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Advancing understanding of human health promotion and disease prevention and treatment often requires teamwork. To evaluate academic medical institutions’ support for team science in the context of researchers’ career development, we measured the value placed on team science and specificity of guidance provided for documenting team science contributions in the promotion and tenure (P&T) documents of Colleges/Schools of Medicine (CoMs) in the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences’ Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program.
We reviewed complete P&T documents from 57 of 63 CTSA CoMs to identify career paths defined by three dimensions: academic rank (associate versus full professor), tenure eligibility (tenure track versus not), and role (research, clinical, education, and administrative), and we rated team science value and documentation guidance for each path. Multilevel models were estimated to compare team science value and documentation guidance as a function of the three career path dimensions while accounting for the clustered data (N = 357 career paths within 57 CoMs).
Team science value was greater for associate than full professors, non-tenure-eligible versus tenure-eligible positions, and roles prioritizing clinical, education, and administrative responsibilities versus those prioritizing research. Guidance for documenting team science achievements was more explicit for roles that prioritized research.
Although P&T policies at most CTSA institutions express value for team science, inconsistent within-institutional patterns of recognition and reward across career paths may have implications for researchers’ involvement in team science. We discuss the implications of our findings for research and for P&T policies that promote team science.
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