STEM workforce

Academies Panel on Advancing DEI in STEM Organizations Seeking Nominations

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) is accepting nominations for an interdisciplinary study committee to “review the literature on bias and systemic racism in STEM workplaces; approaches to increase racial and ethnic diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in STEM organizations (e.g., universities, non-profit organizations, and industry); and offer policies and best practices for anti-racism and DEI initiatives, as well as outline goals for relevant future research.” Nominations are sought with expertise in social psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, sociology, history, business, human resources, diversity science, public policy, and higher education. More information about the consensus study is…

National Academies Holds DEI Summit

On June 29 and 30, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) held a summit to address the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in 21st century science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) organizations. The summit took place over the course of two days with discussions revolving around how systemic racism affects individuals of underrepresented racial and ethnic group in STEMM careers and how to implement strategies and policies that will advance diversity in STEMM environments and organizations. The first day included discussions on the systemic and structural nature of racism and bias, diving into the…

House Sends Slate of Science Bills to the Senate

On May 17, the House of Representatives approved a group of bills introduced in the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee that aim to make the U.S. science enterprise more equitable, safe, and fair. Four bills, the Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act (H.R. 144), the STEM Opportunities Act (H.R. 204), the MSI STEM Achievement Act (H.R. 2027), and the Combatting Sexual Harassment in Science Act (H.R. 2695) were introduced by Science Committee Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson and were endorsed by COSSA. The Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act would authorize the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a two-year pilot program to award…

COSSA Joins Science Organizations Highlighting Diversity in STEM on “WMPD Day”

On May 12, scientific organizations, including COSSA, the Federation of Associations in Behavioral Brain Sciences, and SAGE Publishing, will observe “Understanding Diversity in STEM: WMPD Day.” The event takes its name from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics’ (NCSES) biannual report: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering. Organizations will hold events throughout the day to recognize, celebrate, and build on the contributions of women, minorities, and person with disabilities in the STEM enterprise. Scheduled activities include a kickoff event with experts from NCSES to discuss the most recent WMPD report (11 AM ET), a…

House Science Committee Reintroduces Legislation to Combat Sexual Harassment in Science

On April 20, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (SST) reintroduced the Combatting Sexual Harassment in Science Act (H.R. 2695), bipartisan legislation that would expand research on the causes and consequences of sexual harassment in the STEM workforce as well as direct data to influence policy to reduce the negative impacts of sexual harassment. COSSA has been an endorser of the legislation since 2018 when it was first introduced (see previous coverage for more details). More information is available in a press release available on the…

House Science Committee Releases Federal Scientific Workforce Report

Last month, the majority staff of the House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology released the report Scientific Brain Drain: Quantifying the Decline of the Federal Scientific Workforce, an analysis of federal employment levels of seven federal science agencies: the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology (DHS S&T), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Energy (DOE), and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). The analysis looked across the past decade to understand how the federal government is investing in its increasing…

Trump-Era Visa Restriction for Skilled Foreign Workers Expires

The Biden White House has decided not to renew a proclamation issued by former President Trump that restricted foreign travel to the United States. The now-defunct proclamation was notable for restricting the availability of the H1-B visa for skilled foreign workers, a category of visa that is commonly used by scientific and academic organizations to recruit international STEM workers and scientists. First implemented in June 2020 and extended through the end of March 2021, the proclamation was widely criticized by the scientific community as stifling the scientific workforce and harming relationships with global scientific talent (see previous COSSA coverage for…

House Science Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Rebuilding the Federal Scientific Workforce

On March 17, the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held a hearing to address strategies to rebuild the federal scientific workforce especially related to recruiting and retaining scientific talent. The Subcommittee heard testimony from Acting Director for Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics at the U.S. Government Accountability Office Candice Wright; President and CEO at the Partnership for Public Service Max Stier; Director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists Dr. Andrew Rosenberg; and Former Director of Science and Technology at the Office of Water at the Environmental Protection Agency…

AERA and Spencer Foundation Release Report on COVID-19 Impacts on Doctoral Students and Early Career Scholars

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a COSSA governing member, and the Spencer Foundation have released a report, Voices from the Field: The Impact of COVID-19 on Early Career Scholars and Doctoral Students, as part of an ongoing effort to assess and address pressing needs facing scholars and doctoral students during the pandemic. The report’s findings are drawn from a series of focus groups conducted in spring 2020 and are organized into seven themes: (1) Research Impact: Disruptions, Delays, and Adaptations; (2) Impact on Teaching: The Need to Be Inventive, Inclusive, and Intentional; (3) Balancing Acts: Negotiating Family, Home, Community,…

Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act Reintroduced in 117th Congress

On January 5, the House Science, Space, and Technology (SST) Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) introduced the Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act (H.R. 144), legislation that would create a new postdoctoral fellowship program at the National Science Foundation to support early-career researchers whose opportunities have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnson and Lucas, who had previously introduced the legislation in the previous Congress, have stated that the goal of the legislation is to prevent the loss of research talent due to any economic disruptions that may have occurred due to the public health…

