After spending $200,000 in assistance for each Ph.D., the government offers long odds to researchers setting up on their own
WASHINGTON - In her youth, Patricia McGraw studied music and as a teenager was a concert pianist. These past nine years, though, she has studied science and now is an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Maryland Baltimore County Campus. As a pianist she worried about improving her musical prowess. As a scientist, she sometimes wonders whether she will be able to keep practicing her profession at all.

Her education - graduate school and postdoctoral training - was financed primarily through training, fellowship, and research grants from the National Institutes of Health. Now she hopes NIH will sponsor her first experiments as an independent scientist. But for new investigators like herself, the chances of success in getting that support are much less than one in four. "Now...

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