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Next Generation Researchers Initiative

An ad hoc committee overseen by the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW), in collaboration with COSEMPUP, BOSE, and HMD, will conduct a study that examines the policy and programmatic steps that the nation can undertake to ensure the successful launch and sustainment of careers among the next generation of researchers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, including the full range of health sciences supported by the NIH. The study will examine evidence-based programs and policies that can reduce barriers to, and create more opportunities for, successful transitions to independent research careers. It will also examine factors that influence the stability and sustainability of the early stages of independent research careers.

The study will include:
• An evaluation of the barriers that prospective researchers encounter as they transition to independent research careers. Such barriers may include inadequate career guidance and support, insufficient access to fellowships and traineeships that may provide broad exposure to research experiences, inability to compete successfully for initial research grant awards, and postdoctoral experiences that limit options for pursuing independent research careers;

• An evaluation of the impact of federal policies and budgets, including federal agency policies and procedures regarding research grant awards, on opportunities for prospective researchers to successfully transition into independent research careers and to secure their all-important first and second major research grants;

• An evaluation of the extent to which employers (industry, government agencies and labs, academic institutions, and others) can facilitate smooth transitions for early career researchers into independent research careers.

The committee will issue a report with recommendations for federal and institutional policies to improve the transition into careers for the next generation of researchers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, including the full range of health sciences supported by the NIH. The report's main focus will be on addressing hurdles to and the transition points into independent research careers.

For more information on this study please contact Lida Beninson (

To provide feedback on this study, public comments can be submitted here.


January 8-9, 2017

First committee meeting at the National Academies Building in Washington, DC.
Public Agenda
Presenter Slides:

April 2-3, 2017

Second committee meeting at the National Academies Building in Washington, DC.
Public Agenda forthcoming 


Ronald J. Daniels, JD, LLM 
Johns Hopkins University

Committee Members

Nancy Andrews, MD, PhD, (NAS/NAM)
Dean and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Duke University School of Medicine 

W. Travis Berggren, PhD 
Founding Director for the Stem Cell Research Core Facility
Salk Institute

John Boothroyd, PhD (NAS)
Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Stanford University

David R. Burgess, PhD
Professor of Biology
Boston College

Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Duke Univeristy

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina, PhD
Executive Director
Ciencia Puerto Rico

Judith Kimble, PhD (NAS)
Vilas Professor in the Department of Biochemistry
University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Investigator
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Kenneth Maynard, PhD 
Senior Director
Central Nervous System Therapeutic Area Unit
Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc

Gary S. McDowell, PhD 
Executive Director
The Future of Research, Inc

Jessica Polka, PhD 
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Systems Biology
Harvard Medical School

Joan Y. Reede, MD, MPH, MS, MBA 
Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership and an Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Lana R. Skirboll, PhD 
Vice President of Academic and Scientific Affairs

Paula Stephan, PhD
Professor of the Department of Economics
Georgia State University

Maria Elena Zavala, PhD
Professor of Biology
California State University 


Lida Beninson, Program Officer
Tom Rudin, BHEW Director
Layne Scherer, Program Officer

Irene Ngun, Research Associate
Jaime Colman, Senior Staff Assistant