Health Services Research| Volume 154, P136-140, August 2021

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Influence of Department Leadership on Scholarly Productivity and Research Funding in Academic Urology

Published:January 18, 2021DOI:


      To determine whether the academic achievement of Department Chairperson (DC) and Research Director (RD), when present, is associated with increased scholarly productivity and National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding of faculty members in academic urology departments.

      Materials and Methods

      We identified the DC, RD and faculty members of 145 academic urology departments. The scholarly productivity and NIH funding for each individual faculty member was assessed from 2018 to 2019 using an h-index extrapolated from the Scopus database and the NIH RePORTER tool, respectively. The Spearman correlation coefficient was employed to define the correlation of these parameters. Hypothesis testing was conducted using the Mann-Whitney U test.


      After excluding 13 departments due to missing faculty listing, our final sample included 132 departments and 2227 faculty members. In 2018, the NIH provided $55,243,658 in urology research grants to 24.2% of departments and 4.0% of faculty members. Of departments with NIH funding, 68.8% employed a RD. DC and RD h-index were positively correlated with departmental h-index. DC h-index positively correlated with department NIH funding. Moreover, NIH funding was significantly higher for departments with a RD vs those without a RD ($1,268,028 vs $62,941, P < .001); interestingly, NIH funding was higher for departments employing unfunded RDs vs those without a RD ($2,079,948 vs $579,055, P < .001).


      Academic success of a DC and RD was associated with urology departmental scholarly productivity and NIH funding. The presence of a RD, funded or unfunded, was associated with increased departmental NIH funding.



      DC (Department Chairperson), RD (Research Director), NIH (National Institutes of Health), USNWR (U.S. News and World Report), ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education), RePORTER (Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools Expenditures and Reports)
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