Characteristics and Outcomes of Research Funded by the American Head and Neck Society Foundation

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JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg


© 2020 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. Importance: For decades, the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) has been providing funding for meritorious research to investigators for studies on head and neck cancer. Recently, the AHNS Foundation sought to evaluate the impact of its funds for investigators and research. Objective: To examine the mechanisms and outcomes of research funding by the AHNS. Design, Setting, and Participants: An online survey was sent to all AHNS grant-funded principal investigators who had received funds from 1998 to 2018. Over this time, approximately $1.5 million in grant funding was awarded for research. Grants were separated into 2 groups: pilot and resident grants (PRs), approximately $10 000 each type of grant for 1 year, and career development grants (CDAs), approximately $20 000 to $80 000 over 1 to 2 years. Results: Of 82 awardees, 49 individuals (60%) responded to the survey (36 men [73%]), including 28 recipients (57%) of PR grants and 21 recipients (43%) of CDA grants. Twenty-six studies (53%) were reported as translational, 20 studies (41%) were basic science, 2 studies (4%) were clinical, and 1 study (2%) was outcomes research. At the time of the award, 19 recipients (39%) were faculty/attending physicians, 11 recipients (22%) were fellows, and 19 recipients (39%) were residents/students. Twenty of 21 CDA grants (95%) were given to fellows or faculty. Thirty-seven grants (75%) resulted in publications, with a total of 84 publications reported. Nineteen CDA grants (90%) and 18 PR grants (64%) resulted in publication. Thirty-one (63%) investigators were awarded another grant after their AHNS grant: 19 CDA (90%), 8 pilot (44%), and 4 (40%) resident awardees reported having a future grant. Fourteen respondents (29%) reported a future K, R, or other major foundation grant. Of all awardees, 46 recipients (93%) were still conducting research and 40 recipients (82%) reported serving as academic faculty. Respondents also noted associations between grants and mentorship, investigator development, institutional support, and academic promotion. Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this study suggest that, over the past 20 years, the AHNS funding mechanism has resulted in 80% of awards generating publications and 63% resulting in future funding. The additional benefits of AHNS grant awards on the culture of research is also substantial. Continued analysis of these data may help guide future AHNS funding and award decisions.

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School of Medicine

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