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The Future of Discovery

What is Success?

The NIGMS Vision for Biomedical and Behavioral Research Training

Key Themes and Specific Actions

Looking Forward

Listening to Stakeholders


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Investing in the Future: National Institute of General Medical Sciences Strategic Plan for Biomedical and Behavioral Research Training 2011

Listening to Stakeholders

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From the point of view of workplace needs, of course we need the product of our biomedical training to go into all kinds of careers.

NIGMS grantee with student trainees

NIGMS organized several avenues through which it collected input from stakeholders, including faculty members, administrators, current and former predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees, industry representatives, representatives of professional and scientific organizations, and other interested parties. The venues included:

  • An online questionnaire (open March 2 to April 21, 2010)
  • Four regional stakeholder meetings:
  • April 29, 2010, in Philadelphia, Pa.

    May 12, 2010, in San Francisco, Calif.

    May 25, 2010, in Chicago, Ill.

    June 4, 2010, in Atlanta, Ga.

  • An online Webinar discussion on June 11, 2010

In all venues, NIGMS initiated discussion by asking participants to respond to the following seven questions:

  • What constitutes "success" in biomedical research training from the perspectives of an individual trainee, an institution and society?
  • What can NIGMS do to encourage an optimal balance of breadth and depth in research training?
  • What can NIGMS do to encourage an appropriate balance between research productivity and successful outcomes for the mentor's trainees?
  • What can NIGMS do through its training programs to promote and encourage greater diversity in the biomedical research workforce?
  • Recognizing that students have different career goals and interests, should NIGMS encourage greater flexibility in training, and if so, how?
  • What should NIGMS do to ensure that institutions monitor, measure and continuously improve the quality of their training efforts?
  • Do you have other comments or recommendations regarding NIGMS-sponsored training?

NIGMS contracted with Ripple Effect Communications to attend all of the stakeholder meetings and the Webinar, and to independently read and verify all comments received in response to this request for information as the Institute developed this strategic plan. Ripple Effect's summary report is posted on the NIGMS Web site at NIGMS received a robust response from the community-primarily from academia (administration, faculty, postdoctoral trainees and students) as well as professional societies (see Table 1). In total, the Institute received 1,653 responses from more than 300 people to its requests for input. However, despite attempts to engage industry in gathering input, the data collected as part of this process came primarily from the academic community. Because of the workforce issues uncovered throughout the analysis, receiving greater input from industry would have been preferable, and NIGMS continues to seek active, bidirectional communication with this group.

Table 1 Distribution of NIGMS Stakeholder Responses

Role Type Total Responses Percent
Faculty 582 35%
Postdoctoral Trainee 257 16%
Administration 212 13%
Student 208 13%
Professional Society 166 10%
Joint Faculty & Administration 120 7%
Industry 41 2%
All Other (includes Government) 67 4%
Total Responses 1,653 100
This page last reviewed on July 9, 2015