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Everything you wanted to know about career ascendency but were afraid to ask Michael van Dyke Ph.D. and Douglas Boyd, Ph.D. MD Anderson Cancer Center Emails:

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Presentation on theme: "Everything you wanted to know about career ascendency but were afraid to ask Michael van Dyke Ph.D. and Douglas Boyd, Ph.D. MD Anderson Cancer Center Emails:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Everything you wanted to know about career ascendency but were afraid to ask Michael van Dyke Ph.D. and Douglas Boyd, Ph.D. MD Anderson Cancer Center s: Tel: MVD Tel: DB:

2 Session I (DB). The route to an academic/industrial career, Growth in # trainees and postdocs in US market, Faculty hiring at universities (medical schools), Research funding –NIH $$$ –Success rates in getting first grant Career diversification of our (GSBS) Ph.D. graduates International trends that currently favor career ascendancy in the biomedical sciences (USA) Is an intermediary positions after post-doc (Instructor) beneficial for career ascendency? Some non-traditional jobs Who to ask for career advice? Importance of establishing time lines.

3 Session II (MVD) Noon-June 19. What are faculty searches looking for How competitive is the academic market? –Experience of DB and MVD on search committees Domestic vs. foreign applicants –Does one have an advantage? What are large and small institutions looking for –Publications, grants, pedigree Non-faculty positions in academia –Running a Core Facility –Research Scientist in a laboratory.

4 Career Tracks for Ph.D. Recipients in Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Student 4-6 years Postdoctoral Fellowship(s) (3-4 years) (X2)?? University Faculty (Research/teaching) Industrial Position (Pharmaceutical/Biotech) Non-traditional track (e.g. administration, medical writer, aviation science, pharma/biotech sales, paralegal, FDA (drug regulation)) Junior Faculty Position?

5 First Question… Is the supply (Ph.D. students, postdoctoral fellows) and demand (faculty appointments, vacancies in industry) balanced??

6 Substantial Job Growth Nationwide (increased demand) Advertisements in Science for life science positions: – in a typical issue of the periodical, – in typical issue of the periodical –Increase of >300 %

7 Growth in # of individuals receiving Ph.Ds (increased supply) Nationwide, Our own GSBS

8 National Growth Trend in Ph.D graduates in Biomedical Sciences

9 # Ph.Ds conferred by University of Texas GSBS ( )

10 Trends in Postdoctoral Population growth and its contribution to “supply”? US (and US resident), Foreign

11 Growth in US/Foreign Postdoctoral Populations and # Principal Investigators Total Postdocs Principal Investigators Foreign Postdocs US Postdocs Source- Foreign postdocs: the changing face of biomedical science in the U.S. Garrison et al. FASEB J differential crossover

12 What about the demand end?? Are the # of tenure-track faculty appointment also increasing at medical schools?? 60 % of postdoctoral fellows pursue tenure-track positions in academia (Babco and Jesse 2005)

13 Total and New Faculty 1970 to 2006 in US Medical Schools 13 Source: Good news-faculty growth ?? but first time hires unchanged

14 Career outcomes for our GSBS Ph.D. graduates Historical and recent outcomes

15 Career outcomes of our GSBS Ph.D. Recipients (2 cohorts) 10 year follow up –1970/1972- queried as to career in 1980/1982 –1996-queried as to career in 2006

16 Career Outcome ( cohort) Note high % of faculty

17 Subsequent diversification of careers in GSBS Ph.D. Recipients

18 Career Outcomes (1996 cohort) Total Faculty =42 % Non-faculty in academia but…note non-tenure track positions

19 “New graduates in the life sciences will continue to find the relatively few research and tenure- track positions in academia extremely competitive” –Babco and Jesse (2005)

20 Career diversification of our graduates is similar to that nationwide (2005) 55 % in academic institutions –But nearly half of these are in non-tenure positions, 5 % in non-profit organizations, 27 % in business sector, 10 % in government, Remaining 3 % Ph.Ds in other sectors Babco and Jesse (2005). BioScience 55:

21 You’ve got in!! You’re a new Assistant Professor hire –What about research funding?? ????

22 The Public Purse (i.e. National Institute of Health (NIH)-one of the major sources of funding) Funding for biomedical research –Trends in funding

23 23 Program to double NIH budget in 5 years

24 Recent updates on the Public Purse-2009 Stimulus package (President Obama) –Payline increased to 16 % (yeah!!), –Some unfunded grants within 10 % get 2 year awards, –Challenge grants.

