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2 Where Are We Now?
Pages 34-73

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From page 34...
... Each of these changes has relevance for the issues confronting new investigators. The effect of "big science" on traditional investigator-initiated "small science" in the biomedical sciences has been discussed for over 20 years (e.g., Alberts, 1985)
From page 35...
... Many people who receive PhDs in biomedical sciences opt to pursue careers outside of academic research: in industry, biotechnology, investment, policy, teaching, writing, or any number of other sectors. And there is significantly more movement in and out of the research career track; individual scientists move between disciplines; they take time out for family or to work outside scientific research.
From page 36...
... 36 BRIDGES TO INDEPENDENCE Biology Other undergraduate undergraduate Biomedical Other PhD student PhD student "Junior" postdoc Other science Industry positions "Senior" postdoc Assistant Staff professor scientist Independent investigator FIGURE 2-1 Complex network of current career pathways to independent investigator. The former linear pathway from undergraduate to PhD student in the biomedical sciences to postdoc to assistant professor to independent investigator has been replaced by a complex network with many paths to multiples types of independent research.
From page 37...
... have the highest R01 and R29 success rates (Figure 2-2) , though it may take a resubmission and more than one study section round for success.
From page 38...
... . NIH still holds at least partial responsibility for the increasing age at which biomedical researchers receive their independence.
From page 39...
... medical schools 32 30 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 Fiscal Year 46 (c) MD/ PhD holders 44 Average age for receipt of first R01/R29 award for MD/PhD holders 42 40 investigator of 38 age 36 Average age of first assistant professorship Average for MD/PhD holders at U.S.
From page 40...
... Previously funded 52 50 NIH research funding system may have direct and indirect effects on the progression of researchers through the early stages of their careers: direct in the lack of realistic funding opportunities for new investigators to establish their independence, and indirect in the distribution of independent positions influenced by funding policies and programs. The success of new investigators did not improve despite a doubling of the NIH budget (1998­2003)
From page 41...
... , an exploratory/developmental grant (R21) , or mentored career development awards for persons at the beginning of their research career (K01, K08, K22, and K23, K25)
From page 42...
... · K Awards: These awards support career development for research or health professional doctorates. R03 and K awardees have higher success rates in applying for subsequent R01 awards than do those with no prior awards.1 It appears that R21 recipients have no greater success at subsequent R01s (data from Office of Extramural Research, NIH, not shown)
From page 43...
... NIH analysis shows that new investigators are entering the system at a higher rate than experienced researchers are leaving it. From 1980 to 1998, the average ingress rate for new investigators was 11.0 percent, and the average egress rate for experienced investigators was 8.4 percent (see Figure 2-7)
From page 44...
... or MD (43.83±6.54) holders at receipt of first NIH research award (data provided by NIH)
From page 45...
... academic institutions with data collected at the level of departments. It collects demographic informa tion on full- and part-time graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.
From page 46...
... That is, the number of early-career life scientists with PhDs increased substantially, while the number of tenure-track positions has increased only marginally -- with tenure-track positions at top research institutions actually decreasing in number. Not surprisingly, the percentage of biological science PhDs pursuing careers in academia has declined, with more opting for industry (perhaps as many as 35 percent of those in the biological sciences, C
From page 47...
... Thus, it is difficult to determine an accurate estimate for the average postdoctoral tenure of all biomedical PhDs. Making generalizations based only upon U.S.-earned PhDs may significantly misrepresent the overall postdoctoral experience, but information on U.S.
From page 48...
... , while non-tenure-track, postdoc, and other academic positions increased over that period. These data also show a marked difference between men and women with significantly more men in tenured positions, while women are more represented in postdoctoral and other academic positions.
From page 49...
... . Source: Survey of Doctorate Recipients, National Science Foundation.
From page 50...
... on any prior NIH research grant except a K01, K08, K22, K23, R03, R15, or R21 (see Box 1-2)
From page 51...
... is the critical stage in the evaluation of proposals from both new and experienced investigators. As explained by Brent Stanfield, CSR acting director, the study section reviews an application in terms of the significance of the project, the approach or methods to be used, the innovation of its concepts, the investigator's qualifications, and the probability of success due to environment.
From page 52...
... Study sections are encour aged to score about half of the applications (with the remaining "unscored") and to have a median score of 300.
From page 53...
... , or certain research career awards directed principally to physicians, dentists, or veterinarians at the begin ning of their research career (K01, K08, K22, and K23)
From page 54...
... CSR provides the graphs to the study sections before each meeting to remind them of their behavior during the last three meetings and to help them appreciate whether they are giving new investigators a fair chance. It is difficult to a priori decide on an appropriate success rate for new investigator applications.
From page 55...
