4
Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

INTRODUCTION

Basic behavioral and social sciences research is indispensible to the mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Not only do psycho-social-biological factors directly affect disease outcomes per se, but also behavioral and social processes are linked to molecular, genetic, and neural processes affecting health and disease. Basic behavioral and social sciences research promotes health by predicting, preventing, and controlling illness, and by minimizing the impact of disease. A range of empirical investigations convincingly show that social and behavioral factors interact robustly with essentially every aspect of health and illness, spanning the entire disease process from vulnerability to diagnosis, treatment, course, prognosis, interface with health care systems, rehabilitation, and quality of life. The economic costs and human burdens of physical and mental disease result disproportionately from interrupting normal behavioral and social functioning.

Basic behavioral and social sciences research aims to measure, understand, and control processes that may later be applied to health and illness. As with all basic science, the direct link between fundamental research and health outcomes results from incremental discoveries that accumulate as an investment over time. There exist many examples of how basic behavioral and social sciences research has already increased knowledge about health and illness, including: (a) animal learning research has contributed to empirically validated behavioral treatments of various mental disorders, from phobias to addictions; (b) basic research on emotion explains disruptions by physical and mental illness, pointing to new treatments; (c) basic perception research informs diagnosis and treatment of neural disorders; (d) reliable results show how social networks shape all kinds of health behavior and psychobiological outcomes, from prevention to treatment to survival; (e) fundamental research on intergroup relations reveals underlying patterns and unconscious causes of health disparities for ethnic minorities, older adults, and sexual minorities; and (f) persuasion research reveals automatic processes that influence interactions with health care providers and determine both prevention and treatment outcomes.

Impressive gains in the science of brain, mind, and behavior provide new insights into health and illness, as well as new measurement methods, such as neuro-imaging and epigenetic indicators. At a much more macro level, environmental contexts and psychological, social, and cultural processes facilitate or constrain vulnerability to disease, risk behaviors, health promotion, proper health care, and re-entry into the community.

The behavioral and social sciences are as complex and variable as the natural sciences; not only do many factors affect individual and social behavior, but also these factors combine and interact in complicated ways. Partly because of the overall complexity of these sciences and partly for historical and cultural reasons, research support and research training in the behavioral and social sciences has lagged well behind those in other sciences. However, as noted, behavioral and social sciences contribute substantially to health research, primarily in psychosocial vulnerability, prevention behavior, treatment maintenance, and psychobiological response to treatment. Moreover, recent years have seen a tremendous leap in the sophistication of methods and tools in these sciences, leading to significant contributions regarding health behavior and contexts, as well as a realistic expectation that even more useful and effective answers to fundamental health questions will result from an investment of research training in these areas.

At the same time that these sciences have been maturing, our society has come to realize the absolute necessity of the research findings they produce for the understanding, treatment, and prevention of its health problems. As a result, scientists in these areas have been called on for advice to an ever-increasing degree by government agencies. Just one example is provided by the number and range of government-commissioned committees, panels, and reports assigned to



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 51
4 Behavioral and Social Sciences research iNtroduCtioN and sexual minorities; and (f) persuasion research reveals automatic processes that influence interactions with health Basic behavioral and social sciences research is indis- care providers and determine both prevention and treatment pensible to the mission of the National Institutes of Health outcomes. (NIH). Not only do psycho-social-biological factors directly Impressive gains in the science of brain, mind, and affect disease outcomes per se, but also behavioral and behavior provide new insights into health and illness, as social processes are linked to molecular, genetic, and neural well as new measurement methods, such as neuro-imaging processes affecting health and disease. Basic behavioral and epigenetic indicators. At a much more macro level, envi- and social sciences research promotes health by predicting, ronmental contexts and psychological, social, and cultural preventing, and controlling illness, and by minimizing the processes facilitate or constrain vulnerability to disease, risk impact of disease. A range of empirical investigations con- behaviors, health promotion, proper health care, and re-entry vincingly show that social and behavioral factors interact into the community. robustly with essentially every aspect of health and illness, The behavioral and social sciences are as complex and spanning the entire disease process from vulnerability to variable as the natural sciences; not only do many fac- d iagnosis, treatment, course, prognosis, interface with tors affect individual and social behavior, but also these health care systems, rehabilitation, and quality of life. The factors combine and interact in complicated ways. Partly economic costs and human burdens of physical and mental because of the overall complexity of these sciences and disease result disproportionately from interrupting normal partly for historical and cultural reasons, research support behavioral and social functioning. and research training in the behavioral and social sciences Basic behavioral and social sciences research aims to has lagged well behind those in other sciences. However, as measure, understand, and control processes that may later noted, behavioral and social sciences contribute substantially be applied to health and illness. As with all basic science, to health research, primarily in psychosocial vulnerability, the direct link between fundamental research and health out- prevention behavior, treatment maintenance, and psycho- comes results from incremental discoveries that accumulate biological response to treatment. Moreover, recent years have as an investment over time. There exist many examples of seen a tremendous leap in the sophistication of methods and how basic behavioral and social sciences research has already tools in these sciences, leading to significant contributions increased knowledge about health and illness, including: regarding health behavior and contexts, as well as a realistic (a) animal learning research has contributed to empirically expectation that even more useful and effective answers to validated behavioral treatments of various mental disorders, fundamental health questions will result from an investment from phobias to addictions; (b) basic research on emotion of research training in these areas. explains disruptions by physical and mental illness, point- At the same time that these sciences have been matur- ing to new treatments; (c) basic perception research informs ing, our society has come to realize the absolute necessity diagnosis and treatment of neural disorders; (d) reliable of the research findings they produce for the understanding, results show how social networks shape all kinds of health treatment, and prevention of its health problems. As a result, behavior and psychobiological outcomes, from prevention scientists in these areas have been called on for advice to an to treatment to survival; (e) fundamental research on inter- ever-increasing degree by government agencies. Just one group relations reveals underlying patterns and unconscious example is provided by the number and range of government- causes of health disparities for ethnic minorities, older adults, commissioned committees, panels, and reports assigned to 

