March 16, 1993

Judson Sheridan

Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School

University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri

Dear Dr. Sheridan:

A continuing goal of our national research effort is to sustain the quality of biomedical and behavioral research. To achieve this goal we must maintain research training environments of high quality and sufficient stability to assure the future availability of skilled research personnel.

The National Research Service Awards Act of 1974 established a Federal program of predoctoral and postdoctoral training support to meet national needs for biomedical and behavioral scientists. At the same time, the Act requested that the National Academy of Sciences undertake a continuing study of personnel needs in this area and that they report on a regular basis to the U.S. Congress, the National Institutes of Health, and related agencies regarding future training needs in this area.

The National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences, recently established the Committee on National Needs for Biomedical and Behavioral Research Personnel which we are privileged to chair. The committee recently met for the first time and concluded that it would be useful to solicit the views of our colleagues in the scientific and educational communities as we formulate our recommendations for the future direction of the NRSA program.

To that end, we have arranged to convene a Public Hearing on May 3, 1993, at the NAS Auditorium, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, in Washington, D.C. The one-day meeting will begin at 8:00 a.m. and conclude at 6:00 p.m. During the hearing, 35 individuals will provide brief testimony on research training needs in various component fields at the invitation of the Committee.

There will be opportunities for other audience members to offer comments during periods of “Open Discussion” scheduled throughout the day. Testimony will address research training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, the clinical sciences, nursing research, and health services research.

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