Your feedback is critical: Re-envisioning U.S. postdoctoral research training

Illustration of human brain with electrodes.

The NIH is seeking information from the biomedical research community regarding the current state of postdoctoral research training and career progression. The deadline to submit responses is April 14, 2023. 

Concerns about the postdoctoral training system and recruitment of qualified postdoctoral trainees have grown in recent years. Data published by the National Science Foundation suggest that the number of postdoctoral researchers may be declining, presenting an uncertain future for the overall U.S. biomedical research enterprise. These challenges have also been severely compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing global economic environment. To address these growing concerns, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a Request For Information (RFI) seeking input from the research community on the state of postdoctoral research training, career progression, and infrastructure in biomedical science developed by a new Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) Working Group

Through this RFI, the NIH is seeking input from the research community on a range of issues, including: 

  • Roles and responsibilities of the academic postdoc. 

  • Challenges in recruitment, retention, and overall quality of life of postdoctoral trainees in academic research. 

  • Existing NIH policies, programs, or resources that could be modified, expanded, or improved to enhance the postdoctoral training ecosystem and academic research career pathways. 

  • Proven or promising external resources or approaches that could inform NIH’s efforts to enhance the postdoctoral training ecosystem. 

Additionally, the ACD working group is hosting four public virtual listening sessions to get input on potential solutions to the fundamental challenges faced by the postdoctoral trainee community. Each session will focus on a specific theme: 

  • Wednesday, March 8, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. ET: Role, duration, structure, and value of the academic postdoc, including the effects on underrepresented populations.  

  • Friday, March 10, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ET: International trainee concerns.    

  • Friday, March 17, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. ET: Compensation and benefits, including childcare and dependent care.  

  • Monday, March 20, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ET: Job security, career prospects, and quality of life.  

Register now for any of the upcoming listening sessions and submit your responses to the RFI by April 14, 2023.