Background This report summarizes a survey conducted in 2004 by the Association of Clinical Research Training Program Directors' Evaluation Committee. The purpose of this survey was to determine the early capacity of the 59 National Institutes of Health (NIH) K30 programs (funded between 1999 and 2004) to produce clinical investigators trained in core skills required in clinical research.
Methods In July 2004, a 37-item Web-based survey was distributed to institutions funded by the NIH K30 award mechanism. Frequencies and proportions were computed for each categorical response, and means were calculated for nominal responses using SPSS, version 11.5 (SPSS, Chicago, IL). Items 7 (funding year) and 8 (recruitment year) were cross-tabulated to ascertain the tempo at which programs were able to establish their enrolment processes.
Results Forty-five of the 59 programs funded by the K30 award (76%) responded to this survey. The average number of active trainees in each program is 32. Women constitute 53% of active trainees, and 22% of them are underrepresented minorities. Ninety-six percent of active trainees have medical degrees. The average number of graduates over the 5-year funding period is 18. Of the graduates, 50% are women and 17% are underrepresented minorities. Fifty-six percent of them earned certificates, 44% earned master of science degrees, and 13% earned other degrees. Sixty-one percent of K30 program graduates have some extramural funding to support their research. The average number of publications per trainee for all trainees (active and graduate) is 2.3.
Conclusion The K30 program has been a catalyst at multiple US institutions for improving the pedagogy for clinical research training. It has successfully fulfilled the mandate set forth by the 1998 NIH Director's Panel on Clinical Research (Nathan Report).