The Association of American Universities (AAU), the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) appreciate this opportunity to offer our collective comments on the Proposed Principles for Federal Support for Graduate and Postdoctoral Education and Training in Science and Engineering developed by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)..
In March 2005, the AAU Graduate and Postdoctoral Education Committee undertook a survey of AAU members on the condition of postdoctoral education. The primary purposes of the survey were to examine the current state of postdoctoral education at AAU universities and the extent to which the recommendations in the 1998 AAU report on postdoctoral education issues had been implemented..
The Association of American Universities, which represents leading North American research universities, today released a report that identifies postdoctoral education as one of the most significant developments in higher education in the last half century and recommends major changes in the policies and practices governing postdoctoral education..
Despite the increasingly prominent role played by postdoctoral education in the national research enterprise, there is reason to question how well this particular form of education has been incorporated into the overall academic enterprise. In many respects, postdoctoral education at the end of the twentieth century appears to resemble Ph.D. education at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1890, Ph.D. programs were a relatively new form of education in this country, lacking a consistent set of standards and expectations. Today there is cause for concern over the similarly ad hoc evolution of postdoctoral education..
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