The Rescuing Biomedical Research Steering Committee intends to develop and catalyze the implementation of creative and effective policies that address the systemic flaws in the biomedical research enterprise. This is accomplished through the work of RBR working groups and individual efforts by RBR members.
Supporting young faculty
Receiving a sizable grant from the National Institutes of Health is an important achievement for early-stage investigators and indicates they have achieved independence. The typical grant ESIs apply for is the R01, but the NIH’s New Innovator (DP2) program has several notable advantages over the R01, including a competition among peers at similar career stages and less of an emphasis on preliminary data. In an article in Science magazine, Rescuing Biomedical Research proposes a significant expansion to the DP2 program to successfully launch the careers of young faculty.
Improving transparency in Ph.D. career trajectories
Seventy percent or more of Ph.D. graduates leave the academy after graduation, and it is critically important to understand how these people use their Ph.D. training. Rescuing Biomedical Research initiated a project to encourage universities to collect and publish data on the career outcomes of their Ph.D. alumni. RBR convened representatives of the AAU, the AAMC, the NIH BEST consortium and other universities and organizations to develop a common set of methods for data collection on Ph.D. alumni and creation of a common career outcomes taxonomy.
The white paper describing the meeting results, the methods on data collection, the unified career outcomes taxonomy and other materials can be found here.
Excerpted from http://asapbio.org/preprint-info/preprint-faq
A preprint is a complete scientific manuscript that is uploaded by the authors to a public server. The preprint contains complete data and methodologies; it is often the same manuscript being submitted to a journal. After a brief quality-control inspection to ensure that the work is scientific in nature, the author’s manuscript is posted within a day or so on the Web without peer review and can be viewed without charge by anyone in the world. Preprints allow scientists to directly control the dissemination of their work to the world-wide scientific community. In most cases, the same work posted as preprint also is submitted for peer review at a journal. Thus, preprints (rapid, but not validated through peer-review) and journal publication (slow, but providing validation using peer-review) work in parallel as a communication system for scientific research.
ASAPbio began as an RBR working group that blossomed into a full-fledged organization created to engage the biological and biomedical communities in discussing the how preprints could speed the communication of results. ASAPbio has held a series of public meetings on these issues and is moving forward on a variety of issues. The goals of RBR remain aligned with those of ASAPbio in the need to improve the speed with which results are communicated in the life sciences. This working group was discontinued in Sep. 2016.
Other actions taken
- Shirley Tilghman and Harold Varmus, with assistance from Francis Collins and Sally Rockey, prepared a document describing the initiatives the NIH has undertaken to address issues related to the Rescuing Biomedical Research mission.
- Rescuing Biomedical Research stands ready to assist in organizing meetings at research organizations to consider solutions to the complex problems confronting the research enterprise.
- At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Judith Kimble and Marsha Mailick organized campus-wide discussions about the future of biomedical research that culminated in a well-attended, daylong conference. Their work provides a terrific blueprint for the kinds of brainstorming and vetting that will be essential to develop wise paths forward. The conclusions of the workshops were recently published as well as a blog on how they conducted their workshops. Shirley Tilghman also highlighted this work.