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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 4. Early Career Outcomes of NRSA Predoctoral Training in the Behavioral Sciences 4-1 Chapter 4 Early Career Outcomes of NRSA Predoctoral Training in the Behavioral Sciences This chapter profiles the early career outcomes of former NRSA predoctoral trainees and fellows in the behavioral sciences. It represents the first formal assessment of this group in nearly two decades. Although some limited tracking of behavioral sciences trainees and fellows has been conducted (e.g., Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration, 1986; Clouet, 1986; National Research Council, 1977; Schneider, 1980), such efforts have seldom examined multiple outcomes or incorporated comparison groups into their methodologies. This also is true of the recent report issued by the Center for the Advancement of Health (1999) in which its conclusions about the targeting and quality of NRSA research training stemmed from interviews with a small number of trainees, fellows, and faculty advisors. In the following sections, a more comprehensive picture is provided by examining multiple outcomes that identify the extent to which former NRSA predoctoral awardees have established research careers. These outcomes are then compared to those of both Ph.D.s who graduated from the same departments but who did not receive NRSA training support and those from departments with no NIH predoctoral training grants. Similar to the analyses for the biomedical sciences that were reported in Chapter 3, outcomes of interest include: (1) completion time for the doctorate; (2) immediate plans after completing the degree; (3) research- related employment in academic and nonacademic settings; (4) application and success rates for NIH and NSF research grants; and (5) publication activity. However, due to the much smaller share of NIH funds that have been awarded for behavioral sciences research training, the available outcome data that were provided from sample surveys resulted in small sample sizes, which limited both the precision of the estimates for individual cohorts and the ability to detect meaningful group differences. As described in Chapter 1, individuals in clinical, counseling, and school psychology, speech pathology, and the hearing sciences were not part of the assessment. This was a function of the difficulties associated with constructing appropriate comparison groups, given the strong clinical training component and career options in these fields. For example, clinical, counseling, and school psychology have experienced strong growth in terms of doctoral production until 1993 (Howard et al., 1986; National Science Foundation, 2000; Pion & Lipsey, 1984). Although many Ph.D.s graduated from programs that incorporated both research and clinical training, an increasing number earned their degrees from programs focused primarily on training practitioners (i.e., professional schools of psychology). These doctoral programs differ in several ways related to the extent and quality of research training; their faculties publish less, research grants are less frequent, and...
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- Summer '11