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Next Generation Researchers Initiative

**See our Dear Colleague Letter and submit input and comments to this project here


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 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 to be held in Baltimore, MD. Details forthcoming.
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

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
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, BHEW Director
Maria Lund Dahlberg, Associate Program Officer
Yasmeen Hussain, Associate Program Officer
Layne Scherer, Program Officer

Irene Ngun, Research Associate
Jaime Colman, Senior Staff Assistant
Amanda Field, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow (until April 2017)
Kellyann Jones-Jamtgaard, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow (until April 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.