Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Personal development


Increasing biomedical workforce diversity remains a persistent challenge. Recent reports have shown that biomedical sciences (BMS) graduate students become less interested in faculty careers as training progresses; however, it is unclear whether or how the career preferences of women and underrepresented minority (URM) scientists change in manners distinct from their better-represented peers. We report results from a survey of 1500 recent American BMS Ph.D. graduates (including 276 URMs) that examined career preferences over the course of their graduate training experiences. On average, scientists from all social backgrounds showed significantly decreased interest in faculty careers at research universities, and significantly increased interest in non-research careers at Ph.D. completion relative to entry. However, group differences emerged in overall levels of interest (at Ph.D. entry and completion), and the magnitude of change in interest in these careers. Multiple logistic regression showed that when controlling for career pathway interest at Ph.D. entry, first-author publication rate, faculty support, research self-efficacy, and graduate training experiences, differences in career pathway interest between social identity groups persisted. All groups were less likely than men from well-represented (WR) racial/ethnic backgrounds to report high interest in faculty careers at research-intensive universities (URM men: OR 0.60, 95% CI: 0.36-0.98, p = 0.04; WR women: OR: 0.64, 95% CI: 0.47-0.89, p = 0.008; URM women: OR: 0.46, 95% CI: 0.30-0.71, p<0.001), and URM women were more likely than all other groups to report high interest in non-research careers (OR: 1.93, 95% CI: 1.28-2.90, p = 0.002). The persistence of disparities in the career interests of Ph.D. recipients suggests that a supply-side (or "pipeline") framing of biomedical workforce diversity challenges may limit the effectiveness of efforts to attract and retain the best and most diverse workforce. We propose incorporation of an ecological perspective of career development when considering strategies to enhance the biomedical workforce and professoriate through diversity.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Medical research, Employment, College, Personal development, Bachelor's degree, Biomedical scientist


OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to discover the frequency and type of use of online resources for continuing professional development displayed by physiotherapists in the UK. Therapists' skills, needs and frustrations using these resources were explored. With the relatively recent release and saturated use of the internet the potential presence of a skills gap between therapists at different stages of their career was also investigated. DESIGN: National online survey study. SETTING: The online survey was carried out using the international online service ‘Survey Monkey’. PARTICIPANTS: 774 physiotherapists from students to band 8c completed the survey. INTERVENTIONS: The online survey was advertised through Frontline, the Interactive Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Journal of Physiotherapy Pain Association and cascade email through research and other networks. RESULTS: Most physiotherapists reported using the internet for professional purposes daily (40%) or 2 to 4 times a week (37%), with only 8% of respondents using it less than once a week. Overall the results suggest band 6 and 7 physiotherapists had the least skills and most frustrations when using online search engines. CONCLUSIONS: History and the nature of rapid technological advancement, specifically of the internet, appears to have created a generational skills gap within the largest group of the physiotherapy workforce band 6 and 7 therapists. Students, band 5 and band 8a therapists appear to most successfully use online resources and the reasons for this are explored.

Concepts: Therapy, United Kingdom, Physical therapy, Web search engine, World Wide Web, Internet, History of the Internet, Personal development


In-service training represents a significant financial investment for supporting continued competence of the health care workforce. An integrative review of the education and training literature was conducted to identify effective training approaches for health worker continuing professional education (CPE) and what evidence exists of outcomes derived from CPE.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, Healthcare, Profession, Bond, Investment, Finance, Personal development


Doctoral recipients in the biomedical sciences and STEM fields are showing increased interest in career opportunities beyond academic positions. While recent research has addressed the interests and preferences of doctoral trainees for non-academic careers, the strategies and resources that trainees use to prepare for a broad job market (non-academic) are poorly understood. The recent adaptation of the Social Cognitive Career Theory to explicitly highlight the interplay of contextual support mechanisms, individual career search efficacy, and self-adaptation of job search processes underscores the value of attention to this explicit career phase. Our research addresses the factors that affect the career search confidence and job search strategies of doctoral trainees with non-academic career interests and is based on nearly 900 respondents from an NIH-funded survey of doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in the biomedical sciences at two U.S. universities. Using structural equation modeling, we find that trainees pursuing non-academic careers, and/or with low perceived program support for career goals, have lower career development and search process efficacy (CDSE), and receive different levels of support from their advisors/supervisors. We also find evidence of trainee adaptation driven by their career search efficacy, and not by career interests.

Concepts: Research, Maximum likelihood, Perception, University, Employment, Personal development, Doctorate, Apprenticeship


Globally, safe and effective medication administration relies on nurses being able to apply strong drug calculation skills in their real-life practice, in the face of stressors and distractions. These may be especially prevalent for nurses in low-income countries such as Mozambique and Continuing Professional Development post-registration may be important. This study aimed to 1) explore the initial impact of an international health partnership’s work to develop a drug calculation workshop for nurses in Beira, Mozambique and 2) reflect upon the role of health psychologists in helping educators apply behavioural science to the training content and evaluation.

