Crisis in Quantitative Training for Biomedical Science

Monday, 16 February 2015: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Room LL21A (San Jose Convention Center)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Advisory Committee to the Director initiated two taskforces in 2011 -- NIH Biomedical Workforce and NIH Informatics -- and their reports were submitted at the end of 2012. The NIH Biomedical Workforce report concluded that there was an oversupply in the pipeline of basic science Ph.D.-level investigators. However, feedback from the biomedical research community indicated that there is a serious shortage in one area, namely quantitative scientists in biostatistics and bioinformatics. The NIH Informatics report covered the needs for both the NIH campus and the national research community. One recommendation was for NIH to address the serious shortage of quantitative scientists not only at the Ph.D. level but also at many other levels, including M.S. degree­–trained staff and other research staff who rely on informatics in their daily work. The report challenged the NIH to initiate a serious and substantial training effort to close this gap. Thus, two independent taskforces came to one common conclusion: there is a serious shortage of trained quantitative scientists and the gap is widening. While this is a challenging time for new programs requiring additional budget funding, the NIH did recognize and accept the need to respond to the challenge and provided a general strategy to follow up on the recommendations. This session will review the reports and subsequent NIH strategy and response.
David L. DeMets, University of Wisconsin
David L. DeMets, University of Wisconsin
Donna Ginther, University of Kansas
The Future BioMedical Workforce Report
Philip Bourne, National Institutes of Health
NIH Response to the Two Reports of Advisory Committee to the Director
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