,027

19,437

13,338

6,099

120,797

31.5

11.0

5.0

Underrepresented minority

107,377

33,419

15,259

18,160

973,500

11.0

1.6

1.9

Black

59,301

18,230

7,854

10,376

484,754

12.2

1.6

2.1

Hispanic

43,864

13,918

6,868

7,050

459,073

9.6

1.5

1.5

American Indian/Alaskan Native

4,212

1,271

537

734

29,674

14.2

1.8

2.5

2000 total

1,253,121

398,622

210,434

188,188

3,703,200

33.8

5.7

5.1

Male

536,158

197,669

128,111

69,558

1,886,400

28.4

6.8

3.7

Female

716,963

200,953

82,323

118,630

1,816,800

39.5

4.5

6.5

White

895,129

270,416

142,400

128,016

2,433,400

36.8

5.9

5.3

Asian/Pacific Islander

75,265

12,368

23,185

12,368

148,800

50.6

15.6

8.3

Underrepresented minority

200,967

63,519

27,939

35,559

1,121,000

17.9

2.5

3.2

Black

104,212

32,924

13,795

19,129

527,600

19.8

2.6

3.6

Hispanic

88,324

27,984

12,919

15,065

560,200

15.8

2.3

2.7

American Indian/Alaskan Native

8,431

2,611

1,246

1,365

33,200

25.4

3.8

4.1

aNS&E degrees include natural (physical, biological, earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences), agricultural, and computer sciences; mathematics, and engineering.

bNumber of degrees per 100 24-year-olds.

NOTE: NS&E = natural sciences and engineering.

SOURCE: National Science Board. Science and Engineering Indicators 2004. NSB 04-01. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2004. Table 2-8. This table was based on US Department of Education, Completions Survey; National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, WebCASPAR database system, available at: http://caspar.nsf.gov/; and US Bureau of the Census, Population Division.

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

FIGURE HE-2 Minority share of S&E bachelor’s degrees, by race/ethnicity: selected years, 1977-2000.

SOURCE: National Science Board. Science and Engineering Indicators 2004. NSB 04-01. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2004. Figure 2-13.

40% of the US college-age population will be members of currently underrepresented minorities.

The federal government has a key role in establishing workforce policies that address national needs and opportunities. Given how many years of education and training are required for someone to become a scientist, engineer, or mathematician, policies may need to focus on long-term opportunities that may help to smooth short-term labor-market dynamics. Among the federal actions that organizations have recommended are the following:

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Undergraduate Education
  • Provide incentives for all institutions of higher education to provide diverse internship opportunities for all undergraduates to study science, mathematics, engineering, and technology as early in their academic careers as possible.

  • Expand funding for programs at 2-year and 4-year colleges that succeed in attracting and retaining women and members of minority groups underrepresented in science, mathematics, and engineering.

Graduate Education
  • Establish education and traineeship grants to institutions focused on frontier research areas and multidisciplinary or innovation-oriented studies.

  • Require institutions applying for federal grants to report on the size, scope, and performance (student completion rates and career outcomes) of their graduate programs to determine whether these programs are meeting the interests of students in preparing them for diverse careers in academe, industry, government, and the nonprofit sector.

Postdoctoral Training
  • Develop federal policies and standards for postdoctoral fellows supported on federal research grants, including letters of appointment, performance evaluations, benefits and leave, and stipend support.

  • Help develop creative solutions to the problems faced by dual-career couples so that more US students opt to pursue research careers.

  • Create standards for and require the submission of demographic information on postdoctoral scholars supported on federal research grants by investigators awarded such grants. Collect data on postdoctoral working conditions, prospects, and careers.

The following discusses these issues in greater depth.

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION

The undergraduate years have a profound influence both on future professionals in science and mathematics and on broader public support of those fields. Undergraduate education acts as a springboard for students who choose to major in and then pursue graduate work in science and mathematics. Undergraduate institutions and community colleges train the technical support personnel who will keep our technological society functioning smoothly in the years ahead. And colleges and universities prepare

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

the elementary and secondary teachers who impart lifelong knowledge and attitudes about science and mathematics to their students. For many, the undergraduate years are the last opportunity for rigorous academic study of these subjects.

Precollege education needs to include quality instruction in standards-based classrooms and a clear awareness that achievement in science and mathematics will be expected for admission to college. In addition, faculty in these disciplines should assume greater responsibility for the pre-service and in-service education of K–12 teachers.