OCR for page 51
 RESEARCH TRAINING IN THE BIOMEDICAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND CLINICAL RESEARCH SCIENCES the Division of Behavioral, Social, and Economic Sciences of alternative health-care systems, care-taking approaches, bereavement and its effects, and health decision making. (DBASSE) at the National Research Council. In the past Societal, behavioral, and economic factors all work together 10 years there have been more than 300 publications (books) to produce such problems as drug abuse, smoking, alcohol in response to DBASSE assignments, covering a wide range abuse, anorexia/bulimia, and obesity. Treatable diseases are of areas that are directly or indirectly related to health con- making a comeback in more virulent form because reliable cerns, including: children and families; education, employ- methods cannot be found to insure that drugs are taken over ment, and training; environment; health and behavior; human their entire recommended time period. Social and sexual dis- performance; international studies; law and justice; national eases, such as AIDS/HIV, are a large and increasing problem. statistics; and population and urban studies. Their level of Even crime and violence are in good part a health problem focus ranges from the individual level to the societal level, that requires behavioral and social science research. It is and they cover the entire range of social and behavioral sci- now accepted that many diseases that have historically been ences and extend even to such related fields (such as ecology considered mainly a matter for biomedical research, diseases such as heart disease, lung disease, drug addiction, tubercu- and criminology). A few examples of reports directly relevant losis, and malaria, cannot be treated and understood without to health concerns include: Reducing Underage Drinking: A understanding provided by behavioral and social research. Collectie Responsibility; Educating Children with Autism; When these far reaching health implications of behavioral, Informing America’s Policy on Illegal Drugs: What We Don’t social, and economic factors are added to the more direct Know Keeps Hurting Us; Preenting Reading Difficulties in implications of research for mental illnesses such as depres - Young Children; Protecting Youth at Work: Health, Safety, sion, schizophrenia, and various neurological illnesses, it is and Deelopment of Working Children and Adolescents in no surprise that the research demand in the behavioral and the United States; Work­Related Musculoskeletal Disorders: social sciences has grown rapidly in recent years. A Reiew of the Eidence; Understanding Risk: Informing Decisions in a Democratic Society; Understanding Violence The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) tradition- Against Women; Preenting HIV Transmission: The Role of ally provided primary support for research in the behavioral Sterile Needles and Bleach. and social sciences, and with secondary support from the As described in the 2005 NRSA report: National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Other insti- The social and behavioral sciences deal with the most tutes provide support to a lesser degree, and recently there has complex and the least predictable phenomena that affect the been increasing support from the National Institute of General nation’s health. One tends to think of mental health in this Medical Sciences (NIGMS). It should be noted that the primary context, and indeed mental health is an important concern mission of NIMH is research into prevention and treatment of at NIH (in NIMH in particular) and in the government and mental disorders, and of NIA and NICHD is research into the private sector generally. Yet mental health is only one part of health problems of young and aging populations; thus none a much larger picture, because many of the most important directly supports research into key factors underlying such health problems we face are determined and strongly affected societal health problems. It is not the task of this committee to by behavioral, social, and economic factors. Consider just make recommendations concerning the allocation of research a few examples: At the level of behavior of the individual, the behavioral and social sciences produce knowledge about support in various institutes of NIH. It is the committee’s health issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, obesity, violent task, however, to make recommendations concerning research behavior, smoking, maintenance of drug treatment regimens, training and its funding, and the implications of social and stress management, ability to cope with illness, and health behavioral research for such a wide array of health problems decision-making. There are many critical health issues that demand that research in most NIH institutes be informed by emerge at a larger scale. The economics of health care and scientists knowledgeable in the basic techniques and methods delivery critically determine what diseases and problems are of, and the findings of, the behavioral and social sciences. This attacked, what research is carried out, and which populations particularly includes empirical design and quantitative and are given treatment. The government has recognized these statistical methodology that has been so effectively refined in factors with multi-million-dollar investments in surveys the social and behavioral sciences. Thus in institutes that do such as the Health and Retirement Survey, the National not presently have a direct focus on research in the behavioral Longitudinal Survey, and the National Survey of Families and Households. The social sciences provide critical insights and social sciences, at least some training needs be directed and knowledge concerning our ability and willingness to deal toward researchers with this focus. with disability, choices that promote well being, the use of and willingness to expend income and assets for health pur- CharaCteriStiCS aNd data poses, distribution of health care (geographically, sociologi- cally, and economically), use and misuse of nursing homes, Behavioral and Social Sciences research Workforce health provider behavior, psychological and social effects on morbidity and mortality, social and psychological effects The behavioral and social sciences workforce is difficult on treatment and recovery, transfer of assets and beliefs to identify, since data sources do not distinguish between across generations, social support mechanisms, economics

