Young scientific researchers are coming to a major crossroads, a "best of times, worst of times" of tremendous proportions. From one standpoint, being a part of the numerous revolutions occurring in nearly all scientific disciplines is as exciting for us as it is promising. There is much for us to anticipate as fresh thinking and new technological innovations bring once diverse disciplines together, creating avenues of exploration not even imagined a decade ago.
Confidence and ambition, however, are ceding to worry and resignation. We see increasing numbers of our comrades getting stuck in perpetual postdoctoral appointments while they apply over and over for rare faculty jobs. Even if one attains a cherished tenure-track position, the chances of earning a competitive research grant have seldom been worse. The situation is clearly discouraging, since fewer and fewer biomedical faculty under age 37 are applying for life-blood National Institutes of Health research grants....
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