The U.S. Critical Illness and Injury Trials (USCIIT) Group is funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH) to create a clinical research framework that reduces the barriers to investigation using the same investigator-initiated, evidence-driven, inclusive approach that has proven successful in other countries. The dual missions of the USCIIT Group are to foster investigator-initiated hypothesis testing and to plan strategically at the national level. The USCIIT Group does not fund clinical trials per se, but rather promotes the development of evidence-based clinical protocols and the subsequent preparation of applications for funding to test specific hypotheses. Investigators that span the gamut of critical illness and injury specialties are involved in this collaborative effort.
It is expected that the USCIIT Group will act as a “network of networks”, that is, it will not act in isolation, but will be part of a larger effort to bridge critical care trials groups world-wide. Its success will be based on collaborative leadership, non-hierarchical team culture, and open dialog among participants that will facilitate communication streams and help link new scientific knowledge with practice.