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The Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century
evaluation approach. However, practice research demonstrates increased relevance to social goals with the translation of research findings into community action, thereby demonstrating the value to the nation of the use of public resources devoted to academic research; communities benefit from a program based on knowledge of evidence-based practice and community-relevant issues. Therefore, the committee recommends that federal funders of research and academic institutions recognize and reward faculty scholarship related to public health practice research.
Funding of Prevention Research
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC, in collaboration with local, state, and other federal health and education agencies, plays a major role in prevention activities in the United States. In terms of research, CDC defines prevention research as research that is directly applicable to public health practice and views it as an important part of the CDC mission (Doll et al., 2001).
CDC has both intramural and extramural research programs. Intramural research (or CDC-directed research) is carried out within its laboratories or in the field in collaboration with state and local health departments. Extramural research, in which decision making regarding the study approach rests with the grantee, was, until the early 1970s, a relatively small grants program. During the next two decades it became decentralized, with programs developed and administered independently through CDC’s Centers, Institutes, and Offices (CIOs). More recently, CDC has begun to expand further as a supporter of extramural research (Doll et al., 2001).
CDC has three categories of extramural research programs: (1) program- or CIO-generated research; (2) investigator-initiated research; and (3) research centers of excellence. The following descriptions and examples of these types of research are taken from Doll et al. (2001).
Program- or CIO-Generated Research In program- or CIO-generated research, the topic (and perhaps the research approach as well) is determined by the CIO, which then publishes a request for application (RFA). Proposals are submitted to the CIO and then reviewed. Research topics in program-generated research have included the influence of folic acid on neural tube defects in China and the effectiveness of an intervention to reduce dating violence.
Another approach to program-generated research is to enter into cooperative agreements with health-related professional organizations with which CDC has agreements (e.g., the Association of the Schools of Public Health, the Minority Health Foundation, and the Association of American