Young transplant surgeons and NIH funding

M. J. Englesbe, R. S. Sung, D. L. Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Transplant surgeons have historically been instrumental in advancing the science of transplantation. However, research in the current environment inevitably requires external funding, and the classic career development pathway for a junior investigator is the NIH K award. We matched transplant surgeons who completed fellowships between 1998 and 2004 with the NIH funding database, and also queried them regarding research effort and attitudes. Of 373 surgeons who completed a fellowship, only 6 (1.8%) received a K award; of these, 3 subsequently obtained R-level funding. An additional 5 individuals received an R-level grant within their first 5 years as faculty without a K award, 3 of whom had received a prior ASTS-sponsored award. Survey respondents reported extensive research experience during their training (78.8% spent median 24 months), a high proportion of graduate research degrees (36%), and a strong desire for more research time (78%). However, they reported clinical burdens and lack of mentorship as their primary perceived barriers to successful research careers. The very low rate of NIH funding for young transplant surgeons, combined with survey results that indicate their desire to participate in research, suggest institutional barriers to access that may warrant attention by the ASTS and the transplant surgery community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-252
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

Keywords

  • Career development
  • grant funding
  • policy
  • survey research
  • transplant surgeon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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