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Biomedical Science Ph.D. Career Interest Patterns by Race/Ethnicity and Gender.

Gibbs KD, McGready J, Bennett JC, Griffin K - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: 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.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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America; Science of Research and Technology Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
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.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Disparate Career Interest Profiles Across Social Identity.(A) Plot of adjusted odds-ratio (circle) and 95% confidence interval, with males from well-represented racial/ethnic backgrounds (WRM) as the reference group, showing likelihood of expressing high interest (i.e. 4 or 5 on the 5-point interest scale) in four career paths at Ph.D. completion: (i) faculty at a research-intensive university, (ii) faculty at teaching-intensive university, (iii) a non-academic research career, and (iv) a non-research career. Odds ratios are adjusted for personal dispositions (level of interest in career path at Ph.D. entry, intention to pursue faculty career at Ph.D. entry, and confidence in ability as an independent researcher), objective measures (rate of first-author publications, h-index, time-to-Ph.D., Ph.D. institution type), and graduate training experiences (socialization measures, advisor interactions, and career development experiences).
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pone-0114736-g002: Disparate Career Interest Profiles Across Social Identity.(A) Plot of adjusted odds-ratio (circle) and 95% confidence interval, with males from well-represented racial/ethnic backgrounds (WRM) as the reference group, showing likelihood of expressing high interest (i.e. 4 or 5 on the 5-point interest scale) in four career paths at Ph.D. completion: (i) faculty at a research-intensive university, (ii) faculty at teaching-intensive university, (iii) a non-academic research career, and (iv) a non-research career. Odds ratios are adjusted for personal dispositions (level of interest in career path at Ph.D. entry, intention to pursue faculty career at Ph.D. entry, and confidence in ability as an independent researcher), objective measures (rate of first-author publications, h-index, time-to-Ph.D., Ph.D. institution type), and graduate training experiences (socialization measures, advisor interactions, and career development experiences).

Mentions: Logistic regression analysis also showed that after controlling for personal dispositions, objective measures, and graduate training experiences, there were significant differences by social identity in the likelihood of expressing high interest in faculty careers at research-intensive universities (Fig. 2A). All groups were statistically less likely than WRM to report high interest in a faculty career at a research-intensive university (URMM OR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.36–0.98, p = 0.043; WRF OR: 0.64, 95% CI: 0.47–0.89, p = 0.008; URMF OR: 0.46, 95% CI: 0.30–0.71, p<0.001; Fig. 2Ai). That is, after controlling for background characteristics, objective performance, graduate training experiences, and self-efficacy, on average, URMM were 40% less likely, WRF were 36% less likely, and URMF were 54% less likely to express high interest in faculty careers at research universities after completing their Ph.D. as compared to WRM. There were no statistically significant differences by social identity in the likelihood of high interest in faculty careers at a teaching-intensive university, or research careers outside of academia (Fig. 2Aii, iii). With respect to high interest in careers outside of research, URMM (OR 1.03, 95% CI: 0.55–1.95, p = 0.91) and WRF (OR: 1.02, 95% CI: 0.75–1.39, p = 0.88) were comparable to WRM, while URMF were almost twice as likely to report high interest (OR: 1.93, 95% CI: 1.28–2.90, p = 0.002 relative to WRM). Thus, after controlling for multiple factors believed to have an influence on career development, there were disparate career interest profiles by social identity at Ph.D. completion, with all groups less likely than WRM to report high interest in faculty careers at research-intensive universities (URMF being least likely), and URMF more likely to report high interest in non-research careers. These trends remain when accounting for the current work position of the respondents (S4 Table).


Biomedical Science Ph.D. Career Interest Patterns by Race/Ethnicity and Gender.

Gibbs KD, McGready J, Bennett JC, Griffin K - PLoS ONE (2014)

Disparate Career Interest Profiles Across Social Identity.(A) Plot of adjusted odds-ratio (circle) and 95% confidence interval, with males from well-represented racial/ethnic backgrounds (WRM) as the reference group, showing likelihood of expressing high interest (i.e. 4 or 5 on the 5-point interest scale) in four career paths at Ph.D. completion: (i) faculty at a research-intensive university, (ii) faculty at teaching-intensive university, (iii) a non-academic research career, and (iv) a non-research career. Odds ratios are adjusted for personal dispositions (level of interest in career path at Ph.D. entry, intention to pursue faculty career at Ph.D. entry, and confidence in ability as an independent researcher), objective measures (rate of first-author publications, h-index, time-to-Ph.D., Ph.D. institution type), and graduate training experiences (socialization measures, advisor interactions, and career development experiences).
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4262437&req=5

pone-0114736-g002: Disparate Career Interest Profiles Across Social Identity.(A) Plot of adjusted odds-ratio (circle) and 95% confidence interval, with males from well-represented racial/ethnic backgrounds (WRM) as the reference group, showing likelihood of expressing high interest (i.e. 4 or 5 on the 5-point interest scale) in four career paths at Ph.D. completion: (i) faculty at a research-intensive university, (ii) faculty at teaching-intensive university, (iii) a non-academic research career, and (iv) a non-research career. Odds ratios are adjusted for personal dispositions (level of interest in career path at Ph.D. entry, intention to pursue faculty career at Ph.D. entry, and confidence in ability as an independent researcher), objective measures (rate of first-author publications, h-index, time-to-Ph.D., Ph.D. institution type), and graduate training experiences (socialization measures, advisor interactions, and career development experiences).
Mentions: Logistic regression analysis also showed that after controlling for personal dispositions, objective measures, and graduate training experiences, there were significant differences by social identity in the likelihood of expressing high interest in faculty careers at research-intensive universities (Fig. 2A). All groups were statistically less likely than WRM to report high interest in a faculty career at a research-intensive university (URMM OR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.36–0.98, p = 0.043; WRF OR: 0.64, 95% CI: 0.47–0.89, p = 0.008; URMF OR: 0.46, 95% CI: 0.30–0.71, p<0.001; Fig. 2Ai). That is, after controlling for background characteristics, objective performance, graduate training experiences, and self-efficacy, on average, URMM were 40% less likely, WRF were 36% less likely, and URMF were 54% less likely to express high interest in faculty careers at research universities after completing their Ph.D. as compared to WRM. There were no statistically significant differences by social identity in the likelihood of high interest in faculty careers at a teaching-intensive university, or research careers outside of academia (Fig. 2Aii, iii). With respect to high interest in careers outside of research, URMM (OR 1.03, 95% CI: 0.55–1.95, p = 0.91) and WRF (OR: 1.02, 95% CI: 0.75–1.39, p = 0.88) were comparable to WRM, while URMF were almost twice as likely to report high interest (OR: 1.93, 95% CI: 1.28–2.90, p = 0.002 relative to WRM). Thus, after controlling for multiple factors believed to have an influence on career development, there were disparate career interest profiles by social identity at Ph.D. completion, with all groups less likely than WRM to report high interest in faculty careers at research-intensive universities (URMF being least likely), and URMF more likely to report high interest in non-research careers. These trends remain when accounting for the current work position of the respondents (S4 Table).

Bottom Line: 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.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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America; Science of Research and Technology Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
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.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus