Competition and Careers in Biosciences

The rapid progress of biomedical research should be rewarding young scientists with bright careers. Instead, the National Research Council (NRC) reports a “crisis of expectations” as career opportunities fall short of those in comparable occupations. Our analysis suggests that the inconsistency between scientific promise and career prospects arises from how life scientists are trained and how their careers are structured and funded rather than from a short-term supply-demand imbalance. Improvements will require reforms in training and career structure and in funding support for young researchers.