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Attacks on minoritized communities and increasing awareness of the societal causes of health disparities have combined to highlight deep systemic inequities. In response, academic health centers have prioritized justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in their strategic goals. To have a sustained impact, JEDI efforts cannot be siloed; rather, they must be woven into the fabric of our work and systematically assessed to promote meaningful outcomes and accountability. To this end, the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Clinical Research Education assembled a task force to create and apply a rubric to identify short and long-term JEDI goals, assess the current state of JEDI at our Institute, and make recommendations for immediate action. To ensure deep buy-in, we gathered input from diverse members of our academic community, who served on targeted subcommittees. We then applied a three-step process to ensure rapid forward progress. We emerged with concrete actions for priority focus and a plan for ongoing assessment of JEDI institutionalization. We believe our process and rubric offer a scalable and adaptable model for other institutions and departments to follow as we work together across academic medical institutions to put our justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion goals into meaningful action.
High writing self-efficacy and self-regulation are tied to publication and grant submission. Writers with these attributes are more productive. We investigated whether participating in a Shut Up & Write!®-style intervention (SUAW) would produce statistically significant gains in writing self-efficacy and self-regulation when comparing pre-post-participation surveys.
Forty-seven medical students, TL1/KL2, and early-career faculty from across the USA expressed interest in participating, with 37 completing the pre-survey. We conducted (on Zoom) a 12-week SUAW series and measured the effect using a pre-post survey adapted from the Writer Self-Perception Scale. Paired t-tests (α = 0.05) were conducted on three subscales to test for significant differences between pre- and post-test means. The subscales reflected writing attitudes, writing strategies, and avoiding writing distractions. Subscales showed acceptable internal consistency with Cronbach’s alphas of 0.80, 0.71, and 0.72, respectively.
Twenty-seven participants attended at least one session. Of these, 81% presented as female, and 60% were from NIH-defined Underrepresented Backgrounds and/or were from Minority-Serving Institutions. Twenty-four completed both the pre- and post-surveys. Sixty percent previously participated in an activity similar to SUAW. We found significant improvements in writing attitudes (p = 0.020) and writing strategies (p = 0.041) for those who previously participated. For those who had not previously participated, we found improved writing strategies (p = 0.002). Eighty percent were very satisfied/satisfied with SUAW.
Researchers have tied writing self-efficacy and self-regulation to timely publication and grant submission. We found significant gains in self-efficacy and self-regulation, suggesting that participation in a SUAW-style intervention may increase writing productivity.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Writing self-efficacy & self-regulation are tied to publication & grant submission” writers high in these traits are more productive. We investigated if participating in Shut Up & Write! would produce statistically significant gains in self-efficacy & self-regulation when comparing pre/post surveys. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: 47 US med students, TL1/KL2, & early-career faculty expressed interest in participating. We conducted a 12-week, 1 hr/week Shut Up & Write!-style (SUAW) activity, held on Zoom, and measured the effect using a pre-post survey adapted from the Writer Self-Perception Scale. Matched pairs t-tests (I2=0.05) to test for significant differences between pre- and post-test means were conducted on 3 subscales. The 3 subscales reflected writing attitudes (self-efficacy), writing strategies (self-regulation), and avoiding writing distractions (self-regulation). Subscales showed acceptable internal consistency with Cronbach’s alphas of 0.80, 0.71, and 0.72. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: 24/37 (65%) completed pre-post surveys. 81% presented as female. 60% were NIH-defined URB and/or were from MSIs. 60% previously participated in an activity similar to SUAW. Sum scale statistics for those who previously participated were significant for the self-efficacy subscale (p=0.020) and writing strategies subscale (p=0.041). Sum scale statistics for those who had not previously participated were significant for the writing strategies subscale (p=0.002). We saw no difference in the avoiding writing distractions subscale. 80% were very satisfied/satisfied with SUAW (I really loved these sessions” they helped me to identify a writing goal that could actually be accomplished in an hour.) DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We found significant differences in self-efficacy & self-regulation, building upon findings from a 2021 pilot, and providing evidence that regular participation in an activity like SUAW produces increased self-efficacy and self-regulation and may increase manuscript and grant-writing productivity
In 2015, the University of Pittsburgh partnered with several Minority Serving Institutions to develop the Leading Emerging and Diverse Scientists to Success (LEADS) Program. LEADS was designed to provide skills development, mentoring, and networking support to early career underrepresented faculty.
