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National Research Council (US) An Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs: Panel on the Biomedical Sciences; Lorden JF, Kuh CV, Voytuk JA, editors. Research-Doctorate Programs in the Biomedical Sciences: Selected Findings from the NRC Assessment. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011.

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Research-Doctorate Programs in the Biomedical Sciences: Selected Findings from the NRC Assessment.

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Preface and Acknowledgments

The panel was asked to respond to specific questions posed by NIH staff eager to learn more about what the recently issued Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States could reveal about the talent, training environment, outcomes, diversity, and international participation in the biomedical sciences workforce. The unprecedented amount of data collected from faculty, programs, and students as part of the Assessment provides a unique resource for a deeper understanding of these topics and for comparisons across fields. This report details some of the insights to be gained from mining the Assessment data. It also illustrates the challenges inherent in attempting to collect data consistently across many sources.

Like most research projects, this one answered some questions but raised many more. Questions on career outcomes for doctoral recipients, the role of postdoctoral scholars in the training environment, and strategies for increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities on research faculties are among those that the panel considered but could not answer. Readers will certainly add more questions to those posed by NIH and by the panel and perhaps be encouraged to undertake further study of this rich data source themselves.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process.

We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Irwin Arias, Tufts University; John Bailar, University of Chicago; Marie Davidian, North Carolina State University; David Korn, Harvard University; Thomas Louis, Johns Hopkins University; and Nancy Schwartz, University of Chicago.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Stephen Fienberg, Carnegie Mellon University. Appointed by the National Academies, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Joan F. Lorden


Copyright © 2011, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK82469


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