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Study indicates strong scholarly activity, significant federal funding and substantial knowledge creation by FAER grant recipients

The more than $25 million the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research has expended on anesthesiology research grants since 1987 has resulted in subsequent funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling more than $448 million, an amount 17 times greater than the original research investment.

A study by Paul S. Pagel, M.D., Ph.D., and Judith A. Hudetz, Ph.D., “Scholarly Productivity and National Institutes of Health Funding of Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research Grant Recipients,” published in the September 2015 edition of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists® (ASA®), examined 397 individuals who received FAER grants between 1987 and 2012 to determine the influence of FAER funding on an individual’s scholarly productivity and ability to receive federal funding.

Their findings reveal the high levels of scholarly activity, significant federal funding and substantial knowledge creation of FAER grant recipients. “The return on FAER and ASA investment is just phenomenal: From 1987 to 2012, FAER research grant expenses totaled about $25 million, and the recipients earned more than $448 million in NIH funding,” said Evan D. Kharasch, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chair for Grants, FAER Board of Directors and Chair, ASA Committee on Research. “This means that every $1 invested in a FAER grant recipient resulted in more than $17 in funding, from just NIH alone. This validates FAER research funding mechanisms, the peer review process of the ASA Committee on Research, and everyone’s much appreciated support for FAER.”

Additional highlights of the study include:
•  Nearly 80 percent of FAER awardees currently hold full-time academic appointments.
•  FAER grant recipients published 19,647 manuscripts that have been cited 548,563 times.
•  Recipients received more than 390 NIH grants as principal investigators. These grants totaled more than $448 million.
•  FAER grant recipients appear to have higher levels of productivity than previously reported productivity for average academic anesthesiology faculty identified in other studies.

“The analysis of the output of FAER grant recipients that Dr. Pagel and Dr. Hudetz published in Anesthesiology is a landmark study, which confirms the tremendous value generated by ASA’s long-term investment in FAER and the academic community,” said Daniel J. Cole, M.D., ASA President-Elect and FAER Board of Directors member.

“The well-researched and well-presented report by Pagel and Hudetz demonstrates and substantiates the wisdom of the ASA and the anesthesiology community in their formation and support for FAER, as a mechanism for seeding and supporting the career development of future anesthesiologist-scientists, and leaders in our specialty,” said Dr. Kharasch, who is also Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Professor of Anesthesiology, Director, Division of Clinical and Translational Research in the Department of Anesthesiology, and Director of the Center for Clinical Pharmacology at Washington University in St. Louis and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. “The knowledge that these investigators generate powers ongoing improvements in patient care and patient safety.”

ASA established FAER in 1986 to facilitate “continuous improvements in anesthesiology by fostering and encouraging education, research and scientific process in the field.” FAER research grants are supported by donations from individual physician anesthesiologists, anesthesiology departments and practice groups, industry corporations, anesthesia subspecialty societies, ASA and its state component societies.

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About the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research
The Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, and a related organization of the American Society of Anesthesiologists®. Its mission is to advance medicine through anesthesia research and education. FAER is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists lead medicine into the future through scientific discovery and the creation of new knowledge. For more information about FAER, visit FAER.org.

About the American Society of Anesthesiologists
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists® (ASA®) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring that physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during, and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care that every patient deserves.

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount.