In this report, we describe the implementation and short-term outcomes of a Special Populations Consultation Service within the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). With the goal of increasing the quality and quantity of special population (SP) research, the UCLA CTSI Integrating Special Populations program designed a consultation service to support faculty and trainees conducting research involving one of three CTSI “special populations:” children, older adults, and/or minority; underserved; or health disparity populations. The Special Populations Consultation Service offers three types of activities: grant proposal studios, career consultations, and project reviews. UCLA CTSI faculty with appropriate content expertise serve as consultants. We evaluated this consultation model using satisfaction surveys and by quantifying funded grants and reported changes in career goals in SP research. Between 2016 and 2019, the Special Populations Consultation Service provided 59 consultations including 42 grant studios and was used by researchers at all levels from all four UCLA CTSI institutions. Recipients rated the consultations very highly. Funding success rates were 57% following K-level grant studios and 28% following R-level grant studios. Users of project and career consultations commonly attributed career accomplishments in part to their consultation experiences. The SP Consultation Service is feasible and acceptable and appears to enhance careers of investigators studying special populations.
© The Association for Clinical and Translational Science 2020.