OCR for page 51
 BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES RESEARCH Ph.D.s in the behavioral and social sciences or between disciplinary component that can include fields in the life sci - scientists who are conducting basic or applied health-related ences, other social sciences, and even the physical sciences. research (or other research) and those who are involved in This factor complicates the analysis, because people trained clinical practice. In studying the research training needs outside the social and behavioral science may be conducting in the behavioral sciences, the workforce is defined as Ph.D.s research in this area. There is also a convergence of research trained in anthropology, sociology, the speech and hearing areas across broad fields, such as the convergence between sciences, and psychology, with the exception of clinical, the psychology and neuroscience. This factor may lead to family, and school psychology. However, the committee an undercount of doctorates in the behavioral sciences. For believed that most non-research-oriented doctorates are now this study the behavioral and social sciences workforce is receiving Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degrees, and so it defined as graduates from universities in the United States decided to include clinical psychology in its assessment, with Ph.D.s in the fields listed in Appendix C, and those in although not the other practice-oriented fields. See Appen- or seeking careers in science and engineering fields. dix C for a list of fields in the behavioral and social sciences. This decision was also supported by a small experiment educational trends in which NIH was asked to identify whether the research topic for the theses of a sample of the Ph.D. population in The pool of college graduates in the behavioral and social the above listed fields, including clinical psychology, would sciences from which graduate programs draw has increased be considered for NIH funding. This analysis showed that from about 71,000 in 1986 to a little more than 160,000 in about 90 percent of the research topics could be funded, and 2008 in the fields of psychology, sociology, and anthropol- this led to the conclusion that a large portion of the clinical ogy. In 1986, 11.4 percent, or 8,152, of these graduates psychology Ph.D.s could pursue research careers. This may matriculated to graduate programs in doctoral-granting be an over estimate of the workforce, but it might provide a institutions; by 2008 that fraction had dropped to about more accurate assessment. 7.3 percent or 11,700 students (see Figure 4-1). Even in the treatment of what are to be considered biologi- This first-year enrollment has resulted in a total full-time cal diseases, behavior is a factor in getting patients to take graduate enrollment of about 40,847 in 1986, and it grew to their medicine or participate in physical activities that would about 69,300 in 2008. A portrait of the gender makeup of the help their condition. However, research in these areas is not full-time graduate students (Figure 4-2) shows a significant isolated to the behavioral and social sciences but has an inter- change over the past 30 years, from approximate gender parity FIGURE 4-1 Percentage of college graduates that enroll as first-year graduate students by field in the behavioral and social sciences. SOURCE: NSF. 2008. Surey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-1.eps bitmap

