The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is allocating approximately $3.7 million for awards to enhance training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to prepare them for careers in the biomedical research workforce that could take them outside of conventional academic research.
The initial NIH Director’s Broadening Experience in Scientific Training (BEST) awards are supported through the NIH Common Fund’s Strengthening the Biomedical Research Workforce program. Among the first recipients of the NIH BEST awards is CU’s Graduate School Associate Dean Inge Wefes, Ph.D., Innovative Biomedical Graduate Training for Workforce Readiness.
“NIH recognizes that there are many ways in which biomedical Ph.D. graduates can meaningfully contribute to the biomedical research enterprise,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “The future of biomedical research depends upon a sustainable and robust workforce, in which talented, well-trained scientists are best prepared to make significant contributions in academia, industry, government, business, and other venues.”
“The BEST awards are intended to expose trainees to the multitude of career paths that utilize their Ph.D. training,” said Sally Rockey, Ph.D., Deputy Director for Extramural Research. BEST awards will support bold and innovative approaches to increase student and trainee exposure to multiple research and research-related career options. These new approaches could include coursework, rotations, workshops and hands-on training experiences, or other forms of exposure.
Each BEST awardee will be required to evaluate whether or not these novel approaches are successful, share lessons learned with the other BEST awardees, and work with other BEST awardees to share information about successful approaches with the biomedical research training community.
Individual awards are being made for up to $250,000 in direct costs per year for up to five years, pending
availability of funds.