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      Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws

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      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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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

          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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          Most cited references 5

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          A call for transparent reporting to optimize the predictive value of preclinical research.

          The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke convened major stakeholders in June 2012 to discuss how to improve the methodological reporting of animal studies in grant applications and publications. The main workshop recommendation is that at a minimum studies should report on sample-size estimation, whether and how animals were randomized, whether investigators were blind to the treatment, and the handling of data. We recognize that achieving a meaningful improvement in the quality of reporting will require a concerted effort by investigators, reviewers, funding agencies and journal editors. Requiring better reporting of animal studies will raise awareness of the importance of rigorous study design to accelerate scientific progress.
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            Improving Graduate Education to Support a Branching Career Pipeline: Recommendations Based on a Survey of Doctoral Students in the Basic Biomedical Sciences

            Today's doctoral programs continue to prepare students for a traditional academic career path despite the inadequate supply of research-focused faculty positions. We advocate for a broader doctoral curriculum that prepares trainees for a wide range of science-related career paths. In support of this argument, we describe data from our survey of doctoral students in the basic biomedical sciences at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Midway through graduate training, UCSF students are already considering a broad range of career options, with one-third intending to pursue a non–research career path. To better support this branching career pipeline, we recommend that national standards for training and mentoring include emphasis on career planning and professional skills development to ensure the success of PhD-level scientists as they contribute to a broadly defined global scientific enterprise.
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              Research efficiency: Perverse incentives.

               Paula Stephan (2012)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                April 22 2014
                April 22 2014
                April 14 2014
                April 22 2014
                : 111
                : 16
                : 5773-5777
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.1404402111
                4000813
                24733905
                © 2014
                Product

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