OCR for page 51
 RESEARCH TRAINING IN THE BIOMEDICAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND CLINICAL RESEARCH SCIENCES 60,000 Male Female 50,0 00 Number of Full-Time Graduate Students 40,0 00 30,0 00 20,0 00 10,000 0 2000 2006 2004 2005 2008 2002 2003 2007 2001 1990 1996 1980 1984 1986 1988 1998 1999 1983 1985 1994 1995 1989 1992 1982 1993 1987 1997 1991 1979 1981 Year FIGURE 4-2 Gender of full-time graduate students in the behavioral and social sciences, 1979-2008. SOURCE: NSF. 2008. Surey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-2.eps in 1979, to a student population in 2008 where females out- different mechanisms has changed little except for some numbered males by almost 3 to 1. Although there have been recent growth in the students who are self-supported. This variations from year to year, the total number of male graduate has implications both for post-graduation debt and for incen - students in this area hardly changed from 1992 to 2008. tives to enroll in a postdoctoral program. These NSF data include all students in behavioral and These data, like the data on enrollment, are useful in social sciences programs at doctoral-granting institutions and showing trends over time, but they include master’s degree therefore include students who do not complete a degree or students who may not receive financial support for their receive a master’s degree and who do not pursue a doctor- studies. Data from the Research-Doctorate Study for 2006 ate. Clearly then these data must overestimate the pool of show a different pattern of financial support from the above. students who go on to earn a Ph.D. The National Research Of those programs reporting data, 78 percent said they fully Council’s study of research-doctorate programs collected support their doctoral students, and only 15 percent of such data on the number of students working toward a doctorate. students are unfunded (see Table 4-2). These data cover only one year, 2006, but they are likely the best source that we have for information about students doctoral degrees awarded involved in research activities (see Table 4-1). They indicate that a little less than half, or 24,841 of the 52,000 graduate After steadily increasing through much of the 1970s, students in 2006, were in doctoral programs. They also show the number of doctoral degrees awarded in the behavioral that the ratio of female to male doctoral students was 2 to 1, sciences remained remarkably steady over much of the and in particular, was not as reported above. next 30 years (Figure 4-4), although there may have been a The picture of financial support for graduate education small decline in the past decade. The gender distribution in at doctoral-granting institutions in the behavioral and social the number of doctoral degrees awarded since 1970 reflects sciences is very different from that in the biomedical sci- the gender makeup of the graduate population in general ences (Figure 4-3). Traditionally about half of the graduate as reflected in the number of doctoral degrees (Figure 4-4). students are supported by their own funds or other sources From just a few hundred in 1970 the number of doctoral that they have identified themselves, and teaching assistant- degrees to women grew to almost 3,000 by 2008, and at ships support as many students as fellowships, traineeships, the same time degrees to men dropped from a high of about and research grants. The proportion of support from these 2,700 in the mid-1970s to a low of about 1,400 in 2008.

OCR for page 51
 BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES RESEARCH TABLE 4-1 Number of Doctoral Students by Gender as Reported in 2006 for the Research-Doctorate Study Field Male Female Number Doctoral Students Anthropology 1894 3098 5039 Psychology 4320 9646 14000 Sociology 2189 3605 5802 Total 8403 16349 24841 SOURCE: NRC. 2010. A Data­Based Assessment of Research­Doctorate Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 60,000 Graduate Fellowships Other Types of Suppor t Graduate Teaching Assistantships Graduate Research Assistantships 50,0 00 Graduate Traineeships Self-Suppor ted Number of Full-Time Students 40,0 00 30,0 00 20,0 00 10,000 0 2000 2006 2004 2005 2008 2002 2003 2007 2001 1990 1996 1980 1984 1986 1988 1983 1985 1998 1999 1994 1995 1989 1992 1982 1993 1987 1997 1991 1979 1981 Years FIGURE 4-3 Financial support of full-time graduate students in the behavioral and social sciences, 1979-2008. SOURCE: NSF. 2008. Surey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-3.eps TABLE 4-2 Financial Support of Students in the Behavioral and Social Sciences in 2006 as Reported in the Research- Doctorate Study Fellowship or Teaching Research Less Than Field Traineeship Assistant Assistant Combination Full Support Unfunded Total Anthropology 807 921 241 1087 379 1005 4440 Psychology 2236 3341 2055 3718 775 1739 13864 Sociology 761 1458 648 1186 418 807 5278 Total 3804 5720 2944 5991 1572 3551 23582 SOURCE: NRC. 2010. A Data­Based Assessment of Research­Doctorate Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. The time to degree for the doctorates in the behavioral the time to degree also reflect time when a student is not and social sciences has been relatively constant during the actively working on the degree, and data from the Research- past few years at about 9 years in psychology and 10 years in Doctorate Study show a time that is shorter by several years sociology, but these numbers are about 2.5 years higher than (see Table 4-3). they were in the mid-1990s. These increases were greater The median age at time of degree increased to almost 33 than the corresponding increases in the biomedical sciences by the late 1990s and remained at that level up to at least by about one-half a year. It is possible that these data on 2008. These figures include such workers as clinical-practice

