Research Workforce and Early Career Community Call [April 19, 2023]

The Research Workforce and Early Career Community has identified several potential subgroups of activities or “workstreams”, driven by past interest and the evolving landscape of early career researchers in the biomedical workforce.  On this call we started by focusing on ALUMNI NETWORKS as a mechanism of mentoring and retaining scientists.

HRA members were invited to share their experiences with alumni networks and ask questions of members who have robust networks.  We heard  about successes and challenges, and what resources are needed to stand these networks up.

After the discussion of alumni networks, the group discussed the potential workstreams listed below.

Workstream 1:  Positive Mentoring

  1. How alumni networks can facilitate mentoring
  2. Other ways funders foster effective mentoring of their grantees
  3. Promoting positive outcomes for mentees and building skills for mentors
  4. Training opportunities (mentor and mentee)
  5. Professional opportunities
  6. Highlighting successful or potentially successful models (Leading Edge)

Workstream 2:  Recruiting and retaining the pipeline of scientists

  1. Ensuring academic success
  2. Providing support and options for career choices beyond being a PI in academia
  3. Examples of what worked and what did not using different mechanisms
  4. Collaboration with DEI

Workstream 3:  Workforce Issues and Challenges

  1. Salary and benefits
  2. Childcare
  3. Toxic work environment
  4. Being overworked and underpaid
  5. Pandemic problems

Workstream 4:  Measures of success

  1. Current practices
  2. Potential common measures (a pipe dream, I know)
  3. Collaboration with Program Evaluation  group