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Federal Funding in Emergency Medicine: Demographics and Perspectives of Awardees

  • Author(s): Chai, Peter R.
  • Carreiro, Stephanie
  • Chapman, Brittany P.
  • Boyer, Edward W.
  • O'Laughlin, Kelli N.
  • et al.
Abstract

Introduction: Emergency physicians face multiple challenges to obtaining federal funding. The objective of this investigation was to describe the demographics of federally-funded emergency physicians and identify key challenges in obtaining funding.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective database search of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (NIH RePORTER) to collect data regarding the distribution and characteristics of federally-funded grants awarded to emergency medicine (EM) principal investigators between 2010-2017.  An electronic survey was then administered to the identified investigators to obtain additional demographic data, and information regarding their career paths, research environment, and perceived barriers to obtaining federal funding.

Results: We identified 219, corresponding to 51 unique, mentored career development awardees and 105 independent investigators. Sixty-two percent of investigators responded to the electronic survey. Awardees were predominantly White males, although a larger portion of the mentored awardee group was female. Greater than half of respondents reported their mentor to be outside of the field of EM. The most common awarding institution was the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Respondents identified barriers in finding adequate mentorship, time to gather preliminary data, and the quality of administrative support.

Conclusion: The last five years have showed a trend toward increasing grants awarded to EM investigators; however, we identified several barriers to funding. Initiatives geared toward support and mentorship of junior faculty, particularly to females, minorities, and those in less heavily funded areas of the country are warranted.

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