25 What does this all mean for getting that research grant??

26 Trend shows increase Good news!!

27 Other good news: factors favoring future traditional career ascendancy in USA International competition for students and researchers –Singapore, European Union, –Council of Graduate Schools indicate # foreign applicants declined 25 % between 2003 and 2005

28 Trend in International Applications to our GSBS 2009 data ~30 % down compared with 2003

29 So….the pendulum swings back and forth

30 Does an intermediary position (e.g. Instructor) facilitate career ascendency in academia? For a cohort of MDACC instructors (cohort ) –What % were promoted internally? –Of those who departed MDACC, what % were promoted at the other institute?

31 Career Outcomes in academia for MDACC Instructors N.B. Point of diminishing return with time!! n-=54 n-=46

32 What about life outside of Academia?

33 Some non-traditional jobs (more on these in Session II) Running a Core facility, A research scientist position in a laboratory, Research in a start-up company, Administration, Editor for a journal, Patent law, Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Service, Teaching, Technology Transfer

34 So you’re undecided: which faculty member(s) should you ask for career advice for ACADEMIA? Your mentor? may/may not be a good person, »Track record in placing trainees in the career path you are interested in? Faculty on departmental faculty search committee He/she could advise you on what THEIR dept is looking for info: BUT-may be uninformative for other departments/institutions.

35 So you’re undecided: which faculty member(s) should you ask for advice on NON-TRADITIONAL careers? –Your mentor? might/might not be the best person »limited insight, »prejudice against non-traditional route, »track record –Some faculty might be able to put you in touch with persons who have taken this route, –Graduate school Alumni, –Boyd/van Dyke (pondered over this for 15+ years)- have contacts.

36 Some other considerations –Start thinking about your career objectives NOW What do you like doing? What are your strengths/weaknesses? Are you a social butterfly or a “loner”? –Speak up Faculty/mentors are there to help but you have to approach him/her. Talk to more than one investigator. –Time Frames Establish Early (VERY important) –Time flies by VERY quickly.

37 Summary Employment in Academia: –Have not seen an un-employed Ph.D in our career outcome queries, But situation where under-employed individuals, –Academic positions harder to secure cf 30 years prior. Factors favoring career ascendancy: –Decreasing Ph.D. applicant pool from overseas, –Expansion of non-traditional careers in research. Factors hindering career ascendancy: –Reduced retirement of faculty (traditional), –Increased pool of national Ph.D. recipients, –Large pool of international Ph.Ds. Employment in non-Traditional jobs: –Wide range, –Find someone who has taken such a career path or who can put you in contact with such a person, –Different priorities, expectations, culture, mindset compared with academia.

38 The End

39 Career Outcomes (1987/1988 Cohort) drop in faculty appointments increase in trainee # rise in non- traditional careers

40 Traditional Routes Research/teaching Pharmaceutical/Biotech Industry

41 Ph.D. Recipients by Age

42 Either way Looooooooots of training……but in 1998 survey of GSBS students from (graduating ) –82.5 % of GSBS students are appropriately employed in light of their education, –92.7 respondents very satisfied or satisfied with GSBS education, –83.8 % would either very strongly or strongly recommend GSBS Response rate= 70 %

43 Academic research scientists: –A Ph.D. program and dissertation …requirements for the job, …can take 6-8 years. Add..several years (postdoctoral) of one's career to qualify for coveted tenure-track positions. –During the postdoc phase,..likely to teach,..experiments that require you to check in at all hours, publish research – for a salary that may not exceed $43,000. –..made tougher still by fact that in many disciplines, not nearly as many tenure-track positions as there are candidates. Source:

44 But… is it really that dire???

45 Some concerns regarding the expanding pool of Ph.D.s “…usually not possible for every Ph.D. trained to become a faculty member. “Tragically, there is a current pool of Ph.D.-trained individuals…laboring under the incorrect presumption that if they only work hard enough and long enough, there will be a faculty job...” –- Stephen Ekker Ph.D. The “route to (academic) success, so common a decade ago, is usually now limited to a relatively lucky few that picked the right project in the right laboratory at the right time. The net result is a pool of highly skilled individuals in (an) academic holding pattern, and that pool is growing each year.”- Stephen Ekker Ph.D.

46 NIH COMPETING RPG* PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS: TRENDS IN APPLICANTS, AWARDEES, AND FUNDING RATES FY RPG 46 *RPG activity code in R00, R01, R03, R15, R21, R22, R23, R29, R33, R34, R35, R36, R37, R55, R56, RL1, RL5, RL9, P01, P42, PN1, UC1, UC7, U01, U19, U34, DP1, DP2, RL1, RL2, RL5, RL9. Also includes RPGs from NLM as of FY07.

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48 Program to double NIH budget in 5 years


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