Table 1.

Timeline, Development Activities, and Investments for Positioning a Family Medicine Department to Participate in Large-Scale Institutional Research Initiatives

TimelineFaculty DevelopmentPBRN Development
PBRN = practice-based research network; NIH = National Institutes of Health; IRB = institutional review board.
Years 1–4Recruitment of initial cadre of faculty members with research training
 Initial development of research skills and working experienceLaunch of network by a small group of enthusiastic practices
Small unfunded research projectsBasic information gathering, card studies
Small research projects funded by grants covering less than full direct costs (pilot funds, institutional seed money)Leadership and administrative support informally assigned and funded by university or state academy support
Moderate grants from foundations and funding agencies with minimal to no indirect cost recovery
Support for faculty travel and attendance at national research meetings, developing contacts, and understanding research culture
Years 5–8Expansion of department research infrastructure, project management support, statistical and methodologic expertiseSubstantial investment ($60,000 to $280,000/y) in dedicated personnel, space, travel for practice recruitment, and maintenance
Substantial external funding, larger foundation grants, smaller federal grants (eg, R03, R21 grants)
Recruitment of large numbers of practices with varying levels of participation
NIH investigator grants (eg, K grants)
Development of project management skillsHealth services research studies and clinical trials
Service on institutional committees (eg, IRB, practice guidelines committees)Increasing size and sophistication of grants, with small amounts of network infrastructure support
Years 9–12Large project and program grants (eg, R01 and P grants)Multiple, externally funded concurrent studies
Service on study sections, national leadership positionsIncreasing grant support for secretarial, financial, and administrative personnel
National network of contacts
Continued support needed for network expansion and maintenance
Year 13 onwardParticipant and leadership roles in major cross-departmental and institution-wide projects (eg, center grants)