Staff Scientist Panel [Webinar, May 20, 2019]

Panelists: Shirley Tilghman (president emerita, Princeton University), Lida Beninson (Program Officer, NASEM), and Laura Contreras-Ruiz (staff scientist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.)

The changing landscape of biological research has changed the day-to-day tasks of the typical research lab so that PIs are more involved in grant writing and lab management, creating a need for well-trained, highly-skilled personnel who can move research in the lab forward. The staff scientist position is one that could fill this gap and could be a good career option for individuals who have passed the postdoc stage, do not want a faculty position, yet want to stay in an academic research setting. However, many universities and institutions have not developed the staff scientist position as a true career path and there is a lack of consistency across the field about how these positions are defined.  As such, there are few organizations that provide funding opportunities solely for staff scientists. This webinar provided a panel of perspectives to better understand the unique role of staff scientists in the biomedical research landscape, what is needed to better develop this role across institutions, and ways that HRA can provide innovative support and solutions for this area of the workforce.