Training Career Outcomes

Last week, I wrote to NIGMS-funded T32 program directors to encourage them to inform students about trainee career outcomes. Because this topic is also relevant to the broader community, I’d like to share the message here.


Dear NIGMS T32 Training Grant Program Director:

At the June 2015 meeting of NIGMS training, workforce development, and diversity program directors Exit icon, Peter Preusch, Dick Okita and I discussed the importance of making post-training career outcomes available to current and prospective students. The goal of collecting and sharing data on Ph.D. career outcomes is consistent with recommendations of the Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the Director, NIH. This topic has also been addressed by the Association of American Medical Colleges Exit icon, the Council of Graduate Schools Exit icon and a recent Molecular Biology of the Cell article.


We believe it’s critical that graduate programs openly communicate to potential applicants the range of career outcomes of their alumni. Therefore, we encourage graduate programs at institutions that receive predoctoral T32 support from us to make their alumni career outcomes publicly available to prospective and current students, preferably by posting the outcomes on their institutions’ websites and consolidating them by department or broad program, rather than just listing individual examples. New and renewal T32 program applicants may want to include information on how their institutions inform students about career outcomes.

I welcome your comments at




I’ve already received a number of replies, including requests for examples of institutional websites that publish Ph.D. career outcomes. While we aren’t yet suggesting any specific approach, here are a few:

In addition to contacting me with your questions or feedback, you can post a comment.

2 comments on “Training Career Outcomes

  1. Thank you for (finally) trying to mobilize graduate programs to tell prospective students what their real prospects may be.
    And I’m glad you posted UCSF’s summary of its graduate outcomes, which are part of the Graduate Division website.
    BUT please note that many (perhaps all?) of UCSF’s graduate programs fail to post the data on their own websites or to provide a link to the Graduate Division pages with their data. The same is true at many other universities that have spent a good deal of money getting the followup data — true, even for programs whose graduates do very well in the job market. Are these programs afraid to mention the fact that many of their graduates have not yet earned their Nobels or made millions as entrepreneurs?

  2. I hope your voice is heard! I would add dropout rates to it. I wish I had that information when choosing a PhD program.

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