Performance Improvement 2011-2012. What Evaluation Approach is Most Appropriate for the Pharmacology Research Associate Program?

01/01/2012

The Pharmacology Research Associate program is an intramural postdoctoral training program administered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). The program is intended for individuals with backgrounds in the basic or clinical sciences who wish to obtain advanced experience in an area of pharmacology, or for those with a pharmacology background to gain experience in new fields. This exploratory study identified the best evaluation approaches and examined available program data.

Evaluators concluded that the program filled an important gap in the postdoctoral training offered at the NIH, of which NIGMS is a component. Overall, Pharmacology Research Associate fellows were positive about program activities, emphasizing their utility for networking with other researchers on campus and with potential employers. The fellows described program directors as accessible, supportive, and very helpful in making vital and, in retrospect, appropriate career choices. The evaluators, however, found that the program focuses more on mentoring and career advancement than research training. The evaluators suggested that a combination process/outcome evaluation would be the most cost effective approach.

Report Title: NIGMS Evaluation Support Services Task 2: Exploratory Assessment of the Pharmacology Research Associate Program (PRAT)
Agency Sponsor: NIH, National Institutes of Health
Federal Contact: Rosanna Ng, 301-496-5367
Performer: Abt Associates, Inc.
Record ID: 9482 (Report issued September 29, 2011)

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