The food safety research workforce and economic outcomes

Matthew B. Ross, Akina Ikudo, Julia I. Lane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Overview A key theme of this book is that people are at the core of the research enterprise. Funding agencies recognize this through their actions. Research funding acts to direct the research skills and research interests of both seasoned researchers and new PhDs toward that area (1, 2). Research also serves as a mechanism for training the next generation of investigators. In particular, funding in a field supports principal investigators, who then train graduate students in the process of doing their own research. Not only does research funding affect the current productivity of a field, but it also has a lasting impact that accumulates over time. The relationship between the production of PhDs and the future of a research field is caused by the fact that the number of PhDs has a direct impact on the research produced in a field. Paula Stephan, in a series of papers and a recent book, has pointed out that relative salaries and demographics, as well as the availability of financial support, affect the production of PhDs (3, 4). The effect of demographic diversity on the creation and transmission of new ideas has been the focus of a great deal of discussion (5, 6), with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) emphasizing the importance of diversity in their mission statements (7). Recent research on doctoral recipients has linked UMETRICS with US Census data to document employment and earnings outcomes and the demography of graduate students employed on research awards (8, 9). This chapter establishes some basic facts about the current workforce composition of food safety research, relative to several comparison populations, with a particular focus on graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. The chapter documents the number of individuals working on food safety research in the dataset, and describes the construction of the analytical sample to be used in the empirical analysis. Additional details describe the number of faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers working in the field and contrast these to other fields of research. The chapter then turns to examining the demographic composition of the workforce and compares those demographics with those in other fields as well as a comparison population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMeasuring the Economic Value of Research
Subtitle of host publicationThe Case of Food Safety
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781316671788
ISBN (Print)9781107159693
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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