This report evaluates the Research Career Development Award (RCDA) program of the National Institutes of Health. It describes how Initial Review Groups (IRGs) select candidates to receive an RCDA, and how the careers and accomplishments of RCDA recipients differ from those of other researchers, and it attempts to determine whether these differences are attributable to the impact of the RCDA program. The major effect of the program is an increase in the rate of research participation. Although the RCDA program supports persons who will become outstanding researchers, it is not because it "creates" them, but because the IRGs are able to target them. In recent years, however, the program has not consistently awarded grants to researchers in the intended career stage — that is, to those with limited career experience.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.