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November 2017
PATIENT CARE AND SCIENCE
Updates on NIHís Next Generation Researchers Initiative

As part of IDSA’s commitment to secure the future of the ID physician-scientist workforce, IDSA has been engaged in discussions with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) regarding the NIH Next Generation Researchers Initiative (NGRI). IDSA sent comments to NIH in August with HIVMA and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society (PIDS), followed by a September 1 letter to NIAID.

In response to that outreach, Michael Lauer, MD, deputy director for extramural research at NIH, asked for a call with the societies’ leadership to discuss: stabilizing trajectories for mid-career researchers, incorporating mentorship into career development, monitoring and tracking outcomes, and obtaining diverse researcher feedback. NIAID Deputy Director Hugh Auchincloss, MD, also sent a detailed reply inviting continued conversation about the many aspects of encouraging young scientists to achieve innovative, independent careers.

NIH released an updated policy (Guide Notice NOT-OD-17-101) in late August outlining current plans for the NGRI. As implementation progresses, NIH will consider evidence-based strategies to identify, grow, and retain “early stage” and “early established” investigators. Effective strategies will likely consider factors such as emerging areas of scientific inquiry, needs of the IC portfolios, and projected needs of the scientific workforce.

IDSA also submitted comments in response to a recent National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Dear Colleague Letter requesting stakeholder feedback. Input from the research community will assist NASEM’s development of a final report that offers recommendations and best practices for supporting the next generation of biomedical researchers.

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