Evaluating the Productivity of VA, NIH, and AHRQ Health Services Research Center Development Awardees




To evaluate the academic advancement and productivity of Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Career Development Award (CDA) program recipients, National Institutes of Health (NIH) K awardees in health services research (HSR), and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) K awardees.


In all, 219 HSR&D CDA recipients from fiscal year (FY) 1991 through FY2010; 154 NIH K01, K08, and K23 awardees FY1991-FY2010; and 69 AHRQ K01 and K08 awardees FY2000-FY2010 were included. Most data were obtained from curricula vitae. Academic advancement, publications, grants, recognition, and mentoring were compared after adjusting for years since award, and personal characteristics, training, and productivity prior to the award.


No significant differences emerged in covariate-adjusted tenure-track academic rank, number of grants as primary investigator (PI), major journal articles as first/sole author, Hirsch h-index scores, likelihood of a journal editorship position or membership in a major granting review panel, or mentoring postgraduate researchers between the HSR&D CDA and NIH K awardees from FY1991-FY2010, or among the three groups of awardees from FY2000 or later. Among those who reported grant funding levels, HSR&D CDAs from FY1991-2010 had been PI on more grants of $100,000 than NIH K awardees. HSR&D CDAs had a higher mean number of major journal articles than NIH K awardees from FY1991-2010.


Findings show that all three HSR career development programs are successfully selecting and mentoring awardees, ensuring additional HSR capacity to improve the quality and delivery of high-value care.