E1658. Research Connect: Interactive Online Database of Active Research Projects to Facility Resident Research
  1. Joshua Brown; Emory University
  2. Brent Weinberg; Emory University
Radiology is a highly innovative field with novel technologies continuously being developed. It is crucial to promote residency research and innovation for our trainees to continue cultivating the forefront of radiology development. Residency research is vital for promoting intellectual curiosity, strengthening resident training, and setting up academic careers. The standard method for residents to engage in research projects requires browsing institutional websites and faculty profiles not optimized to promote resident networking and connections. In addition, these resources do not display availability for resident positions or if there is even an active project. This adds extra layers of obstacles that easily deter residents new to the research environment. A well-organized and appealing research project database may attract residents to continue in research and pursue a career in academic radiology.

Materials and Methods:
Research Connect is a website tool that allows research connections between residents/collaborators and faculty/principal investigators. The website was created using PHP, SQL, and JavaScript for the backend and unique functionalities. The WordPress platform and additional HTML/CSS coding was utilized for the frontend. Research Connect allows principal investigators to submit their active research and quality improvement projects for display on a searchable database and include associated subspecialty labels and customizable tags. Research Connect includes automated maintenance of the project list, which will remove outdated projects and notify collaborators when a project is posted that meets their interest. Pre- and post-launch surveys including project-matching outcomes were utilized to assess the impact Research Connect has on the academic research climate at our institution. In addition to standard website traffic statistics, Research Connect automatically tracks number of members and projects, most used subspecialties and tags, and project-matching outcomes.

Phase 1 has been completed, which included limited launch to a small group of faculty and residents to test features and address any bugs. Phase 2 has commenced which includes distribution of the pre-launch survey, full launch to all radiology residents and faculty, and multiple virtual demonstrations of the site features to faculty and residents. Thirty-seven of seventy-two (51%) radiology residents replied to the pre-launch survey. Over 82% stated they are interested in participating in research but only 52% are involved in research. The majority (62%) stated that the most used method to find research projects was by word of mouth.

A centralized and efficient database to advertise active research projects is a practical tool. Over 83% of responders mentioned the need for a database of active projects before even being introduced to Research Connect. We are in the beginning phase of the full launch, but we have already received positive feedback for the potential full impact Research Connect can have on promoting and facilitating radiology research.