Scientific Community Responds to Racism and Police Violence through #ShutDownSTEM Campaign

On June 10, several academic and scientific organizations participated in the Shut Down STEM campaign, forgoing business as usual to instead reflect upon racism and police violence and its effect on science and research. Participants in #ShutDownSTEM took action in several ways, including the cancelling meetings, classes, and research activities, discussing potential methods to improve the research climate for Black researchers, and participating in a broader social media campaign using the hashtags #ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia. More information can be found on shutdownstem.com. Back to this issue’s table of contents

Analysis Finds that STEM Supports Two Thirds of U.S. Jobs

A new analysis released on January 28 found that 67 percent of U.S. jobs and 69 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) are supported by science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The analysis, conducted by FTI Consulting on behalf of 10 leading U.S. scientific, engineering and industry organizations, including COSSA, found that STEM supports an outsized share of the U.S. economy and produces $2.3 trillion in federal tax revenue annually. The analysis—STEM and the American Workforce—takes one of the most inclusive views of the scientific workforce to date, factoring in jobs that rely on STEM fields regardless of…

National Science Board Releases Report on the Skilled Technical Workforce

On September 12, the National Science Board (NSB), the advisory body for the National Science Foundation (NSF),  held a briefing on Capitol Hill announcing the release of a report on the Skilled Technical Workforce (STW), the sector of working individuals in science and engineering fields who do not hold bachelor’s degrees. NSB Chair Diane Souvaine and NSB Member Victor McCrary hosted the briefing. The report analyzes the current STW and offers policy recommendations to improve the well-being of the sector. The report recommends improving messaging about opportunities in the STW, fixing gaps and silos in data concerning the STW, analyzing…

National Science Board Releases Policy Statement on U.S. STEM-Capable Workforce

On February 1, the National Science Board (NSB), the governing body of the National Science Foundation (NSF),  released a companion policy statement to the 2018 Science and Engineering Indicators entitled “Our Nation’s Future Competitiveness Relies on Building a STEM-Capable U.S. Workforce.” The statement highlights the Board’s view that growing the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce is critical to our economy and global competitiveness. The NSB also emphasized in its statement that STEM is not just for researchers with advanced degrees, but for all Americans and all segments of our population. More details can be found on the NSB…

SBS Graduate Training Workshop Proceedings Published

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has published the proceedings of a workshop held in June 2017, Graduate Training in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. The workshop was convened by the Academies’ Board on Science Education and sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. The workshop focused on how graduate education in the social and behavioral sciences can adapt to increasing focuses on interdisciplinarity and changing workforce needs. The workshop summary and a webcast of the workshop are available on the Academies’ website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NIH Announces New Next Generation Researchers Policy

On August 31, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a new policy aimed at increasing the number of early career investigators competing successfully for NIH grants. The Policy Supporting the Next Generation Researchers Initiative implements Section 2021 of the 21st Century Cures Act, enacted in late 2016, which calls for the agency to prioritize investment in the next generation of biomedical researchers. The Next Generation Researchers Policy sets two new definitions of early career investigators: Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) and Early Established Investigators (EEIs). Early Stage Investigators are defined as a “program director/principal investigator who has completed their terminal…

National Academies Requests Input on Two Higher Education and Workforce Studies

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Higher Education and Workforce is requesting input for its consensus studies on Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century and the Next Generation Researchers Initiative. The Committee on Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century Workforce is inviting comments and reactions on previously received input on competencies and core educational elements for Masters and PhD programs. The opportunity to provide input is open until September 22, 2017. The Committee on the Next Generation Researchers Initiative is requesting input on the barriers that members of the next generation of…

NIH-Supported Dissemination and Implementation Research Training Institute Seeks Applications

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is supporting a training institute designed to provide participants with a “thorough grounding in conducting D&I [dissemination and implementation] research in health across all areas of health and health care.” The Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (TIDIRH) is open to investigators at any career stage interested in conducting D&I research. The training will be conducted both online and a during two-day in-person training session in Bethesda, MD, from August 14 through December 1,…

NSB Releases Policy Brief on Career Path of Science, Engineering, and Health PhDs

The National Science Board, which is the policy-making body of the National Science Foundation (NSF), released a new policy brief featuring an interactive infographic tool allowing policymakers, educators, students, and others to assess career opportunities for those with doctoral degrees in science, engineering, and health fields. The interactive webpage also allows users to see the number of people with doctorates employed in business, government, and academic jobs and how career paths change over time. The tool can be found here. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

National Academies to Host Workshop on Graduate Training in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

 The National Academies’ Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) is hosting a two-day workshop on Graduate Training in the Social and Behavioral Sciences on June 8 and 9. The workshop is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and will analyze the current employment of PhDs in the social and behavioral sciences, the future of the social and behavioral science workforce, and other relevant topics. A tentative agenda can be found here.  Register today. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

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