COSEPUPCommittee on Science, Engineering & Public Policy
COSEPUPConvocation on Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers
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National Academies Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) (2006).
Porter, a former member of Congress and chair of the committee that wrote the report, cited the need for scientific advisory committees to be free from politicization and to "be and be seen as impartial and independent." Although COSEPUP representatives said that they had not examined the recent specific allegations and that their guidelines make no reference to actions of the current administration, the report recommends that any committee requiring technical expertise should nominate persons on the basis of their knowledge, credentials, and professional and personal integrity, noting that it is inappropriate to ask nominees to provide "non-relevant information, such as voting record, political party affiliation, or position on particular policies."
The COSEPUP report received the endorsement from several organizations, including the Association of Graduate Schools and the National Science Foundation.
The COSEPUP report finds that many postdocs do not encounter the sorts of positions they anticipated upon completion of their research, especially ones in academia, a trend that makes savvy career planning more crucial than ever.
In the four years since the COSEPUP report was published, universities, federal agencies, and professional societies have taken actions to improve working conditions and compensation and to acquire more information about the treatment and career trajectories of postdocs.
The COSEPUP report on evaluating federal research programs describes a number of methods for analyzing research: bibliometric analysis, economic rate of return, peer review, case study, retrospective analysis, and benchmarking (4).
And critically, as the COSEPUP report points out, postdocs have come to provide inexpensive skilled labor, compared with the alternatives of graduate students (who have less knowledge and experience and for whom tuition must be paid) and laboratory technicians or faculty members (who are more often permanent employees with full benefits).
In response to these findings, COSEPUP began by setting out several guiding principles for the postdoctoral experience:
More recently, a 1995 study on the allocation of scientific resources carried out by COSEPUP under the leadership of Frank Press, former science adviser to President Carter, suggested that the U.S.
Griffiths, chair of the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, discussed these concerns in the Summer 1995 Issues.
In an attempt to understand these profound changes and the problems they have caused, the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP), which is jointly sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, undertook a comprehensive study to assess how well the current system of graduate education is able to support national research and technology goals in the post-Cold War era and to recommend any needed improvements.