Study objective: To evaluate the change in mentee self-efficacy with regard to research, number of grant submissions, and total amount of new monies awarded to graduates of a novel, mentored, investigator-training program-the Focused Investigator Training (FIT) Program.
Design: Retrospective observational analysis.
Setting: American College of Clinical Pharmacy Research Institute.
Participants: Fifty-five mentees from the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 FIT Programs.
Intervention: The FIT Program is a novel, intensive, 5-day, mentored development "boot camp" for mid-career investigators holding research-intensive positions. The program consists of proposal groups of two mentors and two-four mentees, one-on-one office hours, lectures, panel discussions, directed readings, and small group sessions. Twelve highly successful researchers and biostatisticians were recruited as mentors. Mentees submitted a detailed proposal and received faculty feedback before the program.
Measurements and main results: The main outcomes of the FIT Program were mentee self-efficacy with regard to research, number of grant submissions, and total amount of new monies awarded to 2008 and 2009 FIT Program graduates. Univariate statistical analysis was conducted to determine characteristics of those FIT attendees with subsequent successful grantsmanship. A combined measure of self-confidence in successful grantsmanship was significantly increased after completion of the FIT program. More than $2.7 million was funded to FIT graduates as principal investigators, and as coinvestigators or subcontractors, an additional $382,000 was awarded in new funds. Seven mentees from the 2008 and 2009 classes received new federal funding, mostly through various K-type award mechanisms.
Conclusion: The FIT Program was associated with a significant increase in attendees' self-efficacy for obtaining external research funding. Program attendance was associated with numerous successfully funded grants by pharmacist investigators. Future FIT Program success hinges on attracting adequate numbers of qualified applicants.
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