OCR for page 51
 RESEARCH TRAINING IN THE BIOMEDICAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND CLINICAL RESEARCH SCIENCES 5,000 Male Female 4,50 0 4,0 00 3,50 0 3,00 0 Number 2,50 0 2,000 1,50 0 1,000 500 0 2000 2006 2004 2002 1990 1996 1980 1984 1986 1988 1998 1994 1992 1982 1972 1978 1970 1976 1974 Year FIGURE 4-4 Doctorates in the behavioral sciences. SOURCE: NSF, 2008. Surey of Earned Doctorates, 008. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-4.eps TABLE 4-3 Average Median Time to Degree for the the increased participation in postdoctoral training by indi- Doctorates 2004 to 2006 in the Behavioral and Social viduals with degrees in clinical psychology (Figure 4-5). The Sciences as Reported for the Research-Doctorate Study fact that the proportion of Ph.D.s in the behavioral and social sciences who plan postdoctoral training increased from 20 Field Full- and Part-Time Students Full-Time Students percent in 1990 to nearly 50 percent in 2008 points to its Anthropology 7.85 7.16 importance in their career plans. Psychology 5.82 5.79 The large and increasing number of female Ph.D.s and Sociology 6.69 6.15 females seeking postdoctoral training, as well as the increase Total 6.43 6.13 in dual-career couples, suggests that the behavioral and social SOURCE: NRC. 2010. A Data­Based Assessment of Research­Doctorate sciences may be a leading indicator of the need for employers Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. to accommodate the work-life realities of the current gen- eration of both women and men. Otherwise, training will be adversely affected by withdrawals of significant numbers of well-trained researchers—both male and female—for such purposes as child rearing. Afterwards, the rapid advances of trainees in psychology and industry-employed trainees in science may make it difficult for such trained researchers to the various behavioral and social sciences, which may have return to the workforce. biased the data on the time to degree. One positive trend is the increase in minorities with Ph.D.s. In the 1970s only 1 or 2 percent of the doctorates PoStdoCtoral traiNiNg went to minorities, but that has changed, and in 2007 almost 15 percent of the doctorates were awarded to minorities Between 1970 and 2008, the fraction of Ph.D.s in the (see Figure 4-6). Although this percentage is slightly higher behavioral and social sciences who were planning on a than in the biomedical sciences, it needs to be higher still postdoctoral position increased from 223, or 11 percent of all if the percentage of minority researchers is to more closely Ph.D.s in the field, to 1,108, or 46 percent. Not surprisingly, reflect the percentages of minorities in both the serving and females now make up about three-quarters of all Ph.D.s plan- served populations. Increasing the percentage of minority ning such additional training. In an earlier section, we offered researchers will, of course, require an increased fraction of a number of reasons for including clinical psychology in the minorities in the B.S. degree pool. behavioral and social sciences taxonomy. Another reason is

OCR for page 51
 BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES RESEARCH 80 Percentage of Clinical Psychology Doctorates Planning Study 70 Percentage of All Behavioral and Social Sciences Doctorates Planning Study 60 50 Percent 40 30 20 10 0 2000 2006 2004 2002 1990 1996 1980 1984 1986 1988 1998 1994 1992 1982 1972 1978 1970 1976 1974 Year FIGURE 4-5 Postdoctoral plans for clinical psychology and all behavioral and social science doctorates. SOURCE: NSF. 2008. Surey of Earned Doctorates, 008. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-5.eps 20 18 Temporar y Residents Percent Minority 16 14 12 Percent 10 8 6 4 2 0 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 Year FIGURE 4-6 Percentage of the behavioral and social sciences doctorates by citizenship and race/ethnicity. SOURCE: NSF. 2008. Surey of Earned Doctorates, 008. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-6.eps The pattern of increasing numbers of Ph.D.s in the Postdoctoral appointments biomedical sciences going to researchers with temporary Figure 4-7 shows the number of postdoctoral appoint- resident status is not apparent in the behavioral and social ments by employment sector in the period 1973-2008; all sciences. There was an increase in temporary resident Ph.D.s sectors show a pattern of increases since 1991. The number of in these fields in the 1980s, but the proportion has remained appointments has varied somewhat in recent years in the aca- about the same—8 to 10 percent—since that time.

