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The Only Gift I Want This Season … Is Your Thoughts!

Posted on by Dr. Francis Collins

Season Greetings & Happy New YearFrom my “house” at NIH to yours, I’d like to wish each of you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthful New Year. Throughout the past year, I hope that you’ve enjoyed the entries in this blog, sharing just a few of the many breakthroughs in biomedical research and introducing you to some of the young scientists who fill me with such hope for the future. As we prepare to turn the NIH Director’s Blog calendar to 2016, I look forward to bringing you even more exciting discoveries that show the power of science to build a healthier tomorrow.

But I need your help! In this season of giving, I’d like to ask each of you for a little something: your thoughts on how to make what I think is a good blog even better. So, please click on the “gift” below to take part in a brief, anonymous survey that should take no more than a couple of minutes. Thanks so much for your time!Open Survey


  • Carol Martin says:

    Dear Dr. Collins,

    Please keep the entire pipeline open for young C/T [clinical/translational] researchers!

    Thanks and Happy Holidays!
    “Carol at [Harvard] Catalyst”

    • Lance Allison says:

      Sorry Dr Collins Sir. It really takes a few people just to keep track of the Thousands of Doctors that used the internet link into the Hospital Main data and/or the Doctors that has the credits to just be on a list of Doctor trained to deal with the patients

  • Toby Stein says:

    I filled out the questionnaire, which I did find disappointing. I had two strong responses to the first question. When I wanted to fill in two circles, the first one disappeared–so there’s only half my reason for reading the blog on record. This problem is especially marked in respect to the 5th question, which is formulated for more than a single response. Reread it and you’ll see.

  • Glenn Pratt says:

    NIH – Thank you for all you do!

    I hope you can do even more and want to do whatever we can do to help you help us!


  • Margaret C. says:

    Mr. Francis,
    First of all, I would love to be able to participate in an internship. I graduate within a year with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration. I also would love the opportunity to build a career at NIH. Unfortunately, I have no luck of entering into any sort of internship. I would love to help you.

  • Lisa Schoyer says:

    I would love to see ways in which affected individuals and their family members can be meaningfully involved in all levels of research. Not trivial, this would require some kind of education for the individuals and their family members to be able to understand the research environment, as well as coordination of issues for which to advocate. It would include mentorship and a reflective practice component. This next-gen family/professional partnership would include an active network of parent/patient advocates in which reflective practice is integrated. There are entities that do large parts of this, so perhaps it’s a matter identifying the gaps and then developing ways to fill them.

    Thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts.

  • Michael Borrow says:

    All the best to you!

  • Rick Neubig says:

    Thanks for asking for input. I put New Research as most interesting but Profiles of Scientists is also just as important.

  • Laurie Betts says:

    I didn’t know where else to post this but I was so incredibly happy to see that NCI has a new award for Research Specialists like me (R50) but then I was so sad because none of the other NIH institutes are offering it, as I don’t work in cancer research.

  • Bayan Pijama says:

    Nice article, need to read carefully. Thanks.

  • tinacrone says:

    I filled out the survey, but the questions I wanted to address weren’t there. I would like to see more progress in supporting women in science, particularly those who take time off to tend to the wellbeing of their children.
    Here it is 2016 I and found this blog. I am the “poster woman” for good researcher who took time off her work for the sake of the wellbeing of her small children. This is a natural instinct, and should never interfere with a career. The field is unforgiving, and labeled me a “stay at home mom” for life. I have been criticized for this decision by other women not in my situation, and patronized by men. After seven years of producing high quality human beings, my best experiment by the way, I searched for opportunities only to find doors slam in my face. The best I could find were adjunct teaching position. Research overlooked that fact that I was well published, capable of writing grants, and had performed cutting edge molecular research that aided in the advancement cancer therapies. After all, I was a woman, a “stay at home mom.”

    I continue to fight this fight. I am getting older, and now there are prospective employers who look me in the face and actually say, “Really, how long do you expect to stay here if you did get the job?” What?????? Is that sex discrimination? Is it age discrimination? I think it’s a little bit of both. This would not have been said to a man. Men would never have taken a hiatus to tend to their children. A man would have been hired regardless.

    Science is one of the only fields where you must have active research in order to get a job. I have been searching for a full time position in research or academia going on ten years now. I am a fierce advocate for women in science, and when I get to speak to any of my female students during the adjunct teaching positions, I sit them down and give them advice. Something needs to change. The old big boys need to step out of the way. There should be NIH grants set aside for people like me, grants only given to women who return to science after time spend assuring that their children are cared for and nurtured. WE are just as capable, perhaps more so, than any other applicant.

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