Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Collins to Postdocs: NIH Aims to Decrease Time to R01s

Premium

Francis Collins delivered the keynote speech at the 8th annual National Postdoctoral Association meeting in Philadelphia on March 13. According to the NPA, Collins referred to his own experiences as a postdoctoral researcher, saying, "The mix of the joy and the pain is characteristic of science in general… it was a very up and down experience."
The National Institutes of Health's support of early-stage investigators took center stage in Collins' speech, with an emphasis on the NIH's goal of aiding young investigators in their transition to independence. "The goal is to have a success rate comparable to established investigators submitting new applications, which should reduce the period of postdoc training," Collins says. To accomplish this, he added, the NIH will encourage young investigators to submit R01s, cluster grant review, discussion, scoring, and ranking within a study section, and have reviewers focus more on proposals than a researcher's track record. "He reiterated that the NIH is actively seeking ways to decrease the time to independence," the NPA said.

Collins fielded a myriad of questions related to common concerns of postdocs, the NPA writes, including visa issues for international researchers, increasing funding for K99 grants and including cost-of-living allowances in awards.
And speaking about the NPA's Postdoctoral Core Competencies Toolkit, Collins said, "It's a good blueprint for conversation. Postdocs can show it to their mentors and ask, 'Are you providing me this?'"

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.