OCR for page 51
8 RESEARCH TRAINING IN THE BIOMEDICAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND CLINICAL RESEARCH SCIENCES 2,000 Academic Postdoctorates Industrial Postdoctorates Government Postdoctorates 1,80 0 1,600 1,40 0 1,20 0 Number 1,000 800 600 40 0 200 0 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2006 Year FIGURE 4-7 Postdoctoral appointments in the behavioral sciences. SOURCE: NSF. Surey of Doctorate Recipients, ­00. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-7.eps demic and industrial sectors. The academic sector accounts for Table 4-4 shows the composition of postdoctoral positions three-quarters of the appointments, but there is growing par- in research doctorate programs in 2006. The total number is ticipation in the industrial sector. A notable difference between about half the number for all academic positions. Although the biomedical and the behavioral and social sciences fields females receive twice as many doctorates in the behavioral is the ratio of citizens and permanent resident postdoctorates and social sciences as males, the number of males and females to temporary resident postdoctorates in academic institutions. in postdoctoral positions are approximately the same. Because the fraction of temporary resident Ph.D.s in the behavioral and social sciences is generally less than the frac- emPloymeNt treNdS tion in the biomedical sciences, there are proportionally more citizens and permanent residents in postdoctoral positions in The behavioral and social sciences workforce has grown the behavioral and social sciences. The ratio in the biomedical steadily from 27,356 in 1973 to a peak of 108,339 in 2006. sciences is 1.6 to 1, with more temporary residents, while in Female Ph.D.s made up an increasingly large fraction of the the behavioral and social sciences the ratio is 3.3 to 1, with total during these years (Figure 4-8). In 2006, they became more citizens and permanent residents. Looking at the overall the majority in the workforce. behavioral and social sciences workforce, which approaches The workplace distribution of the overall workforce is 90,000 individuals it is clear that the postdoctoral component very different in the behavioral and social sciences than is quite small, so clearly most did not seek additional post- in the biomedical sciences (Figure 4-9). While academic doctoral training, although the number of postdoctorates is employment is still the largest sector, industrial employment slowly increasing. has grown at a rapid rate, and the non-profit or other sector TABLE 4-4 Postdoctoral Appointments in Research Departments in the Behavioral and Social Sciences in 2006 as Reported for the Research-Doctorate Study Permanent Citizenship Field Male Female U.S. Citizen Resident Temporary Unknown Total Anthropology 50 53 60 6 33 4 107 Psychology 438 480 565 37 255 60 944 Sociology 27 36 45 1 9 9 67 Total 515 569 670 44 297 73 1118 SOURCE: NRC. 2010. A Data­Based Assessment of Research­Doctorate Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

OCR for page 51
 BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES RESEARCH 60,000 50,0 00 Females Males 40,0 00 Number 30,0 00 20,0 00 10,000 0 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2006 Year FIGURE 4-8 Distribution of behavioral and social scientists in the workforce by gender. SOURCE: NSF. Surey of Doctorate Recipients, ­00. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-8.eps 60,000 Academics Industry Government Other Sectors 50,000 40,0 00 Number 30,0 00 20,0 00 10,000 0 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2006 Year FIGURE 4-9 Employment sectors in the behavioral and social sciences. 4-9.eps SOURCE: NSF. Surey of Doctorate Recipients, ­00. Washington, DC: NSF.

OCR for page 51
0 RESEARCH TRAINING IN THE BIOMEDICAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND CLINICAL RESEARCH SCIENCES detailS of aCademiC emPloymeNt is comparatively larger than in the biomedical sciences. The overall workforce in the behavioral and social sciences is Academic employment in the behavioral and social sci- almost as large as in the biomedical sciences. ences increased by more than 50 percent from 1973 to 2001, In 1985, the age distribution for the workforce, exclud- after which there has been a slow decline. However, much of ing postdoctoral appointees, was similar for the behavioral the growth has been in non-tenure positions and in “other” and the biomedical sciences, but by 2006, the median age in academic categories, and by 1999 these categories repre- the behavioral and social science workforce was 2.5 years sented about a third of the academic staff. These contingent greater than in biomedical sciences (Table 4-5). Another way faculty (adjunct, lecturer, and part-time staff) are dispro- to look at the aging of the behavioral workforce is to com- portionately female, often involved exclusively in teaching, pare the age distribution over time. There may be significant under-paid, without benefits, contract-vulnerable, and not retirement in the next 10 years from the 51 to 76 age group, necessarily involved in research. Data from the Research- although, as noted previously, the concern for retirement Doctorate Study also show that females are underrepresented portfolios and the improving health of older faculty may on the faculty of research departments (see Figure 4-11). affect such a projection. (Figure 4-10; also see projections While females were in faculty positions at a rate consistent in Appendix D and E). with the proportion of Ph.D.s in the 1970s and early 1980s, TABLE 4-5 Median Age Cohort for the Biomedical Sciences and the Behavioral and Social Sciences Median Age in 1993 Median Age in 2006 Biomedical Sciences 48.9 52.3 Behavioral and Social Sciences 49.8 55.4 SOURCE: NSF. Surey of Doctorate Recipients, ­00. Washington, DC: NSF. 12 1993 2001 2003 2006 10 8 Percent 6 4 2 0 51 - 52 53- 54 55- 56 57- 58 59- 60 61- 62 63- 64 65- 66 67- 68 69- 70 71- 72 73- 74 75- 76 Age Cohor ts FIGURE 4-10 Age distribution of tenured behavioral and social sciences faculty. SOURCE: NSF. Surey of Doctorate Recipients, ­00. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-10.eps

