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Next Generation Researchers Initiative

View the full report and the webcast of the release.

Dear Colleague Letter:
Input from the research community on the barriers that the next generation of researchers face as they aspire to and maintain independent research careers.
International Papers:
Commissioned papers examining support for the next generation of researchers in other countries and regions.
Responses to Recommendations:
Relevant recommendations were collected from key reports dating back to 2005 and researchers documented the responses to those recommendations.
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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 (


The European Union
The United Kingdom


The Committee on the Next Generation Researchers Initiative is not the first to examine the challenges early investigators face in starting independent research careers. Indeed, over the past few decades, a number of groups have issued high-profile reports examining concerns about the biomedical and behavioral research enterprise and the investigators trained to carry out that research. Relevant recommendations were collected from key reports dating back to 2005 and researchers documented the responses to those recommendations. The document of those responses is available here:
Responses to Recommendations in Previous Report on Biomedical and Behavioral Researchers


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
Presenter Slides:

July 12-13, 2017
Third committee meeting at Sanofi in Cambridge, MA.
270 Albany Street
Public Agenda
Presenter Slides:
September 14-15, 2017
Fourth committee in San Francisco, CA.
University of California San Francisco
Genetech Hall
600 16th St
Public Agenda
Presenter Slides:
October 29-30, 2017
Fifth committee meeting in Baltimore, MD.
The Johns Hopkins University
Closed meeting

April 12, 2018; 1:30-3:30pm
Public release of the pre-publication: The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Researchers: Breaking Through
National Academies of Sciences
500 5th Street NW
Room 100
Washington, DC 20001
Register here



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

Sue Biggins, PhD
Associate Director in the Division of Basic Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical 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 
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Story Landis, PhD (NAM)
Former Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health

Kenneth Maynard, PhD 
Global Patient Safety Evaluation and Business Partners Relations
Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc 
Gary S. McDowell, PhD 
Executive Director
The Future of Research, Inc
Jessica Polka, PhD 
Visiting Scholar
Whitehead Institute

Joan Y. Reede, MD, MPH, MS, MBA  (NAM)
Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership and 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, Study Director and Program Officer
Tom Rudin, Director
Maria Lund Dahlberg, Associate Program Officer
Layne Scherer, Program Officer
Jay Labov, Senior Advisor for Education and Communication
Irene Ngun, Research Associate
Elizabeth Garbee, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow (Until April 2018)
Adriana Courembis, Finance Officer
Austen Applegate, Senior Program Assistant
Yasmeen Hussain, Associate Program Officer (Unitl July 2017)
Jaime Colman, Senior Program Assistant (Until December 2017)


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* Public Comment: Any comments or material you submit to the committee, including your name and identifying information, will be listed in the Public Access File for the Committee on the Next Generation Researchers, in compliance with Section 15 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). By submitting comments, you acknowledge and agree that the National Academies will be authorized to use any such comments or submissions in the committee’s report or related materials in accordance with the institution’s Terms of Use Statement, which includes the granting of a Nonexclusive License.

This website contains unedited verbatim presentations by individuals and is not an official report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Opinions and statements included in this material are solely those of the individual authors. They have not been verified as accurate, nor do they necessarily represent the views of other meeting participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.