LEADS included three components: skills training (e.g., grant and manuscript writing and team science), mentoring, and networking opportunities. Scholars completed a pre- and post-test survey and an annual alumni survey that included measures on burnout, motivation, leadership, professionalism, mentoring, job and career satisfaction, networking, and an assessment of their research self-efficacy.
Scholars demonstrated a significant increase in their research self-efficacy having completed all the modules (t = 6.12; P < 0.001). Collectively, LEADS scholars submitted 73 grants and secured 46 grants for a 63% success rate. Most scholars either agreed or strongly agreed that their mentor was effective in helping to develop their research skills (65%) and provided effective counseling (56%). Scholars did experience increased burnout with 50% feeling burned out at the exit survey (t = 1.42; P = 0.16) and 58% reporting feelings of burnout at the most recent survey in 2020 (t = 3.96; P < 0.001).
Our findings support the claim that participation in LEADS enhanced critical research skills, provided networking and mentoring opportunities, and contributed to research productivity for scientists from underrepresented backgrounds.
Social unrest tied to racism negatively impacted half of NIH-funded extramural researchers underrepresented (UR) in science. UR early-career scientists encounter more challenges in their research careers, but the impact of social unrest due to systemic racism in this group is unclear. We used mixed methods to describe the impact of social unrest due to systemic racism on mentoring relationships, research, and psychological well-being in UR post-doctoral fellows and early-career faculty.
This is a cross-sectional analysis of data collected in September 2021–January 2022 from 144 UR early-career researchers from 25 academic medical centers in the Building Up Trial. The primary outcomes were agreement on five-point Likert scales with social unrest impact statements (e.g., “I experienced psychological distress due to events of social unrest regarding systemic racism”). Thematic analysis was conducted on responses to one open-ended question assessing how social unrest regarding systemic racism affected participants.
Most participants were female (80%), non-Hispanic Black (35%), or Hispanic (40%). Over half of participants (57%) experienced psychological distress as a result of social unrest due to systemic racism. Participants described direct and indirect discrimination and isolation from other persons of color at their institutions. Twice as many participants felt their mentoring relationships were positively (21%) versus negatively (11%) impacted by social unrest due to systemic racism.
Experiences with racial bias and discrimination impact the career and well-being of UR early-career researchers. Mentoring relationships and institutional support play an important role in buffering the negative impact of racial injustice for this population.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Writers with high self-efficacy perform better than writers with low self-efficacy regardless of writing ability. We investigated whether Shut Up & WriteÂ® (SUAW), a less-intensive writing intervention, produced gains in writing self-efficacy similar to those reported by intensive, longer-term interventions. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Meetings were held 2x/wk for 5 wks via Zoom, for 1 hour. Participants were encouraged to attend at least 1x/wk. The 1st few mins were devoted to a discussion of what each person planned to work on. Then, a timer was set and each writer muted themselves, shuttered their webcam, and wrote. When the alarm sounded, everyone returned to the group, and discussed what was accomplished. We measured writing self-efficacy before & after participating in SUAW using a pre-post survey design and used two-tailed paired t-tests to test for significant differences between pre- and post-test means. SUAW participants (n=23) were in 1 of 2 categories: 10 were self-selected LEADS scholars from MSIs, and 13 were medical students in a palliative care program. 86% were URB, 78% were female. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Seven (30%) SUAW participants completed both the pre- and post-survey. Individuals showed significantly higher agreement from pre-to-post on the self-efficacy item “I have a generally positive attitude toward writing” (p=0.047) using a 5-point Likert scale from “completely agree” to “completely disagree.” Most other items did not indicate significant change between pre- and post-survey. The mean of the question “How satisfied were you with this Shut Up & Write activity?” which appeared only on the post-survey (n=10) was 1.10 (1=extremely satisfied, 5=extremely dissatisfied). Anticipated result: We suspect that the benefits of SUAW are best actualized by ongoing attendance, and that benefits are cumulative. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We found that participation in SUAW promotes writing self-efficacy in early-career URB researchers. This is an exciting finding because publishing ones research is essential for academic advancement, and research supports a relationship between writing self-efficacy and writing production. This may curtail URB scientists’ rate of attrition.
