NIH offers help to Ph.D.’s (news from the journal Science)
Research doesn’t have to be an unhappy, messy environment, but it is. That’s why an article in this week’s issue of Science magazine caught my attention. It mentions developing changes at the NIH that will trickle down to academic researchers. Hopefully for the better. Read it for yourself: NIH Offers to Help Universities Improve Training, Boost Diversity
If you’re not an AAAS member, here are some highlights from the full article:
“But almost everyone agrees that the current training system takes too long and isn’t designed to prepare young biomedical scientists for nonacademic jobs.” So true. 7 years for a PhD!? And it’s stressful, unhappy work. Why would anyone want to stay in that environment?
“The agency will also raise its starting postdoc annual stipend from $39,000 to $42,000 as soon as .” Good. They’re almost making an entry level salary compared to other industries.
“NIH also intends to require that every graduate student and postdoc supported by the NIH work with his or her adviser on an Individual Development Plan that examines career options.” Not sure how this will be enforced, especially since some P.I.’s are terrible advisers.
“NIH agrees that universities need to do a better job of training their students…NIH will fund up to 50 grants over the next 2 years for institutions to develop “innovative approaches” that could include, for example, exposure to industry or science policy positions.” Keep an eye on HappiLabs.org. We are just starting up but are developing a plan to create “Scientist Internships” to give scientists experience with a non-academic, science-related job.
What are your thoughts? Comment below…