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Adriana Bankston

Senior Fellow in Science Policy, Federation of American Scientists
Areas of Expertise:

About Adriana

Bankston works on building a robust STEM workforce through research, training, policy and advocacy. She has worked to foster the future of U.S. science and technology by supporting the next generation of scientists in their research endeavors through non-profit organizations and scientific societies, including the National Postdoctoral Association, American Society for Cell Biology, Future of Research and Society for Neuroscience.


In the News

Opinion: "Engage in Science Policy Where You Are," Adriana Bankston, Inside Higher Ed, June 12, 2023.
Research discussed by Jeffrey Mervis, in "Researchers Criticize Senate Plan to Steer More NSF Funding to ‘Have Not’ States," Science Magazine, June 3, 2022.
Research discussed by Avery Ruxer Franklin, in "Baker Institute Event Explores Preparing Future Civic Scientists for Climate Change, Public Health Risks," Rice University News and Media Relations, April 4, 2022.
Opinion: "Great Science Begins With Nurturing Early-Career Researchers," Adriana Bankston, Issues in Science and Technology, November 2, 2021.
Opinion: "Enhancing Capacity Building for the Next Generation of Science Policy Leaders in the Post-Pandemic Era," Adriana Bankston, Canadian Science Policy Centre, November, 2021.
Research discussed by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, in "Re-envisioning Postdoctoral Training in Neuroscience: Proceedings of a Workshop—In Brief," The National Academies Press, March, 2021.
Research discussed by Chris Woolston, in "Huge Variations in US Postdoc Salaries Point to Undervalued Workforce," Nature, February 18, 2019.


"Building the Next Generation Workforce: Why We Need Science Policy Training at the Undergraduate Level" (with Gwendolyn Bogard, Erin Saybolt, and Moraima Castro-Faix). bioRxiv (2023).

Assesses the current landscape of science policy training for undergraduate students in the United States. Findings show that universities, organizations, and funding agencies should expand resources for curriculum, academic advising, training opportunities, and funding to enhance awareness and create additional science policy opportunities at the undergraduate level.

"Research Culture: Actionable Recommendations From Trainees to Improve Science Training" (with Stephanie M Davis, Harinder Singh, Cara M Weismann, and Fátima Sancheznieto). eLife (2020).

Discusses a series of reports over the past two decades that have recommended improvements to the training environments for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the United States, and notes that despite these recommendations, academic institutions and departments have not implemented significant changes. Outlines practical changes that academic institutions and departments can make to improve their training environments.

"Training Transitions: From Research Dependence to Independence" (with Harinder Singh and Gary McDowell). OSF Preprints (2020).

Focuses on the challenges faced by early career researchers (ECRs, broadly graduate students and postdocs) in establishing independent research programs in academia. Identifies the barriers ECRs experience to achieve research independence, and proposes solutions that highlight areas where training ECRs could be beneficial.

"Enhancing the Connections Between Institutions and Organizations to Advance Postdoctoral Training" (with Adam P Fagen, Gary S McDowell, Kearney Gunsalus, and Sonia Hall). PeerJ Preprints (2019).

Provides insights from the 2017 National Postdoctoral Association meeting. The workshop brought together representatives with diverse perspectives on postdoctoral training to discuss strengths and challenges they faced in training postdoctoral scholars. A variety of topics were covered, including a discussion of potential partnership models for collaboration to enhance postdoctoral training.

"Assessing the Landscape of US Postdoctoral Salaries" (with Rodoniki Athanasiadou, McKenzie Carlisle, Caroline A. Niziolek, and Gary S. McDowell). Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education 9, no. 2 (2018): 213-242.

Addresses the lack of comprehensive data on postdoctoral salaries in the biomedical workforce, and assesses actual salaries for postdocs using data gathered from US public institutions. Provides insights into the landscape of individual postdoc salaries and identifies areas where policy measures could have the greatest influence on improving postdoc compensation nationally.