Arming Our Trainees With Data

Arming Our Trainees With Data

Shining a light on doctoral student outcomes

Landing a traditional university job isn’t a given for trainees in the life sciences. Because there aren’t enough faculty positions to go around, it’s critical that students know the odds while also learning that trained life scientists have a range of career options open to them in industry, entrepreneurship, government, and science communication.

To that end, Johns Hopkins led the formation of the Coalition for Next Generation Life Science, an effort by 31 U.S. research universities and institutes to provide clear, standardized data on graduate school admissions, enrollment, education and training opportunities, and career prospects.

Since the coalition formed in December 2017, the members simultaneously released data on applications, admissions, and enrollments in February 2018 and the demographics of their postdoctoral scholars in July 2018.

In September 2018, as an extension of its efforts with the coalition, the university announced the creation of an online database of program statistics on the Office of Institutional Research website. The resource includes information on admissions, student demographics, student retention and completion, and duration of study for all PhD programs at the university.

The new website also includes results from four years of exit surveys given to JHU doctoral students when they receive their degrees. Those results indicate a high level of satisfaction with the graduate student experience, and also point to some areas where the university can improve, including assistance finding employment.