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GREATmail Previous Edition


Next Generation Researchers Initiative
The National Academies Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW), in collaboration with the Committee on Science, Engineering, Medicine and Public Policy (COSEMPUP), Board on Science Education (BOSE), and the Health and Medicine Division (HMD), will oversee an ad hoc committee “to 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.” NIH is the study sponsor. Ron Daniels, JD, LLM, President of Johns Hopkins, is chair of the committee. The first meeting of the committee is scheduled for January 9, 2017.

Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century
The National Academies BHEW will lead a study, Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century, revisiting and updating a similar COSEPUP study completed 20 years ago. The goals of the study include conducting analysis of graduate education and career needs, improving alignment of training with prospective employment, providing information around career paths, looking at new training models, and creating national goals for graduate STEM education. The study sponsors are Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Institute of Education Science, NSF, and the Spencer Foundation. Its first in person meeting will be held January 12-13, 2017.

21st Century Cures Act Goes Before Senate
The House November 30 approved, 392-26, the 21st Century Cures Act. AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, sent a letter of support to House leaders and, upon the bill’s House passage, issued a statement urging the Senate to follow suit. The AAMC also expressed gratitude for a number of provisions in the bill, including the establishment of a $4.8 billion NIH Innovation Account. The 21st Century Cures bill is distinct from separate appropriations legislation to fund NIH in the current fiscal year. The Senate December 5 passed a procedural vote to advance the Cures Act, clearing the way for final passage.

The Labor Overtime Rule and NRSA Stipends for Postdocs
As sent on the GREATmail discussion list, a U.S. District Court in Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, blocking the Department of Labor's overtime rule from going into effect on December 1, 2016. NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research Mike Lauer, MD, published a post in his Open Mike blog, highlighting a recently released guidance from the agency related to the increases in postdoctoral NRSA stipends for postdoctoral researchers with 0, 1, and 2 years of experience that go into effect December 1, 2016. An article in Science notes that despite political and legal challenges to the overtime rule, the NIH is moving ahead with its plan to raise the stipends of certain postdocs. A piece in Nature also profiles the fight over the regulation in more detail, including the preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court in Texas, blocking the rule from going into effect. The AAMC will continue to monitor this issue closely, and will share any additional guidance or developments with our member institutions. See additional coverage from AAMC’s Washington Highlights.

Open Mike: How Many Researchers Were Supported by NIH as Trainees?
In a recent November 28 Open Mike blog posting, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research Mike Lauer, MD, analyzes the number of RPG awardees and unfunded applicants that received prior fellowship, training, or career development awards (F, T, or K).

Science Careers: Postdocs Leaving the Lab
A Science Careers article profiles five former postdoctoral researchers that are now working in careers outside of academic research. The interviewees describe “how they used their postdoc time to figure out where they wanted to go, and to build the requisite skills and connections to make the move.”

NSF Awards Projects to Enhance Understanding of STEM Education and Workforce Development
NSF announced that it has invested $61 million in new awards through the NSF education and Human resources Directorate (HER) Core Research Program (ECR). The awards “focus on projects that help the educational community understand, explain and address challenges in STEM learning and participation. EHR funded a total of 67 projects through ECR awards in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, with the goal of accelerating the directorate's efforts to strategically and broadly improve STEM teaching and learning.”

New NAS Series: From Research to Reward
A new series of articles and videos from the National Academy of Sciences, From Research to Reward, demonstrates how advances in our understanding of natural processes often lead to surprising and remarkable benefits for society. The first set of articles features contributions from the social and behavioral sciences.

NCATS Releases Strategic Plan
The NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) last week released its strategic plan, organized into four overarching themes of advancing translational science, fostering innovative partnerships, developing the translational workforce, and enhancing stewardship. The AAMC previously submitted a letter to NCATS in response to an RFI during the planning process, encouraging the center to advance connectivity and collaboration across disciplines and research venues as a means to catalyze the development of new therapeutics and other health interventions. NCATS was officially established in fiscal year 2012 to transform the translational science process and accelerate the delivery of treatments and cures to patients.

New Strategic Plan for NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
The NIH's Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) released a new strategic plan for 2017 through 2021, focusing on scientific priorities and key research challenges that OBSSR is uniquely positioned to address. While it is widely accepted that behavioral and social factors account for approximately half of the premature deaths in the United States, understanding how these behavioral and social factors interact with biology and can be modified to improve health requires a robust and rigorous behavioral and social sciences research agenda. NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, and OBSSR Director William Riley, PhD, also wrote an editorial in Science Translational Medicine that highlights some of the scientific and technological advances that are transforming the behavioral and social sciences.

FASEB BioArt Winners Announced
FASEB recently announced the 2016 winners of its annual BioArt competition. The winning images and videos are available on FASEB’s website. The 2015 winning entries are currently on display at the NIH. The next submission deadline is August 31, 2017.

Call for Abstracts for New England Science Symposium
The New England Science Symposium (NESS), which will be held in 2017 on March 25 in Boston, “provides a forum for postdoctoral fellows; medical, dental and graduate students; post-baccalaureates; college and community college students (particularly for African-American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native individuals) to share their biomedical and health-related research activities through oral or poster presentations, to engage in discussions related to career development in the sciences, to exchange ideas and to expand their professional networks.” The abstract submission deadline is January 5, 2017.

Grace Huang, MD, Named Editor-in-Chief of MedEdPORTAL
Grace Huang, MD, has been named editor-in-chief of MedEdPORTAL, a free, open-access publication covering health professions education, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Dr. Huang is currently an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, a hospitalist and associate program director of the internal medicine residency program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), director of the Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education, co-director of the BIDMC Academy of Medical Educators, and director of assessment at the Shapiro Institute for Education and Research.

Applications Being Accepted for Leadership and Management Foundations for Academic Medicine and Science
The AAMC is now accepting applications for the 2017 Leadership and Management Foundations for Academic Medicine and Science (formerly, Executive Development Seminar for Aspiring Leaders), which will be held at the AAMC’s Headquarters in Washington, DC, on March 1-3. This seminar is designed to prepare new and emerging leaders to be successful in a leadership role and is targeted for assistant and associate professors, program directors, division chiefs, and administrative leaders. The application deadline is December 13, 2016.

Research Clips
Looking for more research news? Visit the AAMC Scientific Affairs' homepage and view the "Research Clips" page for a compilation of the latest research news items from the AAMC's various newsletters.

For questions, comments, or news item tips, please email Jodi Yellin at jyellin@aamc.org. To send a message to the GREATmail discussion list, please email your message to greatmail@lists.aamc.org.

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Research Program Awards

The AAMC has recognized six institutions for exceptional initiatives that enhance resource sharing or rigor and reproducibility in biomedical research. Webinars highlighting their work are scheduled for September 20 and October 16.
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Considering a Career in Medical Research

Considering a career in medical research

There are various pathways for pursuing a career in medical research.