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ARRA Investments in Career Development: Comparative Effectiveness Research


Public Health Burden
Across the United States, clinicians and patients confront important health care decisions without adequate information. Due to astonishing achievements in biomedical science, clinicians and patients often have a wide variety of choices when making decisions about diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. However, it is frequently unclear which therapeutic choice works best for whom, when, and in what circumstances. Comparative effectiveness research (CER) helps provide information that helps clinicians and patients choose which option best fits an individual patient's needs and preferences. In addition, policy makers and public health professionals need to know what approaches work best to prevent illness and disease.

Institutional Comparative Effectiveness Research Mentored Career Development Award (KM1)
Comparative effectiveness research (CER) assesses the relative impact of different options for the detection, treatment, or management of a medical condition in a specific patient population. Clinicians and scholars who conduct this type of research must have expertise in the medical condition and interventions under study and the ability to evaluate, interpret, and integrate evidence using the appropriate methodology. ARRA-funded Mentored Career Development Awards will enable research institutions to train and build interdisciplinary teams of scholars to pursue CER. These programs will support the expansion of the nation’s workforce of health professionals who have expertise and experience in CER, which will enhance the quality of the nation’s health:
  • Columbia University will establish the IMMERSE (Innovative Mentoring and MPH [Master of Public Health] Education in Research and Scientific Excellence) Program in CER to provide mentoring and training in skills essential to conducting CER. This program will enhance the career development of faculty from diverse disciplines and career levels. Program participants will gain an expertise in advanced CER methods and experimental approaches that will allow them to successfully compete for external funding in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences.1
  • Tufts University will develop a comprehensive infrastructure through its Clinical and Translational Institute (CTSI) to support the development of innovative methods and training for fellows and scholars in CER. The CTSI offers an array of disciplines, novel methods, and collaborative research opportunities focused on "bedside-to-practice" and "practice-to-policy" translational research.2
  • Washington University will use existing infrastructure, which includes the Center for Clinical Research Training, the Institute of Public Health, and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences, to develop and implement a new CER career development program. This program provides protected time, salary support, and research training for investigators from diverse disciplines to obtain specialized skills in CER. These investigators will conduct research to determine the best treatments, tests, and procedures for patients, leading to improved health outcomes and a reduction of costs for unnecessary or ineffective treatments.3
  • The University of Pennsylvania will initiate a program to support the development of postdoctoral fellows and junior and senior faculty members to pursue careers in CER. Candidates supported through this program will complete research projects that focus on the generation, translation, and dissemination of evidence in CER, including evidence related to prognostic, preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, or palliative medical interventions.4
  • The University of Utah will establish a training program in the emerging field of Translational Comparative Effectiveness Research (T-CER). This program will train diverse groups of scholars in conducting and disseminating T-CER that is relevant to stakeholders, aligned with national priorities, and able to improve healthcare delivery and health outcomes. The program will track and measure the scholars' research productivity, implementation, and dissemination, as well as the effect of their research on communities, health care systems, and health outcomes locally and/or nationally.5
  • The University of Chicago will collaborate with the University of Illinois at Chicago in a joint mentored career development program in CER for faculty, fellows, and postdoctoral scholars. This program will offer instruction in the fundamentals of CER and experimental training in the design of clinical trials, information and decision analytic approaches, or methodologies for observational data analysis in CER. Scholars will develop and implement their own research projects and will be encouraged to apply for external funds to support their research after completing their training.6
  • Duke University will develop an interdisciplinary CER training program focused on biostatistics, cancer, and cardiology. This program will match mentors from diverse CER methodological backgrounds with scholars committed to a career in CER. A "team science" approach will emphasize statistical methodology, medical insight, and cross-discipline communication.7
  • The Oregon Health and Science University will develop a summer institute to attract interested individuals from a national audience to receive training in the fundamentals CER through a certificate program. A summer institute will be offered each year to stimulate CER and mentoring on a large national scale.8



  1. 1KM1CA156709-01 – Innovative mentoring and MPH education in research and scientific excellence in CER – Begg, Melissa D. (NY)
  2. 1KM1CA156726-01 – Tufts CTSI career development program in comparative effectiveness research – Selker, Harry M. (MA)
  3. 1KM1CA156708-01 – Washington University CER mentored career development award KM1 – Fraser, Victoria J. (MO)
  4. 1KM1CA156715-01 – Career development in comparative effectiveness research – Metlay, Joshua P. (PA)
  5. 1KM1CA156723-01 – Mentored scholars program for translational comparative effectiveness research – Byington, Carrie L. (UT)
  6. 1KM1CA156717-01 – UC/UIC Comparative effectiveness research institutional career development award – Meltzer, David O. (IL)
  7. 1KM1CA156687-01 – Inter-disciplinary program for training and mentoring in CER methods and practice – Delong, Elizabeth R. (NC)
  8. 1KM1CA031878-01 – Oregon institute for comparative effectiveness – Guise, Jeanne-Marie (OR)


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