Many introductory undergraduate courses in science and mathematics fields have been taught to select out the best, most committed students and discard the rest. This strategy is being questioned: Are introductory courses the appropriate place and time for such filtering? Are the students being turned away any less good than those who stay? Evidence indicates that undergraduates who opt out of S&E programs are among the most highly qualified college entrants.2 Can the United States afford to turn away talented students interested in these fields?

Some argue more broadly that all college students should gain an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the natural and human-constructed worlds and have at least one laboratory experience. Therefore, introductory science and mathematics courses must find ways to provide students both with a broad education in these fields and with the specific skills they need to continue studying these subjects, as is the case with most other introductory courses in colleges. Students who decide to pursue non-S&E majors would then have the background and education to make informed decisions about S&E in their personal lives and professional careers.

To serve these multiple objectives, many introductory and lower-level courses and programs would need to be designed to encourage students to continue, rather than end, their study of S&E subjects. Institutions should continually and systematically evaluate the efficacy of courses in these subjects for promoting student learning.

Many of these issues are also highly relevant to students who enter 2-year colleges after graduating from high school. For example, about a quarter of the students who earn bachelor’s degrees in engineering have taken a substantial number of their lower-level courses at a community college, and nearly half have taken at least one community college course.

2

S. Tobias. They’re Not Dumb, They’re Different. Stalking the Second Tier. Tucson, AZ: Research Corporation, 1990; E. Seymour and N. Hewitt. Talking About Leaving: Why Undergraduates Leave the Sciences. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997; M. W. Ohland, G. Zhang, B. Thorndyke, and T. J. Anderson. “Grade-Point Average, Changes of Major, and Majors Selected by Students Leaving Engineering.” 34th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, 2004. Session T1G:12-17.

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

As more students make community colleges their point of entry to post-secondary education, the quality of the S&E education they receive in 2-year institutions becomes increasingly important. Community college students need access to the kinds of lower-division courses that can prepare them for upper-division coursework in science, mathematics, and engineering, either at their own institutions or through partnerships between institutions, distance learning, or other means. Two-year colleges need to provide students with access to the kinds of equipment, laboratories, and other infrastructure they need to succeed.

The federal government can help promote these institutional changes through the following actions:

  • Provide incentives for all institutions of higher education to provide diverse internship opportunities for all undergraduates to study science, mathematics, engineering, and technology as early in their academic careers as possible.3 Introductory courses should be integral parts of the standard curriculum, and all colleges should routinely evaluate the success of these courses.

  • Encourage science, mathematics, and engineering departments to work with education departments and surrounding school districts to improve the preparation of K–12 students.

  • Expand funding for science, mathematics, and engineering programs at 2-year and 4-year colleges that succeed in attracting and retaining women and members of minority groups underrepresented in these programs.4

MASTER’S AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION

The baccalaureate has been the entry-level degree for many professional positions over the last century, but many employers in our increasingly complex economy now recognize the value of employees who have advanced training (see Figure HE-3). Master’s degree programs provide students with S&E knowledge that is more in-depth than that provided in baccalaureate programs and supplements this knowledge with skills that have application in business, government, and nonprofit settings. Master’s degree programs also can provide the interdisciplinary training necessary for real-world jobs and can be structured to provide job-relevant skills in teamwork, project management, business administration, communication, statistics, and informatics. Moreover, master’s programs have the potential

3

National Research Council. Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999.

4

National Science Foundation, National Science Board. The Science and Engineering Workforce: Realizing America’s Potential. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2003.

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

FIGURE HE-3 Master’s degree in S&E fields earned by selected groups, 1977-2000.

SOURCE: National Science Board. Science and Engineering Indicators 2004. NSB 04-01. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2004. Figure 2-17.

to attract greater numbers of women and minority-group members than do doctoral programs.

A number of reports since the mid-1990s have argued that master’s degree programs for students in S&E with appropriate career aspirations can develop a cadre of professionals who meet employer needs. These reports have called for changes in master’s education to make these programs more appropriate, cost effective, and attractive to students. In engineering, for example, the emphasis on increased skill in communications, business, the social sciences, cross-cultural studies, and important technologies has meant that the first professional degree should not be at the baccalaureate but at the master’s level, as is the case in business, law, and medicine.

Options for the federal government include the following:

  • Direct the National Science Foundation to fund professional science master’s programs at institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

to orienting master’s-level degree programs toward scientific or technical skills needed in the US workforce.

