JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Evaluation of funding gastroenterology research in Canada illustrates the beneficial role of partnerships.

BACKGROUND: Funders of health research in Canada seek to determine how their funding programs impact research capacity and knowledge creation.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of a focused grants and award program that was cofunded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes, and the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology; and to measure the impact of the Program on the career paths of funded researchers and assess the outcomes of research supported through the Program.

METHODS: A survey of the recipients of grants and awards from 2000 to 2008 was conducted in 2012. The CIHR Funding Decisions database was searched to determine subsequent funding; a bibliometric citation analysis of publications arising from the Program was performed.

RESULTS: Of 160 grant and award recipients, 147 (92%) completed the survey. With >$17.4 million in research funding, support was provided for 131 fellowship awards, seven career transition awards, and 22 operating grants. More than three-quarters of grant and award recipients continue to work or train in a research-related position. Combined research outputs included 545 research articles, 130 review articles, 33 book chapters and 11 patents. Comparative analyses indicate that publications supported by the funding program had a greater impact than other Canadian and international comparators.

CONCLUSIONS: Continuity in support of a long-term health research funding partnership strengthened the career development of gastroenterology researchers in Canada, and enhanced the creation and dissemination of new knowledge in the discipline.

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