Very excited to unveil a white paper I’ve been working on: “The American biomedical research enterprise in a post-COVID-19 world”. 1/
This was a months-long project to come up with reasonable recommendations that would help biomedical research emerge from the pandemic in a better position than it was in beforehand. The RBR COVID Discussion Series played a big role in shaping these recommendations. 2/
Recommendations about workforce, training grants and more in the middle of a pandemic? Damn right. Returning to a sense of normalcy before trying to make change means returning to some semblance of the status quo. That wasn't working. We should start to make change *now*. 3/
Section 1 is a brief recap of the past eight-ish months through a lens of academic research: How governments and universities responded to the emergence of SARS-CoV2 in late 2019 to the ongoing BLM protests. 4/
Section 2 focuses on recommendations for making positive changes in the biomedical research workforce. I’d argue the most important recommendation is the first one:

Rec. 2.1: Integrate equity, diversity, and inclusion work into existing structures and programs
This, and every other recommendation, were greatly informed by @ThePurplePage, @Sefini, and @Napaaqtuk. I’m not sure I was able to capture the depth of wisdom from the conversation so if you want to see how awesome they were:
Ok. Twitter isn't letting me post the link. I'll get that up later.
The recs under 2.2 deal with reforming how faculty are evaluated.
Rec. 2.2.1: Revise faculty hiring policies—Because of hiring freezes, depts have time to think about what kind of people they want to hire when freezes are lifted. That work should begin now.
Rec. 2.2.2: Revise promotion and tenure policies— COVID-19 has shown just how much faculty do outside of research and depts should work to deemphasize the accrual of grants and papers and focus on the full breadth of what a faculty member brings to a dept. 8/
These recommendations came out of the Discussion Series session cosponsored by @DORAssessment and was a terrific discussion with @AnnaHscientist, @PracheeAC, and @scientistmomEB. 9/
2.3 regards trainees.
Rec. 2.3.1: Revise admissions standards—many unis went pass/fail in Spring 2020, and institutions that use GPA as a metric for grad school admission are going to have to figure out what to do with that. Better option-stop using GPA and GRE altogether.
Rec. 2.3.3: Stop exploiting foreign trainees—US academics have defended foreign scientists against recent Trump admin moves. Academics should stop talking and ensure equal pay regardless of citizenship status. Also stop bullying by threatening visa status.
Rec. 2.3.4: Press the feds to issue more training grants—Supporting trainees by research grants is fraught with bureaucratic peril. Use training grants and fellowships instead. Feds should issue short-term T/F to get past the pandemic and ensure broader use in the future.
Rec. 2.3.4: Hire staff scientists—I realize this may be counterintuitive, but hiring freezes and uncertain future make it difficult for trainees to find their way. Hire staff scientists to short-term contracts—control cost, top-notch research, reduce pressure on job market.
The trainee recommendations were mostly pulled from the Discussion Session cosponsored by @FORsymp with @DrNelson_PhD, @NikkiP_PhD, and @GaryMcDowellPhD.
Rec. 2.4 is about pandemic-related funding for research.
Rec. 2.4.1: All grants should be extended by at least one year—If Congress really wants research to ramp back up in a reasonable way, provide money to support all grants for an additional year. Ts, Fs, Rs. All of them.
Rec. 2.4.2: Use federal COVID support to shore up internal funds—New faculty, nontenure track faculty and others use internal grants/startups. Campus shutdown has stopped research and drained these funds. Any uni bailout approved by Congress should support these funds.
Then Sec. 3. This is about academic pandemic preparedness. There are 7 recs that describe how to set up a crisis-response system. I won't go through all of them, but these recommendations came from the great conversation I had with @BeAScientist and Gene Yeo.
Feel free to email and let me know what you think—address is in the document. And I’ll leave you with my final thoughts on this:
You can follow @ChrisPickett5.
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