Objective: To evaluate the Grant Generating Project (GGP), a program designed to train and assist family medicine researchers to secure funding as part of an overall strategy to increase research capacity in family medicine.
Study design: Cross-sectional mail survey.
Population: First- through fourth-year participants in the GGP program starting from 1995. Participants were faculty members of American and Canadian family medicine departments.
Outcome measured: We measured cardinal features of primary care quality including first-contact care (accessibility and utilization), longitudinality (strength of affiliation and interpersonal relationship), comprehensiveness (services offered and received), and coordination of care.
Results: Most (18 of 23) GGP participants completed the survey. A total of 58 grants/contracts were submitted by respondents, representing approximately US$19.3 million. Currently, 17 (29%) are pending, representing $10.8 million (including training grants). Given the current track record, $4.8 million additional grants funds could be generated. GGP strengths cited by respondents included an effort to enhance family medicine research; personal attention, guidance, motivation, and feedback from GGP faculty and mentors; development of grant-writing skills; encouragement to attend family medicine meetings; ability to meet and learn from peers; mock study section experience; and the ability to teach, mentor, and encourage others as the GGP experience did for them. Major challenges cited were a variable degree of commitment from mentors, lack of a long-term commitment to participants, and difficulty accommodating the research focus and skill level of participants. In general, most respondents regarded the GGP program as well worth the time and effort invested.
Conclusions: One to 2 years after participating in the program, participants achieved a remarkable track record of grant submissions. Moreover, the GGP program has had a substantial impact on participants; many are now teaching and mentoring others in their department. If sustained, the program will greatly increase the research capacity of the discipline of family medicine.