Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2012 Indianapolis Meeting

Poster Presentation:

COMSEP Small Grants Program: Outcomes and Impressions of Initial Participants

Sherilyn Smith, MD - University of Washington; Roger L Berkow, MD - University of Alabama at Birmingham; Larrie Greenberg, MD - The george Washington University School of Medicine; Robin R Deterding, MD - University of Colorado

Background: Few publications have addressed scholarly productivity of pediatric clerkship directors as part of institutional academic missions. Limited information suggests that clerkship directors have difficulty producing scholarship because of time restraints and lack of resources. To promote more scholarship by clerkship directors, COMSEP created a small grants program in 2006. 

Purpose: Describe the outcomes of those grants awarded and the reflections of COMSEP awardees regarding the impact of the grant awards from the first 3 years of the program (2006-2008).

Design/Methods: All COMSEP small grant awardees received an online confidential survey requesting information about the scope of the project, anticipated and actual outcomes, evidence of dissemination and impressions about the impact on receiving the grant on their career. Researchers reviewed Pub Med, Google Scholar and the online educational meeting abstracts from 2010 and 2011 to update the information received in 2010. For quantitative data, descriptive statistics were calculated. Free text responses were reviewed by two researchers independently, major themes abstracted and consensus about content was achieved through serial discussions.

Results: Survey response rate was 100% (8/8). Funded projects included 3 educational innovations, 4 research projects and 1 project that combined innovation and research. The majority of respondents (7/8) disseminated their work through 4 publications, 5 platform presentations at national meetings, 13 poster presentations at national meetings and 3 local presentations.  All felt that the grant was helpful in achieving their career goals and all but one respondent (n=7/8) felt that the grant was important for faculty promotions.  All respondents felt that the time and effort devoted to grant preparation was worthwhile and resulted in a positive outcome. Respondents rated the following aspects of the grant program as important or very important: identifying a local mentor (75%); receiving feedback (87.5%) and support from their chairman (100%).

Conclusion: Recipients of COMSEP small grants disseminate their scholarly work and felt participation in the program had a large positive effect on their career.  Feedback, local mentorship and support by their chairmen were felt to be key aspects of the program.