GRADUATE EDUCATION

Graduate education in the United States is widely seen as the best in the world. America’s universities produce most of the scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who will maintain our preeminence in science and technology (see Figure HE-4). They educate the college faculty and K–12 teachers who will critically influence public support for scientific and technological endeavors And the intensive research experiences that are at the heart of graduate education at the doctoral level produce much of the new knowledge that drives scientific and technological progress.

Students from many nations travel to the United States to enroll in science, engineering, and mathematics graduate programs and to serve as postdoctoral fellows. For example, international students account for nearly half of all graduate enrollments in engineering and computer science. The presence of large numbers of international students in US graduate schools has both positive and negative consequences.5 These students enhance the intellectual and cultural environments of the programs in which they are enrolled. Many remain in the United States after their training is finished and contribute substantially to our scientific and technological enterprise. However, the large numbers of foreign students in US graduate schools may have the effect of discouraging US students from pursuing this educational pathway because the rapidly increasing number of students has diminished the relative rewards of becoming a scientist or engineer.6 US colleges and universities have an important role to play in encouraging more US students to pursue graduate education in science, engineering, and mathematics.

The federal government helps support graduate education through research assistantships funded through federal research project grants, fellowship and traineeship programs, and student loans (see Figure HE-5). The availability, level, and timing of this funding have implications for determining who can pursue a graduate education and how long it will take to complete that education. Also, the type of support—whether a research assistantship, teaching assistantship, traineeship, or fellowship—affects the content of graduate education and the kinds of skills one learns during graduate school.

5

NAS/NAE/IOM. Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1995.

6

R. E. Gomory and H. T. Shapiro. “Globalization: Causes and Effects.” Issues in Science and Technology (Summer 2003):18-20.

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

FIGURE HE-4 S&E doctoral degrees earned in US universities, by field and underrepresented minority S&E doctoral degrees, by race/ethnicity: selected years, 1977-2001.

SOURCE: National Science Board. Science and Engineering Indicators 2004. NSB 04-01. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2004. Figures 2-19 and 2-21.

In the 1990s, several events led to a national discussion of the content and process of doctoral education that continues today. In the late 1980s, labor-market forces pointed toward an impending shortage of PhDs in the arts and sciences in the early to mid-1990s. When the end of the Cold War, a national recession, state budget cuts, and the end of mandatory retirement for college faculty led instead to disappointing job prospects for new PhDs in the early 1990s, a national debate on the doctorate and the job prospects of PhD recipients ensued.

Also, in the 1990s, for the first time, more than half of PhDs in science and engineering reported that they held positions outside academe (see Figure HE-6). This trend has generated interest in providing graduate students with more information about their career options, including whether they should pursue a master’s or doctoral degree and whether they should seek opportunities in government, industry, or nonprofit organizations as well as academe. In turn, this trend has focused attention on the need for training that provides the practical career skills needed in the workplace: pedagogic skills, technological proficiency, the ability to communicate well in writing or oral presentations, experience working in teams, and facility in grant writing and project management.

One great problem in discussions of workforce issues is the paucity of reliable, representative, and timely data. Often policy-makers are making decisions about the future based on data that are 2-3 years old.

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

FIGURE HE-5 Number of PhD candidates supported, by support mechanism and citizenship status, 1982-2003.

NOTES: Other: Support from the student’s or scholar’s institution of higher education, state and local government, foreign sources, nonprofit institutions, or private industry; traineeships: educational awards given to students selected by the institution or by a federal agency; research assistantships: support for students whose assigned duties are primarily in research; teaching assistantships: support for students whose assigned duties are primarily in teaching.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation. Survey of Earned Doctorates 2003. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2004.

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

FIGURE HE-6 Number and percent of employment status of S&E doctorates, by sector, 1973-2001.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation. Survey of Doctoral Recipients 2003. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2005.

Options for the federal government include these:

  • Establish education and traineeship grants to institutions focused on frontier research areas and multidisciplinary or innovation-oriented studies.7

  • Eliminate the employer-employee stipulation in Office of Management Budget Circular A-21 to encourage the dual benefits to research and education of having graduate students serve as research assistants.8

7

Ibid.

8

Association of American Universities, Committee on Graduate Education. Graduate Education. Washington, DC: Association of American Universities, 1998.

