Proposal Title

Beyond degree requirements and the apprenticeship model: the need for a “third approach” for training biomedical graduate students and postdocs

Session Type

Poster

Room

PAB Atrium

Start Date

9-7-2013 5:30 PM

Keywords

Graduate education, postdoc, research, career, biomedical

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

The current model of training for graduate students and postdocs in the biomedical sciences often focuses on producing research scientists. This model has recently been challenged due to the realities of the job market, sparking many calls for changes to graduate training. We hypothesized that there is a need for additional training in research and career skills for graduate students and postdocs. 201 participants completed an online survey to assess the perceived needs of trainees and Principal Investigators (PIs) in research training and career development. We found that there was a strong desire for additional training in specific aspects of research, with trainees expressing higher interest in additional training compared to PIs (p < 0.01). PIs and trainees had similar priorities when they were asked to select their top three initiatives. We detected an inverse correlation between year of study in a PhD program and level of perceived career preparedness. We asked trainees to indicate their interest in a list of common careers paths and found that academic and research careers were most appealing to trainees. Our data demonstrates that there is a need for a third approach to training in addition to formal degree requirements and the training obtained through the apprenticeship model at work in biomedical laboratories.

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Jul 9th, 5:30 PM

Beyond degree requirements and the apprenticeship model: the need for a “third approach” for training biomedical graduate students and postdocs

PAB Atrium

The current model of training for graduate students and postdocs in the biomedical sciences often focuses on producing research scientists. This model has recently been challenged due to the realities of the job market, sparking many calls for changes to graduate training. We hypothesized that there is a need for additional training in research and career skills for graduate students and postdocs. 201 participants completed an online survey to assess the perceived needs of trainees and Principal Investigators (PIs) in research training and career development. We found that there was a strong desire for additional training in specific aspects of research, with trainees expressing higher interest in additional training compared to PIs (p < 0.01). PIs and trainees had similar priorities when they were asked to select their top three initiatives. We detected an inverse correlation between year of study in a PhD program and level of perceived career preparedness. We asked trainees to indicate their interest in a list of common careers paths and found that academic and research careers were most appealing to trainees. Our data demonstrates that there is a need for a third approach to training in addition to formal degree requirements and the training obtained through the apprenticeship model at work in biomedical laboratories.