4 CTSA Evaluation Improvement Opportunities

CTSA Hub Collaboration Publishes Evaluations Recommendations

August 5, 2019

Tanha PatelIn late 2017 a group of evaluators formed the Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards (CTSA) Evaluation Guidelines Workgroup, co-chaired by Tanha Patel (Wake Forest) and Julie Rainwater, PhD (University of California at Davis). The charge: assess progress made in evaluating the CTSA program, nationally and at hub level, based on the recommendations made in 2013 by the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) review of the CTSA Program and guidelines published in Journal of Clinical and Translational Science. The workgroup conducted a review of all CTSA funding opportunity announcements and gathered feedback from all CTSA evaluators via a survey administered in Spring 2018. 
Patel and Dr. Rainwater partnered with Dr. William Trochim, Dr. Julie Elworth, Linda Scholl, and Dr. Gaurav Dave to analyze the data and worked with the CTSA Evaluation Guidelines Workgroup members to identify four new opportunities to further strengthen CTSA evaluation efforts.   

The 4 Improvement Opportunities: 

  1. Continue to build the collaborative evaluation infrastructure at local and national levels
  2. Make better use of existing data
  3. Strengthen and augment the Common Metrics Initiative
  4. Pursue internal and external Opportunities to evaluate the CTSA Program at the national level.  

The published article highlights how CTSA evaluators have maintained a strong collaboration while CTSA evaluations has shifted in role and definition. It also recognizes the progress that has been made in setting up and implementing the Common Metrics Initiative, one of the recommendations of the IOM.

Evaluators have strongly felt that more strategic approach to CTSA Evaluation is needed.

“The CTSA Evaluators felt it was time to assess how Evaluation efforts have changed over the 5 years since 2013 recommendations were made,” said Ms. Patel. “This review was important to ensure evaluation efforts beyond the Common Metrics Initiative were still implemented and prioritized.” 

Evaluators have strongly felt that more strategic approach to CTSA Evaluation is needed. The authors recognize the need to have a guiding document that can be used for the entire consortium.

CTSA stakeholders, particularly NCATS, are invited to work with CTSA evaluators to develop a comprehensive evaluation and policy that directly reflects the mission and vision of the CTSA Program. 


Read the publication here: 
Opportunities for strengthening CTSA evaluation

For questions, contact Tanha Patel at tnpatel@wakehealth.edu

The purpose of the CTSA Program is to get medical and population health interventions to patients and populations more quickly, and to enable research teams, including scientists, patient advocacy organizations and community members, to tackle system-wide scientific and operational problems in clinical and translational research that no one team can overcome in isolation. Learn More about the CTSA here.


Data Analysis: 

Tanha Patel (Wake Forest), Julie Rainwater, PhD (University of California Davis), William Trochim, PhD (Weill Cornell), Julie Elworth, PhD (University of Washington), Linda Scholl (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Gaurav Dave, MD, DrPH, MPH (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Workgroup members(in addition to the authors listed above): 

Emily Connors, Medical College of Wisconsin; Ashley Dunn, MPH, Stanford University; John Farrar, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania; Deborah M. Fournier, PhD, Boston University; Keith Herzog, Northwestern University; Nicole Kaefer, University of Pittsburgh; Nikki Llewellyn, PhD, Emory University; Chelsea Proulx, MPH, University of Pittsburgh; Doris Rubio, PhD, University of Pittsburgh; L. Aubree Shay, PhD, MSSW, UTHealth School of Public Health in San Antonio; and Boris Volkov, PhD, University of Minnesota.