Issues: Securing the Future of the US Biomedical Research Workforce

Since the end of World War II, the United States’ preeminence in biomedical research has been widely recognized. There are a number of features of the US system that are responsible for its success, but surely one of the most important was the early embrace of high levels of federal research investment, coupled with the allocation of funds on a competitive, peer-reviewed basis. This trait is credited with helping the nation create a vibrant and innovative ecosystem for the advancement of knowledge and the human condition, and the US system has been emulated throughout the world.

Yet for all the biomedical research enterprise’s many strengths, there are growing concerns that it is starting to slowly unravel—that its incentives are coming out of balance, with unsettling consequences for the researchers in the system, and in particular for the incoming generations of scientists.

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