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July 3, 2018

Supporting the Next Generation of Biomedical Researchers

Author Affiliations
  • 1Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2018;320(1):29-30. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7902

Throughout the past 2 decades, numerous commissions, task forces, and study groups have grappled with the challenges confronting the next generation of scientists in the US biomedical research enterprise. Yet, the challenges remain largely unaddressed. A declining percentage of grants are going to young scientists, who may spend many years in postdoctoral positions with low pay and with no guarantee of mentorship or career development.1 Often, these young scientists do not receive training that exposes them to a wide range of research career options. Issues regarding diversity and representation in the workforce persist; for instance, the average total grant size for women is $75 000 less than for men,2 and there is a disproportionately low representation of women and minorities among faculty members in the biomedical sciences.3