Toward a sustainable biomedical research enterprise: Finding consensus and implementing recommendations

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 1;112(35):10832-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1509901112. Epub 2015 Jul 20.


The US research enterprise is under significant strain due to stagnant funding, an expanding workforce, and complex regulations that increase costs and slow the pace of research. In response, a number of groups have analyzed the problems and offered recommendations for resolving these issues. However, many of these recommendations lacked follow-up implementation, allowing the damage of stagnant funding and outdated policies to persist. Here, we analyze nine reports published since the beginning of 2012 and consolidate over 250 suggestions into eight consensus recommendations made by the majority of the reports. We then propose how to implement these consensus recommendations, and we identify critical issues, such as improving workforce diversity and stakeholder interactions, on which the community has yet to achieve consensus.

Keywords: biomedical workforce; graduate training; postdoc training; research funding; research regulation.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Consensus*
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Research Support as Topic
  • Training Support
  • United States