Graduation Date

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research

First Advisor

Paul A. Estabrooks

Second Advisor

Fabio A. Almeida

Third Advisor

Regina E. Idoate

Fourth Advisor

Jennie L. Hill


The National Institute of Health (NIH) has made significant investments to establish and maintain statewide and regional clinical and translational research (CTR) networks. These networks are designed to accelerate the translation of research discoveries from laboratory and clinical settings to improve community and population health. The National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS) Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (CTR) [IDeA-CTR] initiative was initiated in 2012 to broaden participation in CTR in regions and territories with IDeA designation, having historically been funded by the NIH at lower levels. IDeA-CTR networks stimulate infrastructural investments in complex systems to enhance research capacity and competitiveness for extramural funding.

While the returns of CTR infrastructure awards in the literature are evident, approaches for strengthening research capacity through IDeA-CTR networks have not been fully explored. This dissertation describes the findings and recommendations of three strategies to assess research capacity development and strengthening activity in a newly formed IDeA CTR network.

The overall goal of this research is to demonstrate progress made by the network using a conceptual model for assessing CTR capacity at the network, organizational, and team levels using multi-methods approach. First a participatory needs assessment and strategic planning process was conducted to identify priorities for network capacity development activity. Second, qualitative interviews were conducted to identify organizational structures and processes that facilitate or inhibit shared network governance. Third, a longitudinal bibliometric analysis was conducted to assess network growth and collaborative research activity among translational research teams. These studies aim to provide regional CTR network leadership with replicable strategies and methods for measuring progress towards developing and strengthening capacity to conduct CTR to advance health equity in IDeA states and territories.