Objectives:

Cardiothoracic (CT) surgeons with National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 funding face a highly competitive renewal process. The factors that contribute to successful grant renewal for CT surgeons remain poorly defined. We hypothesized that renewed basic science grants are associated with high research output and scholarly impact during the preceding award cycle.


Methods:

Using a database of academic CT surgeons (n = 992) at accredited training institutions in 2018, we identified basic science R01 grants awarded to CT surgeon principal investigators since 1985. Data for each award were obtained from publicly available online sources. Scholarly impact was evaluated using the NIH-validated relative citation ratio (RCR), defined as an article’s citation rate divided by that of R01-funded publications in the same field. Continuous data are presented as medians and analyzed using the Mann-Whitney test.


Results:

We identified 102 basic science R01 award cycles, including 33 that were renewed (32.4%). Renewed and nonrenewed awards had a similar start year and funding period. Principal investigators of renewed versus nonrenewed awards were similar in surgical subspecialty, research training, attending experience, academic rank, and previous NIH funding. Renewed awards produced more publications per year over the funding cycle (3.4 vs 1.5; P = .0010) and exhibited a greater median RCR during the funding cycle (0.84 vs 0.66; P = .0183).


Conclusions:

CT surgery basic science R01 grants are associated with high research output and scholarly impact. At the 50th percentile among renewed grants, CT surgeons published 3.4 funded manuscripts per year with a median RCR of 0.84 during the previous award cycle.


Keywords:

AATS, American Association for Thoracic Surgery; CT, cardiothoracic; NHLBI, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; NIH, National Institutes of Health; National Institutes of Health; PI, principal investigator; R01; RCR, relative citation ratio; RePORTER, Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools Expenditures and Results; funding; grant; surgeon scientist.



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Quantitative goals for research output and scholarly impact to enhance basic science R01 grant renewal for cardiothoracic surgeons

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