Skip to Main Content
Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) Board on Higher Education and Workforce
The National Academies
The National Academies
Home About Us Projects Publications Membership Staff Email Updates

BHEW Current Projects


Federal Research Regulations and Reporting Requirements: A New Framework for Research Universities in the 21st Century 
An ad hoc committee under the auspices of the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (CSTL) and the Board of Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) will conduct a study of Federal regulations and reporting requirements with specific attention to those directed at research universities. In conducting its analyses the committee will be aware of (a) the context and intended benefits and circumstances under which a particular regulation was issued and may have evolved, and (b) whether those contexts or circumstances still remain of public concern. The committee will develop a new framework for Federal regulation of research universities in the 21st century that addresses the needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the broader public while advancing to the maximum extent feasible the missions of research universities. View more

Building a National STEM Workforce Strategy: A Workshop for Researchers and Other Stakeholders
The workshop is intended to inform the National Science Foundation’s Directorate on Education and Human Resources (NSF-EHR) in its mandate to help prepare a broad and diverse U.S. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce for the 21st century.  It will contribute to NSF-EHR’s preparation of a theoretical and evidence-based STEM Workforce Development R&D Core Framework.  Workshop participants will suggest refinements in the goals for the framework, discuss research themes, and identify gaps as well as emerging research opportunities related to STEM workforce development.  Themes for discussion include STEM pathways and transition points, STEM teaching and learning, career preparation and interdisciplinary education and training.  The workshop will also serve as a resource to federal and state policymakers, researchers, employers, and foundations that are contributing to the development of a robust and diverse U.S. STEM workforce.

Improving Higher Education's Responsiveness to STEM Workforce Needs: Identifying Analytical Tools and Regional Best Practices

The Helmsley Foundation has funded a new study to explore the effectiveness of higher education in educating STEM-trained workers in response to regional workforce needs. The committee will conduct a series of regional meetings, analyze data on STEM degree production, convene a workshop, and prepare a report addressing the following questions:  What data are available to assess the effectiveness of higher education institutions in educating STEM-trained workers?  To what extent can regional profiles be created that link STEM educational resources and post-secondary degree pathways with workforce needs?  What practices and policies are educational institutions adopting to respond to local industry STEM workforce needs?  And what further actions are needed improved linkages between higher education resources and STEM workforce needs at the regional level? View More


  

BHEW Completed Projects


Gulf Research Program: Education and Training Opportunity Analysis Workshop
In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire caused the release of approximately 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and significantly affected the Gulf environment and people. As part of legal settlements with the companies involved, the federal government asked the National Academy of Sciences to establish a 30-year research program focused on human health, environmental protection, and oil system safety in the Gulf region. The Gulf Research Program (GRP) was established in 2013. The GRP and BHEW Education and Training Opportunity Analysis workshop is intended to be an in-depth exploration with approximately 30 key participants from the Gulf Region higher education, workforce development, employer, and policymaking communities. The workshop will consider the current state of education and training pathways for preparing the region’s middle skilled workforce in both the short- and long-term and identify perceived needs and potential opportunities that might be addressed by the Gulf Research Program.

Study on Research Universities
In response to a request from Senators Mikulski and Alexander and Representatives Gordon and Hall, the National Academies conducted a study on the future of U.S. research universities as a follow-up to the National Academies' Rising Above the Gathering Storm which has been very influential in shaping national policy on research, innovation, and science education.  This study examined the current financial, organizational, and intellectual capacity of research universities in the US with a view to ensuring that these vital institutions continue to contribute to US economic competitiveness and other national goals for energy, the environment, health, and national security.  In addition, it placed the "ecosystem" of US research universities in the changing international landscape, predicted what this strong set of institutions will look like 15-20 years from now, and provided recommendations for action for the U.S. Congress, the Administration, state governments, research universities, and others...View more

Measuring Higher Education Productivity: Conceptual Framework and Data Needs
Joint Project with Committee on National Statistics and Board on Testing and Assessment
This study examined issues in measuring productivity in higher education. The study committee developed a conceptual framework for measuring productivity in this sector and described the data needs for that framework. The framework addressed productivity at different levels of aggregation including the institution, system, and sector levels and took into account the great variety of types and missions of higher education institutions in the United States, ranging from open admission colleges to major research universities that compete on an international scale. An overarching goal of this study addressed the complexities of measuring productivity and monitoring accountability in higher education...View more

