Brief Feedback on Pod Structure


To gather data on the effectiveness of pods as a mechanism for communication of Steering Committee activities.

Executive Summary

At the direction of NCATS and the CTSA Program Consortium Steering Committee, CLIC performed an online survey to elicit feedback on the “CTSA Program pods”. Questions addressed the current pod call structure and value of the pod calls, what has been working well, what could be improved, and recommendations for changing or improving these calls. The survey was sent via email to the CTSA Program PI and Administrative Listserves (with two reminder emails) and collected via REDCap. There were 68 respondents from 53 unique hubs (out of 64 total hubsunder current funding and no-cost extension) for a final response rate of 82.81%. Most variables had valid data for 66 respondents.

In general, the pod call structure was rated favorably, but with a range of responses from negative to positive. Common themes were 1) to establish and increase bi-directional communication, 2) to have more PI input to Steering Committee and NCATS agendas, and 3) improve the structure of pod membership, e.g., determined by region or interest, be more self-governing, be more structured. Several unique recommendations for these two common themes were offered.

This report summarizes survey results for the quantifiable items (e.g., ratings, categories), as well as the common themes and specific recommendations gleaned from open-ended responses.

Distributed Date

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Instrument Fields
Order Instrument Field

Hub Name


Please specify "other" hub name.


What is your role?


Please specify "other" role.


Do you attend pod calls?


How does your pod leader structure the agenda for your pod calls?


What topics are discussed on the pod calls?


How useful are the pods? (1=Not Useful, and 10=Very Useful)


If your pod works well, what makes it work well? Is there a way we can generalize these best practices to other pods?


If your pod doesn't work so well, how can it be improved?


Now that the Steering Committee will hold executive sessions and the SC meeting materials (slides and meeting summaries) will be uploaded to the CLIC website, do you anticipate the pods will become a more effective structure in communicating the events of the SC calls to the consortium?


Which of the following do you recommend:
a) keeping the pod structure "as is"
b) changing the frequency to "as needed"
c) replacing the pod mechanism with an alternative communication mechanism(s)


If you answered (c) to the previous question, what alternative communication mechanism(s) should be instituted? The same communication issues tend to exist within hubs as among them, so we are particularly interested in communication solutions that have worked well at individual hubs to keep your communities informed and engaged.

Submitted by Laura Hassinger on Thu, 03/05/2020 - 13:13