In this study we wish is to determine whether extensive (up to 15 hours) multidisciplinary
consultation in biostatistics, study design, data management, ethics, and writing provided by
the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute's (CTSI) Consultation Services program,
improves peer review scores of career development grants compared to usual levels of
We hypothesize that extensive multidisciplinary consultation will improve peer review scores
of career development grants compared to usual levels of consultation.
We hypothesize that extensive multidisciplinary consultation will lead to greater numbers of
funded grants when compared to the usual levels of consultation.
CTSI Consultation Services is one of the largest programs within the UCSF CTSI. It was
created to improve the quality and efficiency of clinical and translational research through
the provision of expert consultation. The program is divided into units that provide access
to expert consultants in biostatistics, research design (with consultants representing
multiple distinct methodologies and disease interests), data management (including data
structure and database design), ethics, and scientific writing. With funding from the NIH,
the program is able to offer a free hour of consultation in each of its units (up to 4 hours)
but charges for additional services to cover costs.
There have been no studies of research consultation services. Though the benefit may seem
self evident, such programs are expensive and distract senior researcher from more creative
work. Justifying research consultation is important given the multitude of activities vying
for attention and funding. Observational studies of the impact of research consultation
services will always be limited by confounding, particularly confounding by indication since
those seeking such services may be more highly motivated and organized. Thus, a randomized
trial is warranted.
- Applying for a Career Development grant from the NIH.
- Anticipated submission date is 3 or more months in the future
- Resident, fellow, or junior faculty member at UCSF or a CTSI-affiliated institution.
- Recognized potential benefit from additional consultation
- Additional areas that could be improved as judged by the subject and the initial
- Adequate time to provide consultation before submission date