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Health Agencies Update
June 23/30, 2020

Government Not Doing All It Could to Recruit and Retain Scientists

JAMA. 2020;323(24):2452. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.10317

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hasn’t yet used the authority it was given more than 3 years ago to recruit and retain biomedical research scientists, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

Competing against the private sector for biomedical research scientists has been a challenge. In 2017, one HHS agency, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reported a 14% job vacancy rate at 2 of its centers, higher than the 5% to 7% vacancy rate at other government agencies. In 2018, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, testified that he had been concerned for many years about the long-term stability of biomedical research.