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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
Underrepresented researchers face more challenges than their well-represented counterparts. Perseverance and consistency of interest are associated with career success in well-represented physicians. Therefore, we examined associations of perseverance and consistency of interest with Clinical Research Appraisal Inventory (CRAI), science identity, and other factors related to career success among underrepresented post-doctoral fellows and early-career faculty.
This is a cross-sectional analysis of data collected from September to October 2020 among 224 underrepresented early-career researchers at 25 academic medical centers in the Building Up Trial. We used linear regression to test associations of perseverance and consistency of interest scores with CRAI, science identity, and effort/reward imbalance (ERI) scores.
The cohort is 80% female, 33% non-Hispanic Black, and 34% Hispanic. The median perseverance and consistency of interest scores were 3.8 (25th–75th percentile: 3.7,4.2) and 3.7 (25th–75th percentile: 3.2, 4.0), respectively. Higher perseverance was associated with a higher CRAI score (β = 0.82; 95% CI = 0.30, 1.33, p = 0.002) and science identity (β = 0.44; 95% CI = 0.19, 0.68, p = 0.001). Higher consistency of interest was associated with a higher CRAI score (β = 0.60; 95% CI = 0.23, 0.96, p = 0.001) and higher science identity score (β = 0.20; 95% CI = 0.03, 0.36, p = 0.02), while lower consistency of interest was associated with imbalance favoring effort (β = –0.22; 95% CI = –0.33, –0.11, p = 0.001).
We found that perseverance and consistency of interest are related to CRAI and science identity, indicating that these factors may positively influence one’s decision to stay in research.
The COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate impact on the lives and work of early-career researchers. We leveraged a cluster-randomized trial and compared survey data collected over two timepoints to explore whether these impacts persisted. Although more than a year had passed, 74% of participants reported that their research was affected in multiple ways in both 2020 and 2021. These data suggest that the effects of the pandemic on early-career researchers may be prolonged. Our findings additionally serve as an impetus to identify and implement solutions to early-career challenges that undoubtedly existed before the pandemic, but which COVID-19 brought into the spotlight.
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.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: The use of Human Centered Design (HCD) to improve the quality of team science is a recent application, and HCDs benefits and challenges have not been rigorously evaluated. We conducted a qualitative study with health sciences researchers trained in HCD methods to determine how they applied HCD methods and perceived its benefits and challenges. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: The University of Pittsburgh offered HCD training to three cohorts of research scientists (staff as well as faculty) over a three-year period. The training was provided by the LUMA Institute, a premier HCD design firm with a highly regarded training program. We then evaluated this training by conducting 1-hour, semi-structured interviews with trainees from three training cohorts. Interviews focused on perceptions of the training, subsequent uses of HCD, barriers and facilitators, and perceptions of the utility of HCD to science teams. Data analysis was conducted using Braun and Clarkes process for thematic analysis. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: We interviewed 18 researchers (nine faculty and nine staff) trained in HCD methods and identified distinct themes regarding HCD use and its perceived benefits and challenges. Trainees found HCD relevant to research teams for stakeholder engagement, research design, project planning, meeting facilitation, and team management. They also described benefits of HCD in five distinct areas: creativity, egalitarianism, structure, efficiency, and visibility. We also identified challenges, including tensions between HCD approaches and academic culture. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data suggest that HCD has the potential to help researchers work more inclusively and collaboratively on interdisciplinary teams and generate more innovative and impactful science. The application of HCD methods is not without challenges; however, we believe these challenges can be overcome with institutional investment.
Identifying the most effective ways to support career development of early stage investigators in clinical and translational science should yield benefits for the biomedical research community. Institutions with Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) offer KL2 programs to facilitate career development; however, the sustained impact has not been widely assessed.
A survey comprised of quantitative and qualitative questions was sent to 2144 individuals that had previously received support through CTSA KL2 mechanisms. The 547 responses were analyzed with identifying information redacted.
Respondents held MD (47%), PhD (36%), and MD/PhD (13%) degrees. After KL2 support was completed, physicians’ time was divided 50% to research and 30% to patient care, whereas PhD respondents devoted 70% time to research. Funded research effort averaged 60% for the cohort. Respondents were satisfied with their career progression. More than 95% thought their current job was meaningful. Two-thirds felt confident or very confident in their ability to sustain a career in clinical and translational research. Factors cited as contributing to career success included protected time, mentoring, and collaborations.
