In order to reduce the number of graduate students, improve their quality, and remove incentives for their exploitation by PIs, forbid PIs to fund students on research grants. Instead, all student support should come from dedicated individual or institutional training grants…See more >>
The large amounts of money given to university overhead have crippled scientific advances. To my knowledge it is distributed unevenly. We could support a lot more science and scientists if we reformed overhead. At the NIH rules were changed so that senior administrators were allowed a lab. As a result many deputies were added to the budget and the senior staff is getting geriatric. No room for young scientists.
Leveraging self-assessments to help trainees think and talk about their interests, work styles, and values is a critical part of the career exploration and professional development process. Once trainees are a little more self aware, they are able to reflect and make more informed career decisions. How can a wide range of satisfying careers be facilitated for those with a talent and a passion for science?
NIH Grant review process is getting more diffuse and more unclear with the time:
e.g you apply for R01: you end with the comment the grant has no promising clinical application: it just focus on emchanistic pathway?? on the other hand you get it is more direct application as a proof of concept but missing more detailed mechanistic pathway. These two comments are widely used and each serving different entity of research.
Why we can not budegt a propsoal focus on studying mechansitic pathway without clear clinical translataion; once we understand maybe we can translate the and vcie versa is true. Aspirin was used as antinflamamtory many years before finding its mechanism…
Our article, out in eLife today highlights the results of a recent social science study that we conducted where we interviewed 20 prominent US biomedical researchers about the challenges facing scientists in the current climate…
Dramatically reduce the amount of graduate students admitted into biology programs. There’s too many PhDs.
Have more skills training for PhDs in biology programs (programming, quantitative biology, internships in industry). Graduate students usually apply for PhDs because they enjoy learning and yet we put very little emphasis on training and even core classes. Sometimes there’s so much pressure to churn out data (for PIs, postdocs, and grad students) that learning seems like its discouraged or put in the backburner…
I completed my BS at UC Irvine, MS at SIU Carbondale, and PhD at UC San Diego. I now work at UCLA. I have been involved in diversity outreach in the sciences at every institution and worked directly as a program director for diversity outreach summer programs for nearly a decade. The single largest obstacle to diversification in the sciences is pay at the post-doctoral level and beyond. In the US we are increasingly seeing the post-doc demographic shift towards international students with little to no student debt and to affluent Americans (usually of majority ethnic group background) who can afford to post-doc at low pay for several years, this is not an option for poor students.
Topic: Graduate Education
“Prioritize training rigor and integrity over publications and career. Improve neural oversight and checks & balances by holding universities accountable. Create student-level outlets to share work without the need to compete with postdocs for CV items.”
Topic: Different Grant Mechanism
“…why aren’t grants awarded to the investigator with freedom to find competitive workspaces that they can lease at low cost~ so that they can spend research funds on staff and worthwhile experiments?”
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…