Assessing Current and Future Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine
Joint project with the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources
This study examined the broad scope of issues related to the veterinary workforce in the United States. It explored historical changes in the size and characteristics of the veterinary workforce; assessed the demographics and adequacy of the current supply...View more

 Evolving Relationships and Dynamics Between Two- and Four-Year Colleges and Universities: A Summit
Joint project with National Academy of Engineering, Board on Science Education, Teacher Advisory Council, and Board on Life Sciences
http://sites.nationalacademies.org/dbasse/tac/index.htm

Emerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. Energy and Mining Industries
Joint Project with Board on Earth Sciences and Resources
http://dels.nas.edu/Study-In-Progress/Emerging-Workforce-Trends/BESR-U-08-07-A

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Workforce Needs for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Defense Industrial Base
Joint project with the Air Force Studies Board
 

Assuring a Future US-Based Nuclear Chemistry Expertise
Joint Project with the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology and Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board
http://dels.nas.edu/Study-In-Progress/Assuring-Future-based-Nuclear/DELS-BCST-09-06
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=49324


Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence

Joint Project with Board on Earth Sciences and Resources
http://dels.nas.edu/Study-In-Progress/Future-Workforce-Geospatial/DELS-BESR-10-02 
 

Underrepresented Groups and the Expansion of the S&E Workforce Pipeline
This study of the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy is staffed by BHEW
This committee explored the role of diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce and its value in keeping America innovative and competitive. The study analyzed the rate of change and the challenges the nation currently faces in developing a strong and diverse workforce.  In addition, it identified best practices and the characteristics of these practices that make them effective and sustainable...View more
View the Final report

National Needs for Biomedical, Behavioral, and Clinical Research Personnel
The committee prepared a report to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare and Quality Research (AHRQ) on issues regarding research personnel needs as they relate to the administration of the National Research Service Awards (NRSA) program.  The committee gathered and analyzed information on employment and education trends.
View the Final report

Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs
The National Research Council assessed U.S. research doctorate programs. Like previous efforts in the 1980s and 1990s, this study was designed to help universities improve the quality of these programs...View more
View the Final report

Enhancing the Master’s Degree in the Natural Sciences
This study described the goals and characteristics of students who pursue and obtain master's degrees in the natural sciences, assessed the needs of employers for staff trained in the natural sciences at this level, and examined how these staff contribute...View more

Review of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Draft Memorandum, "NAVSEA's 21st Century Engagement, Education, and Technology Initiative"
An ad hoc committee reviewed the draft Department of Navy memorandum, "21st Century Engagement, Education, and Technology Initiative" in light of the recent National Academies report, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm."  This publicly available memorandum articulated a plan for NAVSEA to address the shortage in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professional workforce that is vital to its mission success. The committee advised on the viability and implementation of the activities proposed in the memorandum: activities to generate interest and capability in STEM in K-12 and higher education; engaging academia and industry; and efforts to improve recruiting and retention of STEM workers within NAVSEA and the Navy.  The committee prepared a brief report detailing its advice and recommendations.  View the Final report

Preparing for an Evaluation of the NRC Resident Research Associateship Program at NIST
The NIST/NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateships Program provides two-year temporary appointments for outstanding scientists and engineers chosen through a national competition administered by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. These appointments provide an opportunity for some of the Nation's best young scientists, mathematicians and engineers to engage in state-of-the-art research in association with senior research specialists of the Institute's staff, using the excellent and often unique research facilities at NIST. This study inventoried the pool of applicants for and recipients of the NIST/NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateships, including career outcomes of NIST postdoctoral scholars. The report provided findings, conclusions, and recommendations about possible methods for conducting more in-depth and broader evaluations.  View the Final report

Enhancing the Community College Pathway to Engineering Careers
Joint project with the National Academy of Engineering
The important role of community colleges in educating engineers is not well known to the public, or even to the engineering community. In fact, 20 percent of engineering degree holders began their academic careers with at least 10 credits from community colleges, and 40 percent of the recipients of engineering bachelor and master degrees in 1999 and 2000 attended community colleges. This study provided guidelines to policy makers and higher education institutions on improving engineering education at community colleges and enhancing partnerships in engineering education between community colleges and four-year institutions. View the Final report

Policy Implications of International Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars in the United States
Joint project with the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy
The nation has drawn increasingly on human resources from abroad for its science and engineering workforce. However, competition for talent has grown as other countries have expanded their research infrastructure and created more opportunities for international students. This report discussed trends in international student enrollments and stay rates, and examines the impact of visa policies on international mobility of the highly skilled.
View the Final report

