Yearly Tallies of the Postdoc Population—Data from NIH

Funding News Edition: April 05, 2023
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A recent drop in the population of postdoctoral researchers (“postdocs”) has been of concern for the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) Working Group on Re-envisioning NIH-Supported Postdoctoral Training. The working group published a Request for Information asking the biomedical research community to suggest solutions aimed at improving postdoc retention.

In an Open Mike blog post titled “Number of Postdoctoral Researchers Supported by NIH Grant Awards FY 2017 to FY 2022,” Dr. Michael Lauer, NIH’s Deputy Director for Extramural Research, presents data on the postdoc population receiving NIH support for each fiscal year (FY) from FY 2017 to FY 2022.

NIH supports many postdocs and graduate students through the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Program, which includes fellowship (“F”) and training (“T”) awards. Still, most NIH support for postdocs and graduate students comes through their work on research project grants and research center awards. In FY 2022, NIH supported 23,373 postdocs through non-NRSA awards.

To review the data and analysis for yourself, read Dr. Lauer’s blog post linked above.

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