Is There a Relationship between National Institutes of Health Funding and Research Impact on Academic Urology?

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Abstract

Purpose:

Scholarly productivity in the form of research contributions is important for appointment and promotion in academic urology. Some believe that this production may require significant funding. We evaluated the relationship between National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, academic rank and research productivity, as measured by the h-index, an objective indicator of research impact on a field.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 361 faculty members from the top 20 NIH funded academic urology departments were examined for research productivity, as measured by the h-index and calculated from the Scopus database (http://www.info.sciverse.com/scopus). Research productivity was compared to individual funding totals, the terminal degree and academic rank.

Results:

NIH funded faculty members had statistically higher research productivity than nonfunded colleagues. Research productivity increased with increasing NIH funding. Departmental NIH funding correlated poorly with the mean department h-index. Successive academic rank was associated with increasing research productivity. Full professors had higher NIH funding awards than their junior NIH funded colleagues.

Conclusions:

There is an association among the h-index, NIH funding and academic rank. The h-index is a reliable method of assessing the impact of scholarly contributions toward the discourse in academic urology. It may be used as an adjunct for evaluating the scholarly productivity of academic urologists.

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