Underrepresented minorities have higher attrition from the professoriate and have experienced greater negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this study was to compare the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of 196 early-career physician-scientists versus PhD researchers who are underrepresented in biomedical research. Participants in the Building Up study answered questions on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their personal and professional lives, and a mixed-methods approach was used to conduct the analysis. While most participants experienced increases in overall stress (72% of PhD researchers vs 76% of physician-scientists), physician-scientists reported that increased clinical demands, research delays, and the potential to expose family members to SARS-CoV-2 caused psychological distress, specifically. PhD researchers, more than physician-scientists, reported increased productivity (27% vs 9%), schedule flexibilities (49% vs 25%), and more quality time with friends and family (40% vs 24%). Future studies should consider assessing the effectiveness of programs addressing COVID-19-related challenges experienced by PhD researchers and physician-scientists, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds.
The Building Up Trial is a cluster-randomized trial that aims to address the issue of the leaky career pathway for underrepresented (UR) faculty in biomedical fields. Regulatory approval and recruitment for the Building Up Trial took place during the COVID-19 pandemic and the anti-racism movement. The pandemic and anti-racism movement personally and professionally impacted the target population and made recruitment challenging at both the institution and participant level. The target sample size for this study was 208 postdoctoral fellows or early-career faculty across 26 predominately white institutions. Challenges and adaptations are described. The Building Up Trial was delayed by 3 months. In total, 225 participants from 26 institutions were enrolled. Participants are predominately female (80%), Hispanic/Latinx (34%) or non-Hispanic/Latinx Black (33%), and early-career faculty (53%). At the institution level, obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval through a single Institutional Review Board (sIRB) posed the biggest challenge. We adapted to COVID-19-related challenges through simplifying sIRB forms, modifying study practices, and increasing communication with institutions. Recruiting UR postdoctoral fellows and faculty during the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-racism movement was challenging but not impossible. Studies should be prepared to modify study and recruitment policies to overcome additional barriers posed by the pandemics.
High impact biomedical research is increasingly conducted by large, transdisciplinary, multisite teams in an increasingly collaborative environment. Thriving in this environment requires robust teamwork skills, which are not acquired automatically in the course of traditional scientific education. Team science skills training does exist, but most is directed at clinical care teams, not research teams, and little is focused on the specific training needs of early-career investigators, whose early team leadership experiences may shape their career trajectories positively or negatively. Our research indicated a need for team science training designed specifically for early-career investigators.
To address this need, we designed and delivered a 2-day workshop focused on teaching team science skills to early-career investigators. We operationalized team science competencies, sought the advice of team science experts, and performed a needs assessment composed of a survey and a qualitative study. Through these multiple approaches, we identified and grouped training priorities into three broad training areas and developed four robust, hands-on workshop sessions.
Attendees comprised 30 pre- and post-doc fellows (TL1) and early-career faculty (KL2 and K12). We assessed impact with a pre- and post-workshop survey adapted from the Team Skills Scale. Results from the pre- and post-test Wilcoxon signed-rank analysis (n = 25) showed statistically significant improvement in team science skills and confidence. Open-ended responses indicated that the workshop focus was appropriate and well targeted to the trainees’ needs.
Although team science education is still very much in its infancy, these results suggest that training targeted to early-career investigators improves team skills and may foster improved collaboration.
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