Influence of participant and reviewer characteristics in application scores for a hematology research training program

Sara K. Vesely, Allison King, Emily Vettese, John G. Heller, Adam Cuker, Cecelia Calhoun, Wendy Stock, Morgan Homer, Josel Fritz, Lillian Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The American Society of Hematology Clinical Research Training Institute (CRTI) is a clinical research training program with a competitive application process. The objectives were to compare application scores based on applicant and reviewer sex and underrepresented minority (URM) status. We included applications to CRTI from 2003 to 2019. The application scores were transformed into a scale from 0 to 100 (100 was the strongest). The factors considered were applicant and reviewer sex and URM status. We evaluated whether there was an interaction between the characteristics and time related to application scores. In total, 713 applicants and 2106 reviews were included. There was no significant difference in scores according to applicant sex. URM applicants had significantly worse scores than non-URM applicants (mean [standard error] 67.9 [1.56] vs 71.4 [0.63]; P = .0355). There were significant interactions between reviewer sex and time (P = .0030) and reviewer URM status and time (P = .0424); thus, results were stratified by time. For the 2 earlier time periods, male reviewers gave significantly worse scores than did female reviewers; this difference did not persist for the most recent time period. The URM reviewers did not give significantly different scores across time periods. URM applicants received significantly lower scores than non-URM applicants. The impact of reviewer sex and URM status changed over time. Although male reviewers gave lower scores in the early periods, this effect did not persist in the late period. Efforts are required to mitigate the impact of applicant URM status on application scores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4064-4071
Number of pages8
JournalBlood Advances
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 8 2023


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