Concepts: Psychology, Profession, Nursing, World Bank, Nurse, Behavioural sciences, Personal development, Development


While researchers have studied negative professional consequences of medical trainee social media use, little is known about how medical students informally use social media for education and career development. This knowledge may help future and current physicians succeed in the digital age.

Concepts: Scientific method, Sociology, Profession, Learning, Anthropology, Web 2.0, Personal development, Twitter


Scientists are frequently faced with the important decision to start or terminate a creative partnership. This process can be influenced by strategic motivations, as early career researchers are pursuers, whereas senior researchers are typically attractors, of new collaborative opportunities. Focusing on the longitudinal aspects of scientific collaboration, we analyzed 473 collaboration profiles using an egocentric perspective that accounts for researcher-specific characteristics and provides insight into a range of topics, from career achievement and sustainability to team dynamics and efficiency. From more than 166,000 collaboration records, we quantify the frequency distributions of collaboration duration and tie strength, showing that collaboration networks are dominated by weak ties characterized by high turnover rates. We use analytic extreme value thresholds to identify a new class of indispensable super ties, the strongest of which commonly exhibit >50% publication overlap with the central scientist. The prevalence of super ties suggests that they arise from career strategies based upon cost, risk, and reward sharing and complementary skill matching. We then use a combination of descriptive and panel regression methods to compare the subset of publications coauthored with a super tie to the subset without one, controlling for pertinent features such as career age, prestige, team size, and prior group experience. We find that super ties contribute to above-average productivity and a 17% citation increase per publication, thus identifying these partnerships-the analog of life partners-as a major factor in science career development.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Science, Career, Personal development, Scientist, TiE, Egocentrism, Terminate and Stay Resident


Although women have reached parity at the training level in the biological sciences and medicine, they are still significantly underrepresented in the professoriate and in mid- and senior-level life science positions. Considerable effort has been devoted by individuals and organizations across science sectors to understanding this disparity and to developing interventions in support of women’s career development. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) formed the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) in 1990 with the goals of supporting initiatives to improve women’s health and providing opportunities and support for the recruitment, retention, reentry, and sustained advancement of women in biomedical careers. Here, the authors review several accomplishments and flagship activities initiated by the NIH and ORWH in support of women’s career development during this time. These include programming to support researchers returning to the workforce after a period away (Research Supplements to Promote Reentry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers), career development awards made through the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health program, and trans-NIH involvement and activities stemming from the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers. These innovative programs have contributed to advancement of women by supporting the professional and personal needs of women in science. The authors discuss the unique opportunities that accompany NIH partnerships with the scientific community, and conclude with a summary of the impact of these programs on women in science.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

Concepts: Scientific method, Medicine, Biology, Life, Science, Research, Personal development, Creative Commons


For health promotion professionals, social media offers many ways to engage with a broader range of colleagues; participate in professional development events; promote expertise, products, or services; and learn about career-enhancing opportunities such as funding and fellowships. Previous work has recommended “building networking into what you are already doing.” This article provides updated and new social media resources, as well as practical examples and strategies to promote effective use of social media. Social media offers health promotion professionals cost-effective opportunities to enhance their career by building communities of practice, participating in professional development events, and enriching classroom learning. Developing the skills necessary to use social media for networking is important in the public health workforce, especially as social media is increasingly used in academic and practice settings.

Concepts: Health economics, Profession, Skill, Management, Professional, Practice-based professional learning, Learning, Personal development


PhD-trained biomedical scientists are moving into an increasingly diverse variety of careers within the sciences. However, our graduate and postdoctoral training programs have historically focused on academic career preparation, and have not sufficiently prepared trainees for transitioning into other scientific careers. Advocates for science have raised the concern that our collective disregard of the broader career development needs for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees could drive talent away from science in upcoming generations. A shift is occurring, wherein universities are increasingly investing in centralized career development programs to address this need. In this Perspective, I reflect on the movement that brought biomedical PhD career development to the spotlight in recent years, and how this movement has influenced both the academic biomedical community and the field of career development. I offer recommendations for universities looking to establish or strengthen their career development programs, including recommendations for how to develop a campus culture that values career development as part of pre- and postdoctoral training. I also suggest steps that faculty might take to facilitate the career development of their mentees, regardless of the mentee’s career aspirations. Finally, I reflect on recent national efforts to incentivize innovation, evaluation, and research in the field of biomedical PhD career development, and propose actions that the scientific community can take to further support biomedical career development as a scholarly discipline. These investments will enable new approaches to be rigorously tested and efficiently disseminated to support this rapidly growing field. Ultimately, strengthening biomedical career development will be essential for attracting the best talent to science and helping them efficiently move into careers that will sustain our nation’s scientific enterprise.

Concepts: Scientific method, Science, Research, University, Academia, Personal development, Pseudoscience, Academic administration