... One measure of how new investigators are treated by study sections can be obtained from staff members of the CSR. For example, a 2003 analysis of neuroscience study sections and the review process suggests a need for concern.
From page 56...
... Specifically: · NIBIB staff will identify grant applications by investigators new to the NIH; · New investigators who have scores within 5 percentile points of the NIBIB stated pay line for any given fiscal year will be selected for funding. This policy will apply only to Program Announcement and unsolicited R01 applications." Source of quoted material: http://www.nibib.nih.gov/research/newinvestigators.html Despite the preference given to new investigators for R01 applications, new investigators seem to be applying for R21 exploratory/developmental grants in greater numbers.
From page 57...
... Reviewers are naturally attracted to proposals that remind them of their own research and suspicious of proposals that significantly differ from the status quo. Moreover, when faced with limited resources, study sections may believe they have a responsibility to select the most cost-efficient proposals.
From page 58...
... , providing new investigators with additional time to help establish their research careers. Data provided to the committee by NIGMS suggest that these policies are already having an effect on the success of new investigators in applying for NIGMS support.
From page 59...
... New investigators have a higher success rate on submission of a revised proposal than previously funded investigators. Source: NIGMS, NIH.
From page 60...
... The most prominent among NIH new investigator mechanisms was the R29 First Independent Research Support and Transition (FIRST) award, a successor to the R23 New Investigator Research Award (NIRA)
From page 61...
... The group recommended that NIH abolish the R29, provide a mechanism for identifying new investigators on the R01 application (resulting in the front-page checkbox; see Figure 2-5) , and maintain the numbers and success rates for new investigators within the R01 system.
From page 62...
... The K08 mentored clinical scientist development awards and related K23 mentored patient-oriented research career development awards primarily support MDs engaged in clinical or patient-oriented research. The K25 mentored quantitative research career development
From page 63...
... Program, offered across NSF, targets those who plan to integrate research and education activities. CAREER awards provide at least $100,000 a year for 5 years to investigators in their first faculty positions.
From page 64...
... do new investigators have the greatest success in obtaining funding within 5 years after receiving their PhDs. In addition to the CAREER program, NSF fosters independence in a number of ways: · Review committees (akin to study sections)
From page 65...
... Markey Charitable Trust created some of the first career transition awards, known as Markey Scholar Awards in the Biological Sciences. Established in 1983 as a 14-year limited-term trust, the Markey Trust distributed institutional and individual grants, including almost $60 million to 113 Markey Scholars (Lucille P
From page 66...
... Burroughs Wellcome Career Awards The Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) offers the Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences,9 based upon the initial structure of the Markey Scholar Awards.
From page 67...
... Applicants for Fellow-to-Faculty awards may have no more than 5 years of postdoctoral research training and must work with a mentor to develop a plan for the training phase; the applicant also identifies a mentor for the faculty phase of the award. Awardees receive salary and research support during the training phase and salary, project support, and indirect costs during the faculty support phase.
From page 68...
... Proposed research that cuts across traditional boundaries of scientific disciplines is encouraged."11 Pew Scholars Program in Biomedical Sciences The Pew Charitable Trusts has given 20 rounds of awards through the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences, to support junior faculty members as they establish independent laboratories. The program encourages awardees to be "more venturesome in their research and future applications for support than would otherwise be likely." Faculty within the first 3 years of a full-time faculty appointment as assistant professor or independent researcher are eligible to be nominated by their institution.
From page 69...
... Funds may be used in any relevant way to support the Scholar's research program, except for indirect costs. Damon Runyon Scholar Award The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation grants five Scholar Awards each year to support outstanding scientists as independent investigators.
From page 70...
... Institutional Independent Research Fellowships Several institutions provide highly prestigious and very flexible research fellowships to promising researchers at an early career stage. Most recipients are recent doctoral-degree recipients nominated by their research mentors or other prominent scientists.
From page 71...
... Selected by the Harvard faculty who serve as Senior Fellows from nominations by previous research mentors, recipients spend 3 years in residence conducting independent research with few strings attached -- other than attendance at weekly lunches and dinners. Junior Fellows currently receive a stipend of $55,500, but generally arrange support for research with members of the Harvard faculty or apply for internal research funds (Junior Fellows do not have PI status for applying for external funding)
From page 72...
... Although training grants may also be considered block grants, they tend to have a well-defined research focus and close oversight by faculty PIs, in addition to being much more modest in budget. The lack of oversight by NIH on such an institution-based program would make such a program unlikely to receive significant federal support.
From page 73...
... Applicants may already hold a permanent research position at INSERM or other French research institute, university, or hospital; those without a permanent position may apply to develop an independent research project at a host institution. Conclusion Few of these model programs for new or early-career investigators have collected data on their outcomes or the successes of their awardees.


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