The stream of life science students entering the graduate school pipeline should be frozen to prevent researcher job applicants from flooding the market, according to a recent National Research Council (NRC) report. However, just who will control the valves regulating enrollment--government, universities, or some combination--remains to be seen.

"I don't think the federal government alone can provide the answer to this," explains Shirley Tilghman, chair of NRC's Commission on Life Sciences, which drafted the report. "Change will require the actions of individual departments." However, Tilghman, a professor of life sciences at Princeton University, admits that voluntary change from departments won't come easily--especially if the mechanisms through which graduate students receive funding remain unchanged.

Some universities have made those changes prior to the report. "What strikes me ... is that we're pretty much in line with what the recommendations are," says Jack E. Dixon, chair of the biochemistry department...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?