Career choices of underrepresented and female postdocs in the biomedical sciences

Elife. 2020 Jan 3:9:e48774. doi: 10.7554/eLife.48774.


The lack of diversity among faculty at universities and medical schools in the United States is a matter of growing concern. However, the factors that influence the career choices of underrepresented minority and female postdoctoral researchers have received relatively little attention. Here we report the results of a survey of 1284 postdocs working in the biomedical sciences in the US. Our findings highlight possible reasons why some underrepresented minority and female postdocs choose not to pursue careers in academic research, and suggest interventions that could be taken in the early stages of postdoctoral training to prevent this attrition of underrepresented groups.

Keywords: careers in science; human; postdoc; research culture; underrepresented minority; women in science; workforce diversity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research
  • Career Choice*
  • Education, Graduate / statistics & numerical data*
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Research Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Women*