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      The increasing importance of fellowships and career development awards in the careers of early-stage biomedical academic researchers

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      PLoS ONE

      Public Library of Science

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Excessive competition for biomedical faculty positions has ratcheted up the need to accumulate some mix of high-quality publications and prestigious grants to move from a training position to university faculty. How universities value each of these attributes when considering faculty candidates is critical for understanding what is needed to succeed as academic faculty. In this study, I analyzed publicly available NIH grant information to determine the grants first-time R01 (FTR01) awardees held during their training period. Increases in the percentage of the FTR01 population that held a training award demonstrate these awards are becoming a more common component of a faculty candidate’s resume. The increase was largely due to an expansion of NIH K-series career development awards between 2000 and 2017. FTR01 awardees with a K01, K08, K23, or K99 award were overrepresented in a subset of institutions, whereas FTR01 awardees with F32 fellowships and those with no training award were evenly distributed across institutions. Finally, training awardees from the largest institutions were overrepresented in the faculty of the majority of institutions, echoing data from other fields where a select few institutions supply an overwhelming majority of the faculty for the rest of the field. These data give important insight into how trainees compete for NIH funding and faculty positions and how institutions prefer those with or without training awards.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws.

          The long-held but erroneous assumption of never-ending rapid growth in biomedical science has created an unsustainable hypercompetitive system that is discouraging even the most outstanding prospective students from entering our profession--and making it difficult for seasoned investigators to produce their best work. This is a recipe for long-term decline, and the problems cannot be solved with simplistic approaches. Instead, it is time to confront the dangers at hand and rethink some fundamental features of the US biomedical research ecosystem.
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            Publication metrics and success on the academic job market.

             D V Dijk,  B Carey,  Ohad Manor (2014)
            The number of applicants vastly outnumbers the available academic faculty positions. What makes a successful academic job market candidate is the subject of much current discussion [1-4]. Yet, so far there has been no quantitative analysis of who becomes a principal investigator (PI). We here use a machine-learning approach to predict who becomes a PI, based on data from over 25,000 scientists in PubMed. We show that success in academia is predictable. It depends on the number of publications, the impact factor (IF) of the journals in which those papers are published, and the number of papers that receive more citations than average for the journal in which they were published (citations/IF). However, both the scientist's gender and the rank of their university are also of importance, suggesting that non-publication features play a statistically significant role in the academic hiring process. Our model (www.pipredictor.com) allows anyone to calculate their likelihood of becoming a PI. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              A generation at risk: young investigators and the future of the biomedical workforce.

              A number of distressing trends, including a decline in the share of key research grants going to younger scientists, as well as a steady rise in the age at which investigators receive their first funding, are now a decades-long feature of the US biomedical research workforce. Working committees have proposed recommendations, policy makers have implemented reforms, and yet the trajectory of our funding regime away from young scientists has only worsened. An investigation of some of the major factors and their geneses at play in explaining the increasing average age to first RO1 is presented. Recommendations related to funding, peer review, career paths, and the university-government partnership are provided.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: SoftwareRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                17 October 2019
                2019
                : 14
                : 10
                Affiliations
                Rescuing Biomedical Research, Lewis-Sigler Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, United States of America
                Charles P. Darby Children's Research Institute, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-19-22271
                10.1371/journal.pone.0223876
                6797166
                31622388
                © 2019 Christopher L. Pickett

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 2, Pages: 17
                Product
                Funding
                CLP is supported by a grant from the Open Philanthropy Project, https://www.openphilanthropy.org/. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Social Sciences
                Economics
                Labor Economics
                Employment
                Careers
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Educational Status
                Trainees
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Professions
                Trainees
                Science Policy
                Research Funding
                Research Grants
                Science Policy
                Science and Technology Workforce
                Careers in Research
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Educational Status
                Graduates
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Health Care
                Health Services Research
                Science Policy
                Research Funding
                Institutional Funding of Science
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Education
                Medical Education
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Medical Humanities
                Medical Education
                Custom metadata
                All data used for these analyses were downloaded from the NIH ExPORTER public database ( https://exporter.nih.gov/).

                Uncategorized

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