Launching the New American College of Cardiology Research Network:
Advancing High-Value Collaborative Research via “Innovative Networking”

Abdalla, Marwah; Light-McGroary, KellyAnn; Tong, Carl; Freeman, Andrew M.

The landscape of research and academic medicine is changing significantly, especially for the early career professional (ECP) cardiologist. The recent viewpoint paper in the Journal detailing the challenges of the early career academic cardiologist crystallizes this complex situation. Although there is a clear desire to conduct research among those surveyed, there are major obstacles to achieving a successful research career. Two of the major challenges identified by ECPs are a lack of collaborators and a lack of research mentors to assist in generating the needed data to produce a competitive grant application. As identified by the survey, a lack of collaborators and mentors negatively affects one’s ability to achieve viable research funding. The most vulnerable are cardiology fellows and junior investigators who are new to research, especially those with nontraditional research interests, who can struggle to find mentorship within their institutions. Those who are new to research must often rely on informal networking with speakers who are invited to give grand rounds within their institution or at national conferences. For a minority, these haphazard meetings may turn into successful long-term research collaborations, but for many, they unfortunately do not. Additionally, for ECPs already involved in research, there is inadequate access to new techniques and innovations as a direct result of the absence of comprehensive and collaborative research-oriented networks. For example, short-term access to expensive equipment or needed reagents may be the limiting factor in one’s research endeavors. Indeed, as highlighted in a recent Leadership Page in the Journal, there is little national investment in research networks, leading to many inefficiencies and unnecessary delays.


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Journal of the American College of Cardiology

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January 20, 2016