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you may be aware, the
Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) has established a working group to
examine the future of the biomedical research workforce in the United States and
announced a Request for Information (RFI): Input into the Deliberations of the
Advisory Committee to the NIH Director Working Group on the Future Biomedical
Research Workforce (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files//NOT-OD-11-106.html for working group charter,
member roster and RFI). The goal is to develop a model that will help
inform decisions about how to train the optimal number of people for the
appropriate types of positions.
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will provide input to the RFI. As Chair of the Biomedical Research Committee of the ASM Public and Scientific Affairs Board, I am writing to you to give us your thoughts on some of the points we believe are the most important considerations as well as others that we may have overlooked. Additionally, as a past Chair of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Principal Investigator for many years of NIH T32 and T35 Institutional Training Grants, I believe that each of you as a Departmental Chair and/or PI of an Institutional training grant from NIAID, are in the best position to know what is needed for the future work force in biomedical research in the area of the microbial and immunological sciences. Therefore, I urge you to take time to share your thoughts on these important topics.
In its initial deliberations, the working group of the NIH ACD identified the issues listed below as important to consider when developing a model of the future biomedical research workforce. I have noted in red, other information that I believe might be most helpful which includes not only looking toward the future but also where you have observed disturbing trends over the past few years. Please feel free to provide input in any format you wish, including bullets under each topic.
In addition to the topics above, we would value your input on the following:
to the October 7 deadline for submission of our response to NIH, we need your
response no later than September 22. Please
respond to Janet Shoemaker at the ASM Public Affairs Office at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
H. Cassell, Ph.D., DSc. (hon)
Chair, Committee on Biomedical Research, PSAB
Department of Global Health and Social Medicine
Harvard School of Medicine