This conference is supported by Grant #G-2020-14066 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is a major research training program administered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with funds appropriated each year by Congress. This study examines the impact of NRSA postdoctoral fellowships on subsequent research-related career outcomes using NIH administrative records on applicants who applied for a fellowship between 1996 and 2008. Ginther, Heggeness, Larenas, and Carter-Johnson find that postdoctoral fellowships increased the probability of receiving subsequent NIH research awards from 6.3 to 8.2 percentage points and of achieving an NIH-funded R01 award, an indication of an independent research career, from 4.6 to 6.1 percentage points. Their findings demonstrate that the NRSA postdoctoral fellowship awards have the potential to promote retention of scientists in NIH-funded research and in the biomedical workforce pipeline.
U.S. universities have experienced a shift in research funding away from federal and towards private industry sources. This paper evaluates whether the source of funding - federal or private industry -is relevant for commercialization of research outputs. Babina, He, Howell, Perlman, and Staudt link person-level grant data from 22 universities to patent and career outcomes (including IRS W-2 records). To identify a causal effect, the researchers exploit individual-level variation in exposure to narrow federal R&D programs stemming from pre-existing field specialization. Babina, He, Howell, Perlman, and Staudt instrument for the researcher's funding sources with aggregate supply shocks to federal funding within these narrow fields. The results show that a higher share of federal funding reduces patenting and the chances of joining an incumbent firm, while increasing the chances of high-tech entrepreneurship and of remaining employed in academia. A decline in the federal share of funding is offset by an increase in the private share of funding, which has opposite effects. Babina, He, Howell, Perlman, and Staudt conclude that the incentives of private funders to appropriate research outputs have important implications for the trajectory of university researcher careers and intellectual property.
This paper was distributed as Working Paper 28160, where an updated version may be available.
STEM laboratories and principal investigators (PIs) are usually evaluated by the quantity and quality of the publications they produce. In contrast, the training of Ph.D. students, though one of the most important “outcomes” of the research process, has received little attention from either an academic or policy perspective. In this paper, we develop and deploy novel data to identify both academic and industry job placements of recent Ph.D. recipients. We use these placements to quantify the training performance of labs and relate it to their research performance. In addition, we address disparities in both research and training performance by gender. Our findings highlight the importance of evaluating training performance alongside research performance when assessing the success of labs and PIs.