OCR for page 51
 BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES RESEARCH 70 60 Percent Female Percent Ph.D.s 50 40 Percent 30 20 10 0 2000 2004 2002 1990 1996 1980 1984 1986 1988 1998 1994 1992 1982 1972 1978 1970 1976 1974 Year of Ph.D. FIGURE 4-11 Percentage of female faculty in 2006 in the behavioral and social sciences by year of Ph.D. compared with the number of Ph.D.s in the same year. 4-11.eps SOURCE: NRC. 2010. A Data­Based Assessment of Research­Doctorate Programs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. females in recent years are not in faculty positions in propor- behavioral and social sciences than in the basic biomedical tion to the number of Ph.D.s. fields. The number of awards in the behavioral and social sci- In contrast, the size of the tenured and tenure-track staff has ences as displayed in Table 4-6 are about one-tenth of those been almost constant since the early 1990s (Figure 4-12). Over in the biomedical sciences. About 1 percent of the 26,600 the past 10 years, as mentioned above, two-thirds of doctorates graduate students in the behavioral and social sciences in have been awarded to women, and this is reflected in academic 2008 had an individual NRSA, as compared with 9.3 percent appointments with about 60 percent of the combined tenure- in the biomedical sciences. It has been argued that much of track, non-tenured and other academic positions being held by the research in the behavioral and social sciences is not health women (Figure 4-13). However, women are over-represented related, but an analysis done during the 2005 NRSA study in the combined “non-tenured and other” tracks. Those in showed that 90 percent of the reviewed dissertation abstracts tenured positions now make up 40 percent of the academic of behavioral and social sciences Ph.D.s were considered workforce, which is below their 53 percent representation in the fundable by NIH personnel. academic workforce. Over time, however, this should change as Since NIH has historically tended to focus on research more women in tenure-track positions receive tenure. that relates to the physical structure of the body and hence to The number of underrepresented minorities in the behav- fields in the biomedical and clinical sciences, the behavioral ioral and social sciences workforce has increased dramati- and social sciences have received less research and training cally in the past several decades, from 520 in 1975 to 8,960 support. This may also be seen in the fact that the NIH does in 2006. For a number of years the number of minorities in not have an institute or center with the mission devoted to the workforce has grown at a substantially greater rate than the support of basic and applied research in the behavioral the total workforce. and social sciences. Research training exists in institutes with other missions, such as NIMH, NIA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and reSearCh traiNiNg aNd the NatioNal Alcoholism, and the National Cancer Institute, but it has reSearCh ServiCe aWard Program decreased in recent years, as can be seen in Table 4-6. Even In general, the National Research Service Award (NRSA) within the institutes that support training in the behavioral program plays a smaller role in research training in the and social sciences, such training is directed at particular

OCR for page 51
 RESEARCH TRAINING IN THE BIOMEDICAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND CLINICAL RESEARCH SCIENCES Non-Tenure-Faculty Tenure-Track Faculty Academic Postdoctorates 25,00 0 Tenured Faculty Other Academic Appointments 20,0 00 15,0 00 Number 10,0 00 5,000 0 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2006 Year FIGURE 4-12 Academic employment in the behavioral and social sciences. SOURCE: NSF. Surey of Doctorate Recipients, ­00. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-12.eps 70 60 50 Percentage of All Faculty 40 30 20 10 Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Tenured Tenure Track - Other Academics 0 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2006 Year FIGURE 4-13 Female faculty positions in the behavioral and social sciences. SOURCE: NSF. Surey of Doctorate Recipients, ­00. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-13.eps

