Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil; Peter A. Ubel, MD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Jagsi R., Ubel P.; Sex Differences in Career Development Awardees' Subsequent Grant Attainment. Ann Intern Med. 2010;152:617. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-152-9-201005040-00020
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2010;152(9):617.
Dr. Pohlhaus and colleagues have provided useful data supporting our identification of a leakage problem, especially for women, in the academic pipeline. However, we wish to clarify a few points.
First, there is no reason to expect that female K awardees have less research desire or talent than male peers; thus, the lower rate of R01 applications among women is a cause for concern. We need to understand why a lower proportion of promising women reach the point of applying for an R01 award.
Second, the rates of R01 attainment we presented were calculated through actuarial analysis, censored to account for follow-up. Dr. Pohlhaus and colleagues have shown no evidence that we “excluded many K awardees who will later receive an R01 award.” In fact, if one extrapolates from the information they share—that over the long history of the K08 award, 55% of awardees who receive a subsequent R01 do so within 5 years and 83% within 10 years—one concludes, on the basis of both the 5-year and 10-year rates we observed, that about one half of K awardees in this cohort will never receive R01 funding.
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