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FASEB Encourages NIGMS to Broaden Scientific Training Opportunities
Date:5/18/2010

BETHESDA, Md., May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has submitted comments on the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) strategic plan for training and career development. "FASEB values NIGMS' long-standing commitment to training the next generation of biomedical researchers," said FASEB President, Dr. Mark Lively, "and we share the institute's interest in ensuring that our nation's training programs meet current scientific needs, anticipate emerging opportunities, and contribute to building a capable and diverse research workforce."

FASEB believes that the goal of NIGMS training programs should be to prepare trainees for careers in the biomedical sciences, including positions in research, science education, and science-related fields for which their research training makes them especially qualified. Scientific training should be broad-based, enabling students to pursue a wide range of scientific questions and transition among research areas as opportunities emerge. It should also incorporate training in teaching and mentoring and preparation in professional skills, such as leadership, management, and communication.

In its comments, FASEB advised NIGMS to encourage training in all of these areas by expanding programs to help both trainees and established investigators acquire teaching and mentoring skills, requiring institutions to provide educational training to students and postdocs supported on training grants, and providing funding for institutions to develop professional skills workshops. In addition, NIGMS policy should allow all trainees—regardless of their source of funding—to devote time to these activities in the course of their research training. "Effective training and mentoring is compatible with maintaining a productive research laboratory," said Lively.

FASEB's comments also emphasized the importance of evaluating the effectiveness of training and career development efforts and encouraged NIGMS to continue to assess its programs, including the impact they have on increasing the diversity of the biomedical research workforce. To read FASEB's letter to NIGMS, please click here.

FASEB is composed of 23 societies with more than 100,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. FASEB enhances the ability of scientists and engineers to improve—through their research—the health, well-being and productivity of all people. Our mission is to advance health and welfare by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy.


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SOURCE Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
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