OCR for page 51
 BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES RESEARCH TABLE 4-6 NRSA Trainees and Fellows, by Broad Field (Behavioral and Social Sciences), 1975-2008, Fiscal Year (Percentages are based on total NRSA funding at the NIH by mechanism) Predoctoral Postdoctoral Both Trainees % Fellowship % Trainees % Fellowship % Total Total % 1975 208 16.2 125 80.6 32 3.8 146 10.0 511 13.6 1980 655 12.8 74 76.3 368 9.2 131 5.5 1228 10.6 1985 501 10.2 41 31.5 392 9.2 86 4.6 1020 9.2 1990 619 10.8 58 17.3 398 10.1 78 4.7 1153 9.9 1995 505 7.8 101 16.2 411 9.9 112 6.0 1129 8.6 2000 451 8.0 207 28.0 465 11.0 114 6.3 1237 10.0 2005 506 8.4 214 16.7 460 9.2 104 6.4 1284 9.2 2006 522 9.2 183 13.4 401 8.3 77 4.9 1183 8.8 2007 421 6.9 154 10.6 350 7.5 50 3.4 975 7.1 2008 416 6.3 147 9.6 301 6.3 50 3.4 914 6.3 SOURCE: NIH database. subfields and often does not require the interdisciplinary As is the case at the predoctoral level, NRSA support of or multidisciplinary character of the training grants in the postdoctoral training in the behavioral and social sciences biomedical or clinical sciences. is a fraction (between 10 and 15 percent) of that in the bio- Efforts are being made by the Office of Behavioral and medical sciences (see Table 4-2). There are no data on the Social Science Research (OBSSR) to foster interdisciplin- general postdoctoral support from NIH, but the picture for arity by bringing together the biomedical, behavioral, and postdoctoral training support from all federal sources shows social sciences communities to work collaboratively to a growth in research grant support and a decline in trainee solve complex pressing health challenges. OBSSR is leading and fellowship support until 1990, with essentially constant efforts in: biopsychosocial interactions, community-based support thereafter. The NIH’s efforts in the late 1970s and participation research, systems science, genes, behavior and 1980s to shift research training in the behavioral and social environment, social and cultural factors in health, health and sciences from the predoctoral to the postdoctoral level can behavior, and translational research. However, the office does be seen by comparing the level of predoctoral support in not have the resources to support training in these areas and Figure 4-15. must depend on other institutes. In recent years NIGMS has increased its funding in the behavioral and social sciences reCommeNdatioNS but it does not have the resources to carry out the mission Recommendation 4–1: Training programs in basic behav- outlined by OBSSR. ioral and social sciences that cut across disease and age As was shown earlier in Figure 4-2, less than a quarter of categories should be housed at NIGMS consistent with the graduate student population in the behavioral and social the NIGMS congressional mandate. Given its disciplin- sciences in doctoral-granting institutions who have some ary expertise, OBSSR should cooperate in this effort. type of support are supported on fellowships, traineeships, NIGMS needs funds and appropriate staff dedicated to and research grants. Of this support it is generally thought this new effort. that the National Science Foundation (NSF) provides a large portion of this support, but in reality, the support from NSF is Recommendation 4–2: Training programs in basic only about a tenth of the total federal support and a third of behavioral and social sciences that bear specifically on the support provided by NIH (Figure 4-14). These data also particular diseases and age cohorts should be housed show a decline in support by NIH and NSF in 2008. in all the relevant institutes and centers. Both basic and It should also be noted that total graduate support declined translational research training can be specific to insti- in the 1980s, and the increase back to the earlier level is due tutes and centers. Given both its disciplinary expertise mainly to NIH and other federal agency support. Much of the and its role in connecting institutes and centers, OBSSR early decline was caused by reductions in the non-NIH part should cooperate in this effort. of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). By 2006, NIH research grants formed more than two-thirds Recommendation 4–3: The target numbers to be trained of the support (Figure 4-15), which was a major shift from in OBBSR should increase back to the 2004 baseline. In the early 1980s when the major source of support came from the case that an infusion of funds results from current traineeships.

OCR for page 51
 RESEARCH TRAINING IN THE BIOMEDICAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND CLINICAL RESEARCH SCIENCES National Science Foundation National Institutes of Health Health & Human Services ( Except NIH) Department of Defense 5,000 Other Federal Sources of Suppor t 4,50 0 4,0 00 Number of Graduate Students 3,50 0 3,00 0 2,50 0 2,000 1,50 0 1,000 500 0 2000 2006 2004 2005 2008 2002 2003 2007 2001 1990 1996 1980 1984 1986 1988 1998 1999 1983 1985 1994 1995 1989 1992 1982 1993 1987 1997 1991 1981 Year FIGURE 4-14 Federal sources of support in the behavioral and social sciences. SOURCE: NSF. 2008. Surey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-14.eps 10 0 90 80 Percentage of Students Suppor ted 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 2000 2006 2004 2005 2008 2002 2003 2007 2001 1990 1996 1980 1984 1986 1988 1983 1985 1998 1999 1994 1995 1989 1992 1982 1993 1987 1997 1991 1981 Year Fellowships Traineeships Research Assistantships FIGURE 4-15 Types of support from the NIH in the behavioral and social sciences. SOURCE: NSF. 2008. Surey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: NSF. 4-15.eps

OCR for page 51
 BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES RESEARCH federal health initiatives, the targets should increase to Recommendation 4–4: All institutes are encouraged to reflect the new positions that will open as a result. Future make F30 fellowships accessible to qualified M.D./Ph.D. adjustments should be closely linked to the total extra- students. The F30 program should also be extended to mural research funding in the biomedical, clinical, and clinical behavioral scientists in M.D./Ph.D. programs. behavioral sciences. The F30 awards have proven to be a good way for stu- Bringing the level of support in the behavioral and social dents in M.D./Ph.D. programs to gain NIH support for their sciences in 2008 up to the level in 2004 will require the addi - activities. They also provides a means of support for students tion of about 370 training slots at a cost of about $15 million. at institutions that do not have an MSTP. Unfortunately Also, in recommending linking the number of NRSA posi- this fellowship is not awarded by all NIH institutes, which tions to extramural research funding, the committee realizes restricts its overall value. that a decline in extramural research would also call for a decline in training.

OCR for page 51