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Senators Collins and Baldwin Comment on NAS Report Calling for Reforms to Support Young Biomedical and Behavioral Scientists

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) welcomed a new report conducted by the National Academies of Science (NAS) as a result of bipartisan legislation that they authored, the Next Generation Researchers Act.  The report calls for a series of substantial reforms to strengthen the U.S. biomedical research system for the next generation of scientists.


The congressionally requested report includes recommendations to open career paths inside and outside of academia for early career scientists.  It calls for broadening responsibility among public and private stakeholders for the future of the research ecosystem, and increasing policy experimentation and investment in that research ecosystem, so that scientists are empowered to imagine new and innovative treatments for diseases and improvements to health and well-being. The report also identifies barriers that have impeded past efforts at reform of the biomedical research ecosystem and proposes means to overcome those obstacles. 


“There is no investment that promises greater returns for America than our investment in biomedical research, and it is critical that we foster the next generation of scientists with the resources they need to be successful,” said Senator Collins, the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee and the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's. “By supporting these researchers, we are closer to shaping a future with treatments and cures for devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s and diabetes.  This report confirms the importance of our investments and reinforces that this is funding we must continue to provide.”


“This report makes clear that we must protect and strengthen our investments in young scientists and the next generation of researchers,” said Senator Baldwin. “We must do more to break down barriers and advance biomedical research. By supporting young scientists with investments, we can better pursue medical breakthroughs, life-saving treatments and cures. I look forward to continuing my bipartisan work to advance the recommendations in this report to support our nation’s young scientists so America can out-innovate the rest of the world.”


Barriers that have impeded prior reform efforts so far include a lack of shared guardianship between the federal government and research institutions, constrained funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a lack of data on the career outcomes of young researchers, which has prevented students and trainees from making informed decisions about their career options. The report offers a series of recommendations to Congress, the NIH, and research institutions to overcome these barriers and create the conditions for sustained change.


To read the full NAS report, click HERE.