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

FIGURE HE-7 Response to postdoctoral survey question on preparation for independent research, by citizenship status and country of degree.

NOTE: 22,178 postdoctoral scholars at 46 institutions were contacted, including 18 of the 20 largest academic employers of postdoctoral scholars and National Institutes of Health. Postdoctoral status was confirmed by the institution. 8,392 (38%) responded; 6,775 (31%) of the respondents completed the entire survey, which included over 100 questions.

SOURCE: G. Davis. “Doctors Without Orders: Highlights of the Sigma Xi Postdoc Survey.” American Scientist 93(3, supplement)(May-June 2005). Available at: http://postdoc.sigmaxi.org/results/.

  • Require institutions applying for federal grants to report on the size, scope, and performance (student completion rates and career outcomes) of their graduate programs to determine whether these programs are meeting the interests of students in preparing them for diverse careers in academe, industry, government, and the nonprofit sector.9

  • Provide graduate student stipends competitive with opportunities in other venues.10

  • Direct the National Science Foundation to expand its data collection on S&E careers and its research into national and international workforce dynamics.11

Postdoctoral Training

For more than 2 decades, an increasing percentage of new PhD recipients have been pursuing postdoctoral study instead of employment after graduation. These experiences broaden and deepen the research and other skills that scientists and other highly trained professionals need to make major contributions to society (see Figure HE-7). Most postdoctoral schol-

9

Ibid.

10

National Science Foundation, National Science Board, 2003.

11

NAS/NAE/IOM, 1995.

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

ars are funded by federal research grants (see Figure HE-8) and on average have stipends of under $35,000 per year.

However, mentors, institutions, and funding organizations have sometimes been slow to give postdoctoral fellows the status, recognition, and

FIGURE HE-8 Number and percent of postdoctoral scholars, by funding mechanism and field, 1983-2002.

NOTE: Non-federal support: support may be from the institution of higher education, state, and local government, foreign sources, nonprofit institutions, or private industry; research grants: support from federal agencies to a principal investigator, under whom postdoctoral scholars work; traineeships: educational awards given to scholars selected by the institution or by a federal agency; fellowships: competitive awards given directly to scholars for financial support of their graduate or postdoctoral studies.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation. Survey of Earned Doctorates 2002. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2004.

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

FIGURE HE-9 Median postdoctoral stipend, by field and citizenship status, 2001.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation. Survey of Earned Doctorates 2002. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2004.

compensation that are commensurate with their skills and contributions to research (see Figure HE-9). Many postdoctoral scholars make substantial economic and familial sacrifices to pursue advanced training, yet they often do not have clearly defined rights, responsibilities, pay scales, access to benefits, or procedures for consideration of grievances.

To ensure a healthy research enterprise, the postdoctoral experience needs to be improved. The federal government should:

  • Develop federal policies and standards for postdoctoral fellows supported on federal research grants, including letters of appointment, performance evaluations, benefits and leave, and stipend support. All postdoctoral scholars should have access to health insurance and to institutional services.12

  • Help develop creative solutions to the problems faced by dual-career couples so that more US students opt to pursue research careers.

  • Improve the quality and quantity of the data on postdoctoral working conditions, prospects, and careers.13 Create standards for and require the submission of demographic information on postdoctoral scholars supported on federal research grants by investigators awarded such grants.

12

NAS/NAE/IOM. Enhancing the Postdoctorial Experience for Scientists and Engineers. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2000.

13

Ibid.

Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page346
Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page347
Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page348
Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page349
Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page350
Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page351
Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page352
Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page353
Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
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Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
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Page355
Suggested Citation:"Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate Education in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
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Page356
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Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future Get This Book
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In a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. A comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in these areas. This congressionally requested report by a pre-eminent committee makes four recommendations along with 20 implementation actions that federal policy-makers should take to create high-quality jobs and focus new science and technology efforts on meeting the nation's needs, especially in the area of clean, affordable energy:

1) Increase America's talent pool by vastly improving K-12 mathematics and science education;

2) Sustain and strengthen the nation's commitment to long-term basic research;

3) Develop, recruit, and retain top students, scientists, and engineers from both the U.S. and abroad; and

4) Ensure that the United States is the premier place in the world for innovation.

Some actions will involve changing existing laws, while others will require financial support that would come from reallocating existing budgets or increasing them. Rising Above the Gathering Storm will be of great interest to federal and state government agencies, educators and schools, public decision makers, research sponsors, regulatory analysts, and scholars.

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