Advancing the Nation’s Health Needs: NIH Research Training Programs
The National Research Council was charged with the responsibility of periodically assessing the National Institutes of Health s National Research Service Awards program, thus this book is the twelfth edition in the series. While the National Research Service Awards program now supports only a fraction of the training in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences, it sets a high standard for the training in all doctoral programs in these fields. Also included are the training needs of oral health, nursing, and health services research. This book has been broadly constructed to take into account the rapidly evolving national and international health care needs. The past and present are analyzed and predictions with regard to future needs are presented.
View the Final report

Assessment of NIH Minority Research Training Programs
This report provided an assessment of NIH’s programs for increasing the participation in biomedical science of individuals from underrepresented minority groups. The report examined, using available data and the results of a survey of NIH trainees, the characteristics and outcomes of programs at the undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and junior faculty levels. The report provided recommendations for improving these programs and their administration.  In addition, it recommended how NIH can improve the data it collects on trainees in all NIH research training programs in order to enhance its training program evaluation.
View the Final report

Evaluation of the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust Programs in Biomedical Science
BHEW completed an evaluation of the research and training programs in biomedical and clinical science funded by the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust. Five reports were produced from this project, including studies of the Trust’s research grants program and the Markey Scholars program and a workshop report on the role of evaluation in philanthropy. You may view the five reports on the National Academies Press web site by clicking on the report titles below.
Evaluation of the Markey Scholars Program (2006)
Funding Biomedical Research Programs: Contributions of the Markey Trust (2006)
Enhancing Philanthropy's Support of Biomedical Scientists: Proceedings of a Workshop on Evaluation (2006)
Markey Scholars Conference: Proceedings (2004)
Bridging the Bed-Bench Gap: Contributions of the Markey Trust (2004)

Building a Workforce for the Information Economy
Joint project with the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, the Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy, and the Board on Testing and Assessment
This study offered an in-depth look at information technology workers, where they work and what they do, illuminating key areas that have been raised in political debates:  Where do people in IT jobs come from? What kind of education and training matter most for them? Does the labor market—and the experiences of employers and workers—differ in various parts of the country? How do citizens of other countries factor into the U.S. IT workforce? What do we know about IT career paths, and what does that imply for IT workers as they age? And can we measure what matters? The study identified characteristics that differentiate IT work from other categories of high-tech work and also looks at the capacity of the U.S. educational system and of employer training programs to produce qualified workers
View the Final report

Forecasting Demand and Supply of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers: Report of Workshop on Methodology
As the importance of science and engineering has increased in relation to the American economy, so has the need for indicators of the adequacy of future supply and demand for scientific and engineering personnel. Data-based forecasting models, however, have not met this need, and accurate forecasts have not been produced. The focus of the report was to provide guidance to the NSF and to scholars in this area about how models (and the forecasts derived from them) might be improved, and what role NSF should play in their improvement. In addition, the report examined issues of reporting forecasts to policymakers.
View the Final report

Attracting Science and Mathematics Ph.D.s to Secondary School Education
Joint project with the Center for Education
The National Research Council (NRC) has undertaken a project to explore the possibility of a program to attract science, mathematics and engineering PhDs to careers in K-12 education. The first phase of the project surveyed the interests of recent PhDs in science and mathematics in pursuing careers in secondary education. Analysis of the Phase I data suggests that a significant percentage of PhDs might be interested in pursuing careers in secondary education under some circumstances. The second phase of the project led to a report that presents a proposal for a national demonstration program to determine how one might prepare PhDs to be productive members of the K-12 education community. The proposed program is designed to help meet the needs of the nation's schools, while providing further career opportunities for recent PhDs in science, mathematics and engineering. View the two reports on the National Academies Press web site by clicking on the report titles below:
Attracting Science and Mathematics Ph.D.s to Secondary School Education (2000)
Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology (2002)

Measuring the Science and Engineering Enterprise: Priorities for the Division of Science Resources Studies (SRS)
Joint project with the Committee on National Statistics
The science and engineering enterprise has continued to evolve, responding over the last decade to increased economic globalization, a post-cold war military, federal budget fluctuations, and structural changes in the way science and engineering are conducted and innovations are adopted. This report, based on a review of SRS’s portfolio of surveys, suggests ways to revise the data collection activities of the Division to better capture the current realities of R&D funding and S&E human resources. The report’s recommendations would improve the relevance of the data on graduate education, the labor market for scientists and engineers, and the funding and conduct of research and development, and thus better meet the data needs of policymakers, managers, and researchers.
View the Final report