The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)/Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) Joint Spine Section awards highlight outstanding abstracts submitted to the AANS/CNS Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves by trainees interested in spine surgery, although the academic trajectory of awardees has not been studied. The aim of this study was to assess the academic career progression of prior recipients of the Journalistic and Academic Neurosurgical Excellence (JANE), Mayfield, and Kuntz research awards.
Prior JANE, Mayfield, and Kuntz award recipients were identified using awardee records accrued between 1984 and February 2022. Awardee sex, country of residence, specialty, subspecialty focus, and current academic appointment status (if applicable) were searched online. Awardee h-indices and number of peer-reviewed publications were assessed via Google Scholar profiles (or Scopus if unavailable) and PubMed, respectively. Receipt of federal research funding as principal investigator (PI) was determined using the websites of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. The abstract-to-publication rate was assessed.
A total of 7 JANE awards, 57 Mayfield awards, and 149 Kuntz awards were identified. Of the JANE awardees, all recipients were male. Of the 4 unique JANE awardees who completed training, 2 (50.0%) held academic appointments at the time of the study. All of the JANE abstracts were published in peer-reviewed journals. The mean h-index of all JANE awardees was 28 and the mean number of publications was 126. None of the awardees have received federal research funding. Of the Mayfield awards, 98.2% were awarded to males. Of the 43 unique Mayfield awardees who completed training, 20 (46.5%) held faculty appointments at academic medical centers. All of the Mayfield abstracts since 2011 were published in peer-reviewed journals. The mean h-index of all Mayfield awardees was 26 and the mean number of publications was 82. Five Mayfield awardees received National Institutes of Health funding as PI, and 7 awardees received Department of Defense funding as PI. Of the Kuntz awards, 95.3% were awarded to males. Most awards were given to current residents and fellows (46.3%). Of the 55 unique Kuntz awardees who completed training, 31 (56.4%) held faculty appointments at academic medical centers. The abstract-to-publication rate of the total Kuntz abstracts was 70.5%. The mean h-index of all Kuntz awardees was 15 and the mean number of publications was 58. Five Kuntz awardees (3.4%) received federal research funding as PI.
Many recipients of the JANE, Mayfield, and Kuntz Joint Spine Section awards have successfully translated award abstracts into peer-reviewed publications. Furthermore, approximately one-third of the awardees are active in academic neurosurgery, with some having secured federal research funding.