Background: A collaborative network for pediatric research has not been fully established in Japan. To identify the network infrastructure, we conducted a survey on the support and education for clinical research currently available in children's hospitals. Methods: In November 2014, a 27-question survey was distributed to 31 hospitals belonging to the Japanese Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (JACHRI) to assess clinical research support, research education, research achievements, and their expectations. Results: All the hospitals responded to the survey. Overall, 74.2% of hospitals had clinical research support divisions. Although all hospitals had ethics committees, <30% of the hospitals had a data manager, intellectual property management unit, biostatistician, and English-language editor. Seven hospitals had education programs for clinical research. The number of seminars and workshops for clinical research had significant correlations with the number of physicians (r = 0.927), pediatricians (r = 0.922), and clinical trial management physicians (r = 0.962). There was a significant difference in the number of clinical trials initiated by physicians between hospitals with research education programs and those without (P < 0.01). The number of education programs was significantly correlated with the number of original articles and case reports in English (r = 0.788), and the number of publications in Japanese (r = 0.648). All hospitals recognized the need for a leader to establish a collaborative network for clinical research. Conclusions: Important factors for creating a collaborative system for pediatric research in Japan were identified. Human resources to support clinical research are a key factor to improve clinical research education and research achievements.
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