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Illustrative Mathematical Modeling in Scientific Workforce Analysis

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Air date: Thursday, March 7, 2013, 2:00:00 PM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
Views: Total views: 293, (29 Live, 264 On-demand)
Category: BSSR - Behavioral and Social Sciences
Runtime: 01:27:29
Description: BSSR Lecture Series

Several past studies have discussed serious challenges that US faces in maintaining a highly skilled workforce in Engineering and Biomedical Sciences. While complexities of the problem are usually acknowledged, very few mathematically-supported systems approaches are offered to address these problems. In this presentation, we offer three examples of our NIH-supported recent modeling efforts in this regard. First, we present a system dynamics model of diversity in scientific workforce which is specifically developed to analyze the balance between national versus international postdoctoral researchers. The model is calibrated to the case of postdocs in US biomedical sciences. We use the model to test several policies previously discussed at NIH, including capping the duration of postdoctoral training. In the second part of the presentation, we investigate effects of rapid changes in NIH budget on competing awards. We develop a simple difference-equation model and show that an apparently modest increase or decrease in funding levels can have dramatic effects on the research enterprise. We demonstrate the effect in various ways, using NIH data for two situations: the historical doubling of research funding from 1998 to 2003 and the possible effects of “sequestration” now or in the future. Third, we develop a system dynamics model to offer a new perspective on how changes in government funding affect various variables including research activities and grant application success rate in the biomedical research community. The analysis shows that rapid changes in government funding can have unintended negative effects on research workforce development. We calibrate our model to the context of biomedical sciences and replicate the case of doubling NIH funding from 1998 to 2003. Overall these models shed light on different aspects of the complexities of scientific workforce development, and each offers several counter-intuitive insights. In a final part of the presentation we offer suggestions about how we can apply models to the Social and Behavioral Science workforce.

Dr. Ghaffarzadegan is a postdoctoral researcher in the Engineering Systems Division of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University. His studies include applications of system dynamics modeling and other simulation techniques in a wide range of management and public policy contexts, including healthcare systems. Dr. Larson is MIT Mitsui Professor in the Engineering Systems Division. He is founding director of the Center for Engineering System Fundamentals. He has focused on operations research as applied to services industries, primarily in the fields of criminal justice, technology-enabled education, urban service systems, queueing, logistics and workforce planning. He is Past-President of INFORMS, INstitute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an INFORMS Founding Fellow, and a recipient of the INFORMS President’s Award, Lanchester Prize and Kimball Medal. Dr. Hawley is currently an Associate Professor in the John Glenn School and an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. He is also Director of the Ohio Education Research Center, a collaboration of six Ohio universities and four research organizations aimed at bridging research, policy and practice around education in the State of Ohio, pre-school through workforce. Dr. Hawley’s research is focused on workforce and education policy for state and national governments. This research cuts across education, public policy, economics, and evaluation. His published research includes studies of economic returns to education, analyses of the inter-relationships between workforce and economic development, and many evaluations for state and national government of specific programs/policies.

For more information go to http://obssr.od.nih.gov/news_and_events/lectures_and_seminars/BSSR_lecture_series/seminars.aspx
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NLM Title: Illustrative mathematical modeling in scientific workforce analysis / Navid Ghaffarzadegan, Richard C. Larson, and Joshua D. Hawley.
Series: BSSR lecture series
Author: Ghaffarzadegan, Navid.
National Institutes of Health (U.S.),
Publisher:
Other Title(s): BSSR lecture series
Abstract: (CIT): BSSR Lecture Series Several past studies have discussed serious challenges that US faces in maintaining a highly skilled workforce in Engineering and Biomedical Sciences. While complexities of the problem are usually acknowledged, very few mathematically-supported systems approaches are offered to address these problems. In this presentation, we offer three examples of our NIH-supported recent modeling efforts in this regard. First, we present a system dynamics model of diversity in scientific workforce which is specifically developed to analyze the balance between national versus international postdoctoral researchers. The model is calibrated to the case of postdocs in US biomedical sciences. We use the model to test several policies previously discussed at NIH, including capping the duration of postdoctoral training. In the second part of the presentation, we investigate effects of rapid changes in NIH budget on competing awards. We develop a simple difference-equation model and show that an apparently modest increase or decrease in funding levels can have dramatic effects on the research enterprise. We demonstrate the effect in various ways, using NIH data for two situations: the historical doubling of research funding from 1998 to 2003 and the possible effects of "sequestration" now or in the future. Third, we develop a system dynamics model to offer a new perspective on how changes in government funding affect various variables including research activities and grant application success rate in the biomedical research community. The analysis shows that rapid changes in government funding can have unintended negative effects on research workforce development. We calibrate our model to the context of biomedical sciences and replicate the case of doubling NIH funding from 1998 to 2003. Overall these models shed light on different aspects of the complexities of scientific workforce development, and each offers several counter-intuitive insights. In a final part of the presentation we offer suggestions about how we can apply models to the Social and Behavioral Science workforce. Dr. Ghaffarzadegan is a postdoctoral researcher in the Engineering Systems Division of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University. His studies include applications of system dynamics modeling and other simulation techniques in a wide range of management and public policy contexts, including healthcare systems. Dr. Larson is MIT Mitsui Professor in the Engineering Systems Division. He is founding director of the Center for Engineering System Fundamentals. He has focused on operations research as applied to services industries, primarily in the fields of criminal justice, technology-enabled education, urban service systems, queueing, logistics and workforce planning. He is Past-President of INFORMS, INstitute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an INFORMS Founding Fellow, and a recipient of the INFORMS President"s Award, Lanchester Prize and Kimball Medal. Dr. Hawley is currently an Associate Professor in the John Glenn School and an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. He is also Director of the Ohio Education Research Center, a collaboration of six Ohio universities and four research organizations aimed at bridging research, policy and practice around education in the State of Ohio, pre-school through workforce. Dr. Hawley"s research is focused on workforce and education policy for state and national governments. This research cuts across education, public policy, economics, and evaluation. His published research includes studies of economic returns to education, analyses of the inter-relationships between workforce and economic development, and many evaluations for state and national government of specific programs/policies.
Subjects: Biomedical Research--manpower
Models, Theoretical
Research Personnel--economics
Research Support as Topic--economics
United States
Publication Types: Lectures
Webcasts
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Caption Text: Download Caption File
NLM Classification: W 20.5
NLM ID: 101604620
CIT Live ID: 12611
Permanent link: https://videocast.nih.gov/launch.asp?17840