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Point of view: Competency-based assessment for the training of PhD students and early-career scientists

  1. Michael F Verderame  Is a corresponding author
  2. Victoria H Freedman
  3. Lisa M Kozlowski
  4. Wayne T McCormack
  1. Pennsylvania State University, United States
  2. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, United States
  3. Thomas Jefferson University, United States
  4. University of Florida Health Sciences Center, United States
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e34801 doi: 10.7554/eLife.34801

Abstract

The training of PhD students and early-career scientists is largely an apprenticeship in which the trainee associates with an expert to become an independent scientist. But when is a PhD student ready to graduate, a postdoctoral scholar ready for an independent position, or an early-career scientist ready for advanced responsibilities? Research training by apprenticeship does not uniformly include a framework to assess if the trainee is equipped with the complex knowledge, skills and attitudes required to be a successful scientist in the 21st century. To address this problem, we propose competency-based assessment throughout the continuum of training to evaluate more objectively the development of PhD students and early-career scientists.

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Author details

  1. Michael F Verderame

    The Graduate School, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, United States
    For correspondence
    mxv8@psu.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-7046-0879
  2. Victoria H Freedman

    Graduate Division of Biomedical Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Lisa M Kozlowski

    Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Wayne T McCormack

    Office of Biomedical Research Career Development, University of Florida Health Sciences Center, Gainesville, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2117-8727

Funding

The authors declare that there was no funding for this work.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Emma Pewsey, eLife, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: May 2, 2018
  2. Accepted: May 25, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: May 31, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: June 14, 2018 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2018, Verderame et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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