InterestGroup 050712BridgesSlides

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Information about InterestGroup 050712BridgesSlides

Published on January 1, 2008

Author: JJMiller


Slide1:  Bridges to Independence: Fostering the Independence of New Investigators in Biomedical Research Adam P. Fagen, Ph.D. Program Officer Board on Life Sciences National Research Council What’s the problem?:  What’s the problem? Median age at receiving first R01 grant is 42 for those holding PhDs. Dramatic decrease in % of awards to young investigators in last 20 years. Focus on transition from postdoc to scientist with independent funding (tenure-track and staff scientist). Slide3:  Young investigators receiving smaller fraction of awards Slide4:  New investigators score more poorly than previously funded Statement of task:  Statement of task “Explore issues related to fostering the independence of early-career scientists (postdoctoral researchers and young faculty) in order to enhance the vitality of the biomedical research enterprise and its workforce.” Emphasize “mechanisms to enhance the quality and effectiveness of postdoctoral training and the ability of young faculty to receive independent research funding.” “Identify and consider means to address the impediments that have prevented many of these recommendations from being put into practice.” Discuss “some of the successful programs and models being used outside NIH …which might be transferable to NIH…” What has been suggested?:  What has been suggested? “…that public and private funding agencies establish ‘career-transition’ grants for senior postdoctoral fellows.” Trends in the Early Careers of Life Scientists, 1998 “After five years, postdocs who are essential to the lab’s productivity should be appointed as staff members in an appropriate staff category. Such research employees would also be eligible to apply for their own funding.” Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers, 2000 “Grant applications from newly independent investigators should be reviewed separately from those from more senior investigators.” The Funding of Young Investigators in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 1994 Committee:  Committee Thomas R. Cech, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Chair) Aaron DiAntonio, Washington University in St. Louis Janice G. Douglas, Case Western Reserve University Susan A. Gerbi, Brown University Bruce R. Levin, Emory University Carol L. Manahan, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, placed at National Science Foundation Georgine M. Pion, Vanderbilt University Dagmar Ringe, Brandeis University Julie A. Theriot, Stanford University Keith R. Yamamoto, University of California, San Francisco Adam P. Fagen, Study Director June 16, 2004 Workshop:  June 16, 2004 Workshop Sponsor charge Elias A. Zerhouni, NIH Data on new investigators: NIH grants (Norka Ruiz Bravo, NIH) Demographics (Paula E. Stephan, Georgia State University) Current opportunities for new investigators R29 history (Alan I. Leshner, AAAS) NIH study sections and review process (Brent B. Stanfield, NIH) National Science Foundation (Mary E. Clutter, NSF) Career-transition awards (Martin Ionescu-Pioggia, Burroughs Wellcome Fund) Institutional Perspective James R. Gavin, III, Morehouse School of Medicine Breakout sessions Academic panel David Hirsh, Columbia University Robert D. Goldman, Northwestern University William G. Kelly, Emory University Peter Espenshade, Johns Hopkins University Fostering success of new investigators Postdoc offices (Melanie Sinche, UNC-Chapel Hill ) Junior faculty mentoring (Dorothy F. Bainton, UCSF) BWF/HHMI Lab Management Course (Peter J. Bruns, HHMI) FASEB Individual Development Plan (Philip S. Clifford, Medical College of Wisconsin) Recommendation 4.1:  Recommendation 4.1 Enforce a 5-year limit on the use of any funding mechanism—including research grants—to support postdoctoral researchers. Nature of position, including responsibilities and benefits, should change for those who choose to become staff scientists Recommendation 4.2:  Recommendation 4.2 Postdoctoral researchers should be more independent and less dependent of the research grants of PIs. NIH should reallocate support away from the R01 and toward individual awards and training grants. Recommendation 4.3:  Recommendation 4.3 Provide equal opportunities for non-U.S. citizens on postdoctoral training awards Modify citizenship requirements OR Make available “alternative and equivalent mechanisms of support” Recommendation 4.4:  Recommendation 4.4 Postdoctoral Independent Research Award New research award Independent research project Mentorship of senior investigator More focused on specific research project than current NRSA Provide salary, benefits, research support for postdoc Portable so postdoc could take project Recommendation 4.5:  Recommendation 4.5 Modifications to R01 applications that request postdoctoral research positions Description of how the postdoc will be prepared for an independent career Description of elements of proposed project in which postdoc will be involved For all postdocs in the lab for the last 10 years: name, time in lab, current title and institution Recommendation 4.6:  Recommendation 4.6 Postdoctoral scientists should receive improved career advising, mentoring, and skills training. e.g., training in laboratory and project management, grant writing, and mentoring NIH should help foster these changes, including by making funds available. Recommendation 4.8:  Recommendation 4.8 NIH should commission an independent evaluation of the different models of postdoctoral support. Compare the effectiveness and outcomes of different models of postdoc support. Recommendation 5.1:  Recommendation 5.1 Establish an NIH-wide career transition award to replace current K22 program 200 5-year awards of $500,000 each made annually Maximum of 2 years of mentored postdoc Balance for independent support Uniform requirements across NIH; not limited to intramural candidates or previous awardees or require intramural postdoc Recommendation 6.1:  Recommendation 6.1 New Investigator R01 Substitute “previous experience” for “preliminary results” in application Full R01 budget with 5-year term Reviewed en bloc by regular study sections Separate funding so not competing against previously-funded investigators All applicants scored Recommendation 6.2:  Recommendation 6.2 Small science R01-like grant program Open to researchers who are not PIs on another significant research grant Renewable (unlike current small-grants programs) Direct costs less than ~$100,000 per year Own set-aside in budget Recommendation 6.3:  Recommendation 6.3 “Safety net” for soft money researchers Provide time to reapply for grant support Joint responsibility of NIH and institutions NIH should expand Shannon Award to provide merit-based bridge awards for those who fall just below the payline and do not have other sources of support Institutions should offer multi-year renewable contracts to staff scientists that provide space, salary, and minimal research support during a lapse in external funding Recommendations 4.7, 5.2, 6.3:  Recommendations 4.7, 5.2, 6.3 Need for enhanced NIH data collection systems on biomedical research personnel at all levels Track postdocs, staff scientists, and all NIH-supported research personnel Will allow NIH to track program effectiveness Will allow NIH to make more informed programmatic decisions Can we afford to do this?:  Can we afford to do this? Reallocation of existing resources, not necessarily new funds Times of fiscal constraint force consideration of priorities Can we afford not to? In summary:  In summary Evolutionary, not revolutionary An urgent matter Encourage risk-taking, new directions For more information:  For more information Bridges to Independence: Fostering the Independence of New Investigators in Biomedical Research Adam P. Fagen, Ph.D. 202-334-1374

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