Ten institutions have founded a Coalition for Next Generation Life Science because of a concern that many new PhD graduates and postdoctoral scholars are focusing their job searches solely on a limited number of traditional faculty positions, rather than on the much broader array of non-traditional careers available to people with scientific training.
UMBC joined eight other U.S. research universities and a major cancer institute in announcing plans to give would-be life scientists clear, standardized data on graduate school admissions, education and training opportunities, and career prospects. The other institutions include Johns Hopkins University; Cornell University; Duke University; the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; the University of Pennsylvania; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Each coalition member has also agreed to help graduate students and fellows better explore alternative career paths, improve mentoring, and work to improve diversity in the life sciences workforce. The Graduate School at UMBC has already taken action on this front by implementing recommendations from the Council of Graduate Schools report, Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers, with a focus on understanding the career pathways of UMBC Ph.D. alumni to provide better support and guidance to current students as they prepare for careers.
The first set of statistical reports provides information on admission to and enrollment in doctoral programs in the life sciences, graduation rates and the median time spent in graduate school before earning a doctorate, and the demographics of graduate students. Data are provided for our PhD programs related to biomedical and life sciences. Eventually we will include data from all of our programs.