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natural “scattering” of participants after their involvement in our programs as they pursue further training. In addition, HHMI depends on its alumni to voluntarily provide career information.

This paper describes the information collected about the alumni, the method and verification of the collected information, and two approaches used to assess HHMI programs.


The primary information collected from HHMI awardees, either at the time of their award and in subsequent years, is:

  • name (and any name changes thereafter) and social security number;

  • personal and professional addresses, e-mail, and telephone numbers;

  • permanent or parental addresses, telephone, and e-mail contact information;

  • medical school information and dates of matriculation and graduation;

  • location and dates of residency and other training information;

  • professional appointments;

  • publications and awards;

  • research funding (NIH and other sources); and

  • curricula vitae.


This information is collected from a number of sources. The first is the application materials, where permanent and current name and address information as well as medical school entrance information is obtained. A significant amount of immediately useful information about the program is gained from end-of-year interviews and an anonymous online exit survey. While most of this information helps in evaluating and modifying program elements, it provides limited information on awardee career outcomes.

Subsequent to the end of the participants’ involvement in the program, HHMI begins to follow the career development and successes of each individual. HHMI tried to follow each person through an annual Web-based update survey that asks the individual to add or modify only information that is new or changed. Unfortunately, this approach has had only limited success, as a significant number of alumni are either unmotivated or cannot find the time to complete the survey on an annual basis.

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