Cardiovascular Early Careers: Past and Present
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- American Heart Association
- cardiovascular diseases
- early careers
- National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
This article examines the pathway of those pursuing early careers in the cardiovascular sciences, both past and present, highlighting new challenges and the roadblocks they present. This article emphasizes the need for multitasking in today’s academic environment and provides information about career training opportunities offered by the American Heart Association.
During the past 10 years in academia, we have heard terms like early career and early-stage investigator with increasing frequency. During my doctoral work and postdoctoral training in the early 2000s, career stage, or status, was less concerning to bench scientists. Now, however, the scientific community has come to the consensus that systematic training is integral to doctoral and postdoctoral studies, as students and fellows try to balance the requirements of their discipline with the exigencies of modern-day scientific professionalism. According to the National Institutes of Health, an early-stage investigator is defined as “those who are within 10 years of completing his/her terminal research degree or … within 10 years of completing medical residency (or the equivalent).” After the introduction of policies designed to assist early-stage investigators who are competing for funding with more established investigators, the number of competing R01 awards offered to those meeting that definition has steadily increased. In addition, special scoring consideration has been afforded to this group, along with enhanced emphasis on their proposed research projects. In fact, discussions geared toward supporting early-career researchers are hinting that steps should be taken to reduce the amount of time trainees spend in graduate school and postdoctoral training. As Chair of the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Early Career Committee, I am privileged to write this article about the extensive training opportunities provided to early careerists by the American Heart Association (AHA). Early careerists are the innovators who will bring new ideas and technologies to the fight against cardiovascular disease. …