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Acad Med. 2019 Oct 15. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003044. [Epub ahead of print]

Perceptions of Pressures to Alter or Misrepresent Time Allocation Among Clinician-Researchers with NIH Career Development Awards.

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M.H. Moniz is assistant professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; ORCID: K.A. Griffith is statistician expert, Center for Cancer Biostatistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. R.D. Jones is research area specialist intermediate, Center for Bioethics and Social Science in Medicine and the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. C. Mangurian is professor and vice chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, California. R. Jagsi is Newman Family Professor, deputy chair, and residency program director, Department of Radiation Oncology, and director, Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; ORCID:



National Institutes of Health (NIH) career development (i.e., K) awards mandate specific allocations of effort to research and training. The authors sought to understand pressures perceived by award recipients to change or misrepresent effort, and whether these perceptions differed by gender.


In 2010-2011 and 2014, the authors surveyed K08 and K23 award recipients. Questions evaluated perceived pressure to change or misrepresent time allocation. Multivariable logistic regression modeling of pressure to misrepresent effort evaluated associations with individual and basic job characteristics.


Of the 1,719 faculty surveyed, 493 women and 573 (1,066 [62%]) responded at both time points. Most respondents reported feeling pressure to increase time spent on professional activities other than their K award-related research or career development or to decrease time on their K award-related research. The likelihood of perceiving pressure differed significantly by gender: 68% of women vs 55% of men (P < 0.001). A minority reported perceiving pressure to misrepresent professional time (women, 29%, vs men, 27%, P = 0.52). Multivariable analysis revealed that pressure to misrepresent professional time was less likely among respondents at institutions with the most extramural funding (P = 0.02). A significant pairwise interaction between gender and K award type suggested that female K08 awardees had higher odds than male peers to perceive pressure to misrepresent time.


Most K award recipients reported feeling pressure to do more non-K award-related activities. More than a quarter reported feeling pressure to misrepresent effort. Additional research is needed to evaluate the proportion of academic medical faculty who actually misrepresent professional effort.

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