The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has issued a report that says graduate programs ought to better consider students' needs, especially as most graduate students have to be prepared for careers outside academia. It suggests that changes be made to reward faculty members for their teaching and mentoring efforts. "A central element of our strategy is to make the graduate education system more student focused while maintaining the central attributes that have made the system the gold standard for the world," committee chair Alan Leshner, chief executive officer emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, says in a statement.
Leshner tells Science that the changes should be "evolutionary, not revolutionary" and that efforts to introduce students to an array of career paths should "supplement, not supplant" the time they spend toward achieving core competencies and learning how to properly design, perform, and communicate research. He suggests that funding bodies like National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health should require applicants to show evidence of quality teaching and mentoring.