Poster Paper: The Effects of the CTSA Program on Academic Innovation and Performance

Saturday, November 5, 2016
Columbia Ballroom (Washington Hilton)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

MengHao Li, George Mason University

In 2006, NIH established the CTSA programs “to provide catalysts and test beds for policies and practices that can benefit clinical and translational research organizations throughout the country across the United States.” The CTSA programs have increased from 12 sites (2006) to 62 sites (2015), which are housed at medical institutions. The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is one of the medical institutes to receive the CTSA award and established the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) in July, 2008. This project used the CCTS as a case study to understand whether the CTSA program made significant impacts on academic innovation and performance of biomedical scientists at UIC.

The project retrieved data from UIC grant submission system and CCTS administration records, including CCTS service usage (policy intervention), PI/CoPI, grant proposal collaboration networks (two-mode networks), and grant awards. The final sample of this project is 408 biomedical scientists who have submitted grant proposals between 2005 and 2012 at UIC. The project compared two time periods, 2005-2008 (t1) and 2009-2012 (t2), to understand how the CTSA program (2008) affects academic innovation and performance. The difference-in-difference estimator was used to examine whether the CTSA program can make significant differences between t1 and t2. The results indicate that the CTSA program significantly contributes to academic innovation. The CCTS users (vs. non-CCTS users) with large collaboration size will have higher academic innovation.

Since the CTSA policy intervention has a positive effect on academic innovation, this project suggests that NIH should continue to implement the CTSA program to facilitate academic innovation. Moreover, this project utilized social capital theory to explain the effect of scientific collaboration on academic innovation and performance. The results supported the theory suggesting that a scientist who has larger network size will have more grant proposal submission. Hence, this project suggests that (1) NIH should encourage scientists to form a research team in the process of grant proposal submission, though there might be communication costs for collaboration. (2) NIH should allocate funds to explore the ideal types and properties of scientific collaboration in different research fields. The findings can help scientists understand what collaboration types can effectively improve their academic innovation.