This first large systematic survey of KL2 alumni provides valuable insight into the group’s perceptions of the program and outcome information. Former scholars are largely satisfied with their career choice and direction, national recognition of their expertise, and impact of their work. Importantly, they identified training activities that contributed to success. Our results and future analysis of the survey data should inform the framework for developing platforms to launch sustaining careers of translational scientists.
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.
Human-centered design (HCD) training offers the potential to improve both team processes and products. However, the use of HCD to improve the quality of team science is a relatively recent application, and its benefits and challenges have not been rigorously evaluated. We conducted a qualitative study with health sciences researchers trained in HCD methods. We aimed to determine how researchers applied HCD methods and perceived the benefits and barriers to using HCD on research teams.
We conducted 1-hour, semi-structured interviews with trainees from three training cohorts. Interviews focused on perceptions of the training, subsequent uses of HCD, barriers and facilitators, and perceptions of the utility of HCD to science teams. Data analysis was conducted using Braun and Clarke’s process for thematic analysis.
We interviewed nine faculty and nine staff trained in HCD methods and identified four themes encompassing HCD use, benefits, challenges, and tensions between HCD approaches and academic culture.
Trainees found HCD relevant to research teams for stakeholder engagement, research design, project planning, meeting facilitation, and team management. They also described benefits of HCD in five distinct areas: creativity, egalitarianism, structure, efficiency, and visibility. Our data suggest that HCD has the potential to help researchers work more inclusively and collaboratively on interdisciplinary teams and generate more innovative and impactful science. The application of HCD methods is not without challenges; however, we believe these challenges can be overcome with institutional investment.
Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) TL1 trainees and KL2 scholars were surveyed to determine the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on training and career development. The most negative impact was lack of access to research facilities, clinics, and human subjects, plus for KL2 scholars lack of access to team members and need for homeschooling. TL1 trainees reported having more time to think and write. Common strategies to maintain research productivity involved time management, virtual connections with colleagues, and shifting to research activities not requiring laboratory/clinic settings. Strategies for mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on training and career development are described.
The need to diversify the biomedical research workforce is well documented. The importance of fostering the careers of fledgling underrepresented background (URB) biomedical researchers is evident in light of the national and local scarcity of URB scientists in biomedical research. The Career Education and Enhancement for Health Care Research Diversity (CEED) program at the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE) was designed to promote career success and help seal the “leaky pipeline” for URB researchers. In this study, we aimed to quantify CEED’s effect on several key outcomes by comparing CEED Scholars to a matched set of URB ICRE trainees not enrolled in CEED using data collected over 10 years.
We collected survey data on CEED Scholars from 2007 to 2017 and created a matched set of URB trainees not enrolled in CEED using propensity score matching in a 1:1 ratio. Poisson regression was used to compare the rate of publications between CEED and non-CEED URB trainees after adjusting for baseline number of publications.
CEED has 45 graduates. Seventy-six percent are women, 78% are non-White, and 33% are Hispanic/Latino. Twenty-four CEED Scholars were matched to non-CEED URB trainees. Compared to matched URB trainees, CEED graduates had more peer-reviewed publications (p=0.0261) and were more likely to be an assistant professor (p=0.0145).
Programs that support URB researchers can help expand and diversify the biomedical research workforce. CEED has been successful despite the challenges of a small demographic pool.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: The need to diversify the biomedical research workforce is well documented. The Career Education and Enhancement for Health Care Research Diversity (CEED) program at the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE) promotes success and helps seal the “leaky pipeline” for under-represented background (URB) biomedical researchers with a purposefully designed program consisting of a monthly seminar series, multilevel mentoring, targeted coursework, and networking. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Over 10 program years, we collected survey data on characteristics of CEED Scholars, such as race, ethnicity, and current position. We created a matched set of URB trainees not enrolled in CEED during that time using propensity score matching in a 1:1 ratio. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Since 2007, CEED has graduated 45 Scholars. Seventy-six percent have been women, 78% have been non-White, and 33% have been Hispanic/Latino. Scholars include 20 M.D.s and 25 Ph.D.s. Twenty-eight CEED Scholars were matched to non-CEED URB students. Compared with matched URB students, CEED graduates had a higher mean number of peer-reviewed publications (9.25 vs. 5.89; p<0.0001) were more likely to hold an assistant professor position (54% vs. 14%; p=0.004) and be in the tenure stream (32% vs. 7%; p=0.04), respectively. There were no differences in Career Development Awards (p=0.42) or Research Project Grants (p=0.24). DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Programs that support URB researchers can help expand and diversify the biomedical research workforce. CEED has been successful despite the challenges of a small demographic pool. Further efforts are needed to assist URB researchers to obtain grant awards.
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