Established during the 1995-96 academic year through the efforts of the NAPCRG Committee on Building Research Capacity, the GGP seeks to equip family medicine researchers with the skills they need to successfully develop and submit grants for research funding. Once learned, these skills continue to help generate new funds for family medicine research and training, year after year.
The original concept of the GGP was based on an attempt to replicate several elements of the grant generating process developed and used in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where faculty have successfully obtained several major research grants. The objective of GGP was to “assist experienced researchers to write their first successful major grant application.”
From 1995 to 1999 the program was launched and developed under the able directorship of David Katerndahl at the University of Texas-San Antonio, with 23 faculty participants from 21 family medicine departments or divisions enrolled. Katerndahl relinquished the directorship role at the conclusion of the class of 1998-99 after four years of volunteer service.
The BRC committee considered suspending GGP for 1999-00 to allow time for evaluation, assessment of support and some redesign of the program. However, an informal survey of department chairs, conducted by Frank deGruy of the Association for Departments of Family Medicine and David Moores of the Canadian College of Family Physicians indicated strong support for the program and a willingness on the part of several chairs to invest additional financial resources. Additionally, the AFMO Steering Committee endorsed GGP and the NAPCRG Board expressed its support for continuation of the program. A further encouragement was the suggestion by Bill Phillips, the AAUP Task Force liaison to the BRC and AFMO Research Subcommittee, that the GGP fellowship might be a good opportunity for the Advanced Research Training fellows funded by the AAFP.
With that feedback, Bernard Ewigman, Daniel R. Longo, Frank deGruy and Katerndahl agreed to develop a proposal to continue the program with no interruption.
From fall 1999 through spring 2007 the program was housed in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia, under the direction of Longo, an experienced researcher and professor in the department. In March 2007, Dr. Longo joined the VCU faculty and in 2008 the program was moved to continue under his directorship at VCU as a joint project of VCU and UMC. As of the 2009-2010 GGP fellowship year, all GGP activities are housed at VCU.
As of March 31, 2012, GGP alumni have reported more than $666 million in funded grants as either principal investigators, co-investigators or in other significant roles, since participating in the program. Sources of funding include the National Institutes of Health, various state and local government entities, pharmaceutical companies, charitable organizations such as the American Cancer Society and United Way, and numerous private foundations. Sample funded projects include:
- A 2000 GGP fellow received an R01 from the National Library of Medicine for $661,500.
- Two other 2000 fellows received major awards from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program.
- A 2002 fellow served as principal investigator on a state foundation grant of $2.6 million.
- A 2003 fellow received an RWJF Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars award and two other fellows from the 2003 class received major awards from the National Cancer Institute and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
- A 2005 GGP fellow recently received a K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Award from AHRQ for $616,000.
GGP is generously supported by:
- American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation
- North American Primary Care Research Group
- Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
- The College of Family Physicians of Canada/Le Collège des médecins de famille du Canada
Additional funding is generated from a participation fee for GGP fellows, typically paid by their home department. Fellows’ home departments also provide travel expenses to workshops, a laptop computer and “protected time” for work on GGP proposals. Volunteer time and in-kind support from the home programs of fellows, mentors, consultants and reviewers has been a key factor in making GGP possible.