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Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Jun 15;64(12):1768-1772. doi: 10.1093/cid/cix242.

Measuring Success in Global Health Training: Data From 14 Years of a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine.

Author information

1
Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
2
UNC Project-China, Guangdong Provincial STD Control Center, and.
3
SESH Global, Guangzhou, China.
4
Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, Department of Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville.
5
Center for Global Health and Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and.
6
Department of Medicine, New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Albuquerque.
7
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego.
8
Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
9
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.
10
Division of Infectious Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles.
11
Internal Medicine and Microbiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City.
12
American Society of Clinical Pathology, Chicago, Illinois.
13
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
14
Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Departments of.
15
Medicine, and.
16
Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, and.
17
Infectious Diseases Division, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.
18
Department of Osteopathic Medical Specialties, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing ; and.
19
Blantyre Malaria Project, University of Malawi College of Medicine, Blantyre.

Abstract

Background.:

In modern academic medicine, especially in the fields of infectious diseases and global health, aspiring physician-scientists often wait years before achieving independence as basic, translational, and clinical investigators. This study employed mixed methods to evaluate the success of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund/American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (BWF/ASTMH) global health postdoctoral fellowship in promoting scientific independence.

Methods.:

We examined quantitative data obtained from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and qualitative data provided by the ASTMH and program participants to assess BWF/ASTMH trainees' success in earning NIH grants, publishing manuscripts, and gaining faculty positions. We also calculated the return on investment (ROI) associated with the training program by dividing direct costs of NIH research grants awarded to trainees by the direct costs invested by the BWF/ASTMH fellowship.

Results.:

Forty-one trainees received fellowships between 2001 and 2015. Within 3 years of completing their fellowships, 21 of 35 (60%) had received career development awards, and within 5 years, 12 of 26 (46%) had received independent research awards. Overall, 22 of 35 (63%) received 1 or more research awards. BWF/ASTMH recipients with at least 3 years of follow-up data had coauthored a mean of 36 publications (range, 2-151) and 29 of 35 (82%) held academic positions. The return on investment was 11.9 overall and 31.8 for fellowships awarded between 2001 and 2004.

Conclusions.:

Between 2001 and 2015, the BWF/ASTMH postdoctoral training program successfully facilitated progress to scientific independence. This program model underscores the importance of custom-designed postdoctoral training as a bridge to NIH awards and professional autonomy.

KEYWORDS:

global health; infectious diseases; postdoctoral training; publication; tropical medicine.

PMID:
28369324
PMCID:
PMC6248731
DOI:
10.1093/cid/cix242
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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