The Clinically Oriented Academic Radiology Department Research Initiative (COARDRI) is a collaborative, cross-institutional, structured research model in which investigators participate in well-defined roles that provide a pooling of resources and expertise. COARDRI was founded to promote academic productivity among clinically oriented radiology departments (those receiving less than $1 million of NIH grant funding annually). Research has shown that approximately 10% of faculty within these departments possess an earnest interest in participating in research, but confront challenges including dedicated time, experience, mentorship, infrastructure, and funding. COARDRI is a network of these clinically oriented departments that pool resources and spread work among multiple researchers with varying degrees of expertise at different institutions to aid in overcoming the aforementioned research barriers.
What is COARDRI?
Ultimately, COARDRI aims to combine resources from radiologists and departments who might otherwise be unable to successfully execute published research. Radiologists gain valuable experience, paving the way for either independent or additional research opportunities offered through this initiative. By empowering a new segment of the academic community to become involved with research, COARDRI will contribute new data to the scientific community and may broaden participation in, and support for, the Imaging 3.0 agenda. COARDRI creates networking opportunities within the academic radiology community for future collaboration, supporting a self-sustaining cycle that leads to new ideas, new projects, and new publications to move the field of radiology forward.
What types of research does COARDRI support?
COARDRI concentrates on five research domains: education, quality, imaging utilization, cost effectiveness, and health policy. The aim is to focus on domains that may illustrate the radiologist’s value in the current healthcare system. Unlike large randomized clinical trials, these projects can often be completed within the confines of the infrastructure of network members. Each domain is supported by a dedicated committee to generate high-value, low-barrier topics which are subsequently assigned to a lead investigator selected from a pool of interested applicants. The lead investigators are paired with more experienced researchers in areas of study design, statistics, general mentorship, or manuscript support. The collaborative effort means work is distributed in such a way as not to create an onerous load on the least experienced participants. While the initiative is meant to facilitate the cross-institutional partnerships of clinical programs, it does not preclude the involvement of research oriented programs through committee participation.