Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Department of Health Policy and Management, Section of Rheumatology, Veterans Healthcare System, Cooperative Studies Program, Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research & Information Center, Veterans Healthcare System, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
OBJECTIVE : The aim of the study was to describe the research environment of scientists in health services and policy research in China. METHODS : Study was conducted during the 2016 Westlake Youth Forum with grantees of China Medical Board and key informants. Mixed methods used anonymous, survey of grantees, semistructured open-ended interviews with randomly selected awardees, convenience samples of extramural reviewers, and senior scientists with research experience in China. RESULTS : Among 51 awardees, 34 responded fully. Fifty percent were women, averaged 42 years; 88% had PhD/MD and 10 years from their advanced degree. Most had overseas research training (94%); 32% held overseas degrees. Their mean salary, $24,000, barely qualifying as middle class in China. Their confidence using analytical techniques were variable. Their interaction with those using their work seemed nascent. Interviewees echo young researchers elsewhere: lack of mentors, statistical consultation, collaborators, and help to run the gauntlet of requirements in doing research. CONCLUSIONS : China's health has improved dramatically since 1949. As the ecology of disease change, expectations increase, and services grow, the expertise to evaluate and improve health care needs to expand. This requires recognition of their importance and a concerted effort to recruit, nurture, and sustain this cadre.