Government Relations Update

NIGMS Asks Advice as it Develops Strategic Plan on Research Training

By Pat Kobor

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has announced that it is accepting comments to help it develop a strategic plan on research training.  NIGMS is widely considered to be the “training institute” at NIH, by virtue of the number, and breadth of its programs, which include Ruth Kirschstein National Research Service Awards.

In an email to stakeholder scientists and organizations, NIGMS Director Jeremy Berg, wrote:

As science, the conduct of research, and workforce needs evolve, we want to be sure that our training and career development activities most effectively meet current needs and anticipate emerging opportunities, and that they contribute to building a highly capable, diverse biomedical research workforce.  To this end, we are engaged in a strategic planning process to examine our existing activities and articulate strategies to help us build and sustain the workforce that the nation needs for improving health and global competitiveness.

We strongly encourage input from university and college faculty members and administrators, predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees, industry representatives, professional and scientific organizations, and other interested parties. We welcome input from your organization and its members throughout this process.

From now until April 21, NIGMS is accepting comments at its website. APA will develop and submit comments and is asking for YOUR input.  Please examine the questions below and send a response to Pat Kobor in the Science Government Relations Office no later than Monday, April 12, 2010.
NIGMS is seeking responses to the following questions:

  1. What constitutes success in biomedical research training from the perspectives of an individual trainee, an Institute, and society? 

  2. What can NIGMS do to encourage an optimal balance of breadth and depth in research training? 

  3. What can NIGMS do to encourage an appropriate balance between research productivity and successful outcomes for the mentor’s trainees? 

  4. What can NIGMS do through its training programs to promote and encourage greater diversity in the biomedical research workforce? 

  5. Recognizing that students have different career goals and interests, should NIGMS encourage greater flexibility in training, and if so, how? 

  6. What should NIGMS do to ensure that institutions monitor, measure, and continuously improve the quality of their training efforts? 

  7. Do you have other comments or recommendations regarding NIGMS-sponsored training?

In addition to sharing your views with APA, psychological scientists are encouraged to respond directly to the NIGMS announcement, and/or to participate in the institute’s additional efforts to get feedback.  Along with receiving advice via its website, NIGMS will hold a webinar on June 11 and four meetings across the country: in Philadelphia, PA (April 29), San Francisco, CA (May 12),  Chicago, IL (May 25), and Atlanta, GA (June 4).  The strategic plan will be drafted in late summer, 2010, and finalized before the end of 2010.

Read about NIGMS’s current training programs.