Funding, Mentors Critical for Academic Rheumatology Careers

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Funding, Mentors Critical for Academic Rheumatology Careers
Funding, Mentors Critical for Academic Rheumatology Careers

THURSDAY, Sept. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Funding and division/department support are ranked as critical factors in enabling rheumatologists to develop a career in academic research, according to a study published in the September issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Alexis Ogdie, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a web-based survey (January-March 2014) of American College of Rheumatology (ACR) members to assess research participation, barriers to and facilitators of a research career, reasons for leaving a research career, and ways the ACR could support junior investigators.

Among the 502 respondents (9.2 percent response rate) were fellows, young investigators, established investigators, mentors, clinicians, and those who previously pursued a research career but have chosen a different career path. The researchers found that the most highly ranked barriers and facilitators were funding and mentoring. Other factors ranked highly included protection from clinical and administrative duties, institutional support, and personal characteristics such as resilience and persistence. Difficulty obtaining funding and lack of department or division support were the most commonly cited reasons for leaving an academic research career.

"Knowledge of such barriers and facilitators may assist in designing interventions to support investigators during vulnerable points in their career development," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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