Gary McDowell

Gary McDowell is Executive Director of The Future of Research, Inc. (http://futureofresearch.org/), a nonprofit organization seeking to champion, engage and empower early career researchers with evidence-based resources to help them make improvements to the research enterprise. He is a COMPASS alumnus.


Rebeccah Lijek

Rebeccah Lijek is an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Mount Holyoke College.


Help gather data and inform­ation to recognize the role of early career researchers in peer review

Peer review is a central tenet of the evaluation of academic research. Peer reviewing manuscripts for journal publication is seen as part of a researcher’s service. Graduate students, who are supposed to be training in the sciences, should therefore clearly be participating in, and receiving  … Read more

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Resources to address challenges for international students and postdocs

All scientific career paths are paved with many obstacles to being successful, and individuals can experience different or additional barriers that are not based on their scientific work, depending on their background. International scientists in the U.S. are one such group, requiring specific visas. Challenges  … Read more

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How international scientists can advocate, and how U.S. scientists can support them

In the current political climate in the United States, many scientists are looking to become more politically engaged or to advocate, whether it be marching for science (#ascbmarches), or contacting elected representatives and attending town halls. As someone here on a Green Card, and as  … Read more

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Letting the right ones in: obstacles in graduate admissions  

Our previous article discussed admission metrics such as the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), undergraduate GPA (grade point average), previous research experience, recommendation letters, personal statements and in-person interviews, and their relation to graduate student performance. Several studies (Joshua Hall et al., Liane Moneta-Koehler et al.,  … Read more

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Can we anticipate graduate student success if we can’t assess it?

How we choose the next generation of scientists is at the root of a sustainable scientific enterprise. The true value of a PhD may therefore be in training leaders who can advance science, while also gaining the necessary skills to succeed both during and after  … Read more

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Who should be training trainees on reproducibility and ethics?

A recent piece in Nature by Monya Baker, “Reproducibility: Seek out stronger science,” discussed the availability, or lack thereof, of training for junior researchers in reproducibility and ethics. Monya spoke with me while writing that article, asking if I knew what junior researchers were doing  … Read more

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Effects of the Fair Labor Standards Act Update (or Lack Thereof) on the Postdoctoral Population

On December 1, 2016, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was meant to be updated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and this update was predicted to have a profound effect on the academic enterprise, including postdoctoral researchers. The situation was greatly complicated when,  … Read more

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Using U.S. Census data to understand and reform biomedicine

In late 2016, Nature published a special issue (Vol 538, Issue , 27 October 2016) on “Young Scientists”, leading with the Editorial, “Early-career researchers need fewer burdens and more support” (Editorial 2016).1 The opening paragraph of the editorial stated what those of us working on  … Read more

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Effects of the Fair Labor Standards Act Implementation (or Lack Thereof) on the Postdoctoral Population

FLSA implementation ruling On December 1, 2016, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was meant to be updated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and this update was predicted to have a profound effect on the academic enterprise, including postdoctoral researchers.   In our  … Read more

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“People in this country have had enough of experts”: How Brexit Could Affect Scientists in the UK

Five years ago, I was in Lille, France, on a two-month sabbatical from my UK PhD program. The sabbatical was supported by a European Union (EU) grant to promote scientific interaction between member states. By all measures, it was a roaring success—far better than we  … Read more

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