Friday, May 12, 2023 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM ET Level 2, Room 207B
“My Lab is Recruiting Postdocs:” Policy Approaches to Address the Needs of Today’s Biomedical Research Workforce
Sponsored by the AAI Committee on Public Affairs
- Peter E. Jensen, Univ. of Utah, AAI Committee on Public Affairs Chair
- Tullia C. Bruno, Univ. of Pittsburgh
- Ericka Boone, Director, Div.of Biomed. Res. Workforce, NIH
- Greg M. Delgoffe, Univ. of Pittsburgh
In recent years, principal investigators have expressed increasing concern about the difficulty of recruiting and retaining postdoctoral researchers, particularly in academia. While the problem is multifactorial, challenges include inadequate compensation/benefits, lack of affordable housing, difficulties achieving work-life balance, and insufficient support for training and mental health. The availability of postdocs has been further reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic and related disruptions, which have sharply decreased the number of international graduate students studying in the United States, resulting in a smaller potential postdoc pool. These challenges, combined with the lack of certainty in achieving “success” when pursuing a career in academia, often lead graduate students to pursue non-academic jobs in industry or elsewhere. With half of U.S. postdocs financially supported by federal agencies, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has established a Working Group to evaluate whether there is statistical evidence of this perceived postdoc shortage, assess the factors that may be causing it, and develop recommendations to facilitate recruitment and retention.
This session will feature a distinguished panel of speakers who will discuss the current state of the postdoc workforce, the reasons for a dearth of candidates applying for postdoc positions, and potential policy approaches to alleviate the strain on the biomedical research workforce. The formal presentations will be followed by an open mic period during which all members of the audience, in particular trainees, will be invited to ask questions and/or speak about their experiences.