To gain information from KL2 alumni about their experiences both during and after KL2 support
The CTSA Program Steering Committee has established a task force to identify ways to sustain the careers of translational scientists. In an effort to understand the barriers and facilitators to a career in clinical and translational science, the taskforce surveyed former participants of the CTSA KL2 mechanism. The purpose was to gain information from KL2 alumni about their experiences both during and after KL2 support. An initial survey was sent in January of 2019 and an expanded follow-up survey was sent in August of 2019. This summary report address the results of the August 2019 follow-up.
The survey was sent via REDCap to a list of 2,144 KL2 alumni emails provided to CLIC by NCATS. A total of 547 unique responses were cultivated over the life of the survey resulting in a 25.5% response rate. Responses were collected between 8/12/19 and 10/4/19 with one reminder sent on 8/22/19. The survey was comprised of both quantitative and qualitative questions. All responses were analyzed systematically, aggregated to preserve anonymity and identifying information has been redacted for reporting purposes.
Demographically, the majority of respondents (60.0%) were Female (Male = 39.3%). In addition, 15.6% of survey respondents self-identified as a minority underrepresented in Clinical and Translational Science in accordance with the official NIH definition. Approximately 9.2% of respondents indicated that they were from a disadvantaged background. A plurality (47.2%) had MD degrees, 36.1% had PhDs, and 12.8% had MD/PhD degrees (the rest had other clinical or research degrees). A total of 62.7% of respondents had completed their KL2 program less than 6 years ago.
At the request of the STARWORKS working group, some categorical responses of “Other” were re-organized for practical interpretation. Individuals who responded that they had applied for or received “Other (unspecified)” grants were re-categorized into established categories for which they met criteria and, for reporting purposes, their responses were re-classified to “Did not apply for this type of grant” (n< 60 participants). Additionally, responses of “Other Clinical” or “Other Research” terminal degrees were re-categorized into the corresponding MD degree category (n=11). Instances where responses have been re-categorized are noted in the summary by an asterisk and notes on the transformation have been included in the corresponding appendix table. All data are stored in both original and re-classified forms.
Fully 94.9% of respondents currently held an academic position. Physicians reported spending approximately 50% of their time in research and 30% in patient care, whereas PhDs reported spending approximately 70% time in research. About half of participants (270, 49.9%) indicated that they hold a role in administration or leadership in their current position (specific examples and descriptions of which can be found in the report and a full list in the appendix). After completing their award period, approximately 4 out of 5 KL2 graduates applied for extramural funding as PI or multi-PI. Factors cited as contributing to career success included protected time, mentoring, and collaborations.
Approximately 80% of respondents were satisfied with the direction in which their career was progressing and approximately 95% believed that their current job is meaningful. Two-thirds of respondents felt confident or very confident in their ability to sustain a career in clinical and translational research.
Please log in to access this content