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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Science Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
 Graduate Training in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
 SBS Grad Training WiB

Get the report

 Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

Graduate training in the social and behavioral sciences (SBS) has largely remained unchanged in the past 35 years despite trends toward multidisciplinary research and varying pathways given changing workforce needs. To help identify how SBS graduate education could be adapted given these trends, the Board on Science Education convened a 2-day workshop in June 2017 on graduate training in the social and behavioral sciences. Participants included current SBS graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and academic leaders, members of professional societies, funding agencies, and leaders in government and business. This publication briefly summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.


March 6, 2018 (2:00 pm EST)                                             
Join the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) for a discussion with Robert Kaplan (Workshop Planning Committee Chair) and Amy Stephens (study director, the National Academies) on the workshop and where graduate training in the social and behavioral sciences could go from here to meet modern-day needs. Your ideas and questions will be invited during the webinar.

Description of the Workshop

An ad hoc committee planned and conducted a two day workshop on Graduate Training in the Social and Behavioral Sciences to help identify educational changes that may be needed in order to better prepare PhD students in the social and behavioral sciences for the job market and scientific challenges of the future. The workshop covered the following themes:

• Current production and employment of PhD’s in the social and behavioral sciences, including different pathways
  for training and where individuals holding PhD’s in SBS are currently employed.
• How changes in science, academia, government, and business are creating new demands and challenges for the
  future SBS workforce.
• How employers perceive their future needs.
• How training and career pathways for graduate students in the social and behavioral sciences will need to be
  transformed in order to respond to changing data resources, research practices, and career opportunities.
• How the issues above might vary across the social, behavioral, and economic sciences.
• Data needs and the potential research areas to inform reshaping graduate training and to identify best practices.

The workshop featured invited presentations and discussion on the identified themes and produced a proceedings that was published in 2017.

Sponsors: National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Public Workshop

June 8-9, 2017


Archived Webcast

Robert M. Kaplan (Chair), Stanford University
Amanda Bayer, Swarthmore College
Jean Comaroff, Harvard University
Rachel Dwyer, The Ohio State University
James S. Jackson (NAM), University of Michigan
Ellen Konar, Mindset Works
Brent Roberts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Peter Zandan, Hill and Knowlton Strategies


Amy Stephens, Program Officer
Leticia Garcilazo Green, Senior Program Assistant



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