Contributed by Jessica Polka, Ph.D. Any biologist who’s been to a scientific conference knows that sharing our work before formal publication accelerates the pace of research. By giving talks or poster presentations, we can find new collaborators, receive constructive feedback and gain recognition that can help secure a future job. And the benefits are not […]
In this section the Steering Committee will invite specific contributions on important issues. for each item click on the title to read the full post.
Last week, the U.S. Senate Appropriations committee passed a bill that would increase funding for the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion for fiscal 2017.
Earlier this month, the Department of Labor released a revision to the Fair Labor Standards Act rule concerning overtime pay. The revision raised the salary threshold by which workers are eligible for overtime pay to $47,476. The DOL made it clear that postdoctoral scholars would be eligible for overtime pay under this rule. Here is […]
Rescuing Biomedical Research, an organization committed to overcoming the systemic flaws in the biomedical research enterprise, strongly supports increasing pay for postdoctoral scholars. RBR urges universities and the National Institutes of Health to work together to raise the minimum pay of postdocs to at least $47,476 per year to better reflect their level of education, […]
Peer review, as conducted by the National Institutes of Health, is not great at determining relative merit among the top 20 to 30 percent of grants. A new paper by Ferric Fang and Arturo Cassadevall expands on their previous proposal to fund meritorious grants by a lottery system rather than continuing to use the rankings […]
Information and data on the trends in the biomedical workforce are not always easy to come by. The National Science Foundation conducts several annual and biannual surveys to assess the numbers of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, the Ph.D. graduation rate, the demographics of trainee populations and many others. Two new papers present data on […]
Postdoctoral scholars are an important part of the research workforce. As experienced scientists, many postdocs enter a lab and are highly productive after only a short amount of time. However, many groups feel that postdocs are underpaid, relative to their experience and importance to the research enterprise.
Today marks my first day as the director of Rescuing Biomedical Research. RBR is devoted to reforming policies and programs that hinder the pace of research and provide incomplete training to graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. I worked on these issues extensively while with the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and I am […]
By Ivan C. Baines
Chief Operating Officer
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Most would agree that the centralization of expensive and sophisticated equipment is an essential part of the organizational structure of biomedical research institutes today. This has come about through the need to remain on top of technologies that take a lot of time to master (e.g. protein expression and purification, advanced imaging, EM, automation, transgenics…), the necessity to enable more complex multidisciplinary work flows across different technologies, the prohibitively expensive technologies with capacity exceeding the needs of single labs or departments (e.g. NGS), and of course the unwelcome need to generally improve cost efficiency in an ever more constrained funding environment…
By Judith Kimble
Henry Vilas Professor of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
As true at many institutions throughout the country, biomedical researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have become deeply concerned about the systemic flaws threatening U.S. biomedical research. Yet they were not in agreement with some of the solutions proposed in the PNAS 2014 paper by Alberts, Kirschner, Tilghman and Varmus. We therefore generated a cross-campus effort to discuss possible solutions, culminating in a day-long workshop on April 11, 2015. A manuscript describing our workshop and its recommendations is in press at e-Life. So rather than going over the same ground, I thought it would be most useful in this blog to describe details of the process – most not included in that manuscript…