The NIH has put out a request for information (NOT-OD-11-106) to gain “Input into the Deliberations of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director Working Group on the Future Biomedical Research Workforce“.
This blog, its readership and the corner of the blogosphere we inhabit has a slightly greater than passing interest in such matters. If you are not sure, here are a few areas of interest for this RFI:

  • The balance between supply, including the number of domestic and foreign trained PhDs and post-docs, and demand, i.e. post-training career opportunities.
  • Characteristics of PhD training in biomedical research, including issues such as
  • The length of the PhD training period.
  • Recommendations for changes to the PhD curriculum.
  • Training for multiple career paths (including bench and non-bench science).
  • Characteristics of clinician-research training including issues such as
    • The balance between MDs and MD/PhDs
    • Career development of clinician-researchers.
    • Recommendations for changes to the curricula for training clinician-researchers.
  • Length of Post-doctoral training.
  • The ratio of PhD students and postdoctoral fellows on training grants to those supported by research grants.
  • Possibilities for professional/staff scientist positions and the level of training required for such positions (e.g. PhD or MSc degrees).
  • Issues related to the attractiveness of biomedical research careers (e.g. salary, working conditions, availability of research funding)
  • The effect of changes in NIH policies on investigators, grantee institutions and the broader research enterprise.
  • I encourage you in the strongest possible terms to comment and let your opinion be heard. The last time there was a similar “how are we doing” type of RFI from the NIH that I got blogwood over, I seem to recall the number of comments was in the low thousands, 2,000 maybe? Compared to the number of individuals who are affected substantially by NIH extramural research policies this is tiny. This is your chance to have your representative voice punch far above your weight class folks. Avail yourselves of it.

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    Why is it that approximately every third or fourth manuscript I review has me thinking….Christ, they submitted THAT piece of crap* to THIS journal? I mean hell, it ain’t like I’m conservative with what I submit and to where but FFS, maybe I need to lower my frigging standards even more.

    *when the piece of crap is actually accepted for publication, the thought process is similar but with more floridly physioproffian flourishes.