ITC Project

Core Services


Data Management Core (DMC) Summary

The Data Management Core (DMC) is designed to provide survey research services to the five projects represented in the P01, and to maintain uniformly high standards of data collection, design, and analysis. 

The diversity of research designs and the number of data collection sites require a core service to help ensure the integrity and synergy of these projects and the quality of the data.  The DMC includes experts in survey sampling, biostatistics and research methods who have extensive backgrounds in research on health behavior and the use of tobacco and its substitutes, as well as data analysts and experts on questionnaire design and databases.

The DMC will be responsible for the:

1. Design and management of data collection for surveys; communication with data providers to ensure uniformity of protocols;

2. Administration of online surveys, including programming of instruments and hosting;

3. Support for instrument development and documentation across projects and surveys, ensuring that data collected provides useful input to substantive research questions and theoretical and simulation studies;

4. Survey data processing, including data cleaning and checking, the construction of weights and pseudo-weights, and the computation of derived variables;

5. Maintenance of a secure repository of data and an efficient secure system that allows the investigators and external researchers to access data;

6. Advice and technical assistance on research design, data collection methods, data analysis, programming for analyses, preparation of analysis plans, papers, and grant applications; and,

7. Development, testing, and documentation of new methods for data collection and data analysis.


Administrative Core Summary

The purpose of the Administrative Core (AC) is to provide and integrate scientific leadership, administrative support, and fiscal management, for the entire Program Project. Located at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), the AC will be led by Director K. Michael Cummings, who will also serve as co-PI (along with Dr. Geoffrey Fong).

Dr. Cummings has previously served as the PI and AC Director on two prior multi-institutional NIH grants supporting the work of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project and is experienced in the operations of the ITC Project and organization and oversight of AC services. Mr. Travis Poole will serve as the Program Manager for this Program Project.  Poole previously served as the Program Manager for MUSC’s current P01 grant and its related supplements and is experienced in the operations of a Program Project. 

The three specific functions of the AC include:

1. Project Management in the form of communications logistics, management of consortium agreements, fiscal oversight and compliance monitoring;

2. Scientific planning, coordination and evaluation through regular meetings of project and core leaders to develop common definitions and measures to be applied across studies, shared systems for recruiting subjects, tracking policies and new and modified products, supporting pilot studies as appropriate to advance study aims, and soliciting and responding to feedback from an expert external advisory committee; and

3. Dissemination of research findings by implementation of policies to support data sharing both within and outside the Program Project, encouraging publication and presentation of research data, and fostering interactions with  key stakeholder groups so that the results of the research are disseminated in a timely and effective manner.