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Successful and less-successful research performance of junior faculty

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In academic medical centers, there is increasing concern about the diminishing supply of clinical investigators and the amount of clinical investigation being conducted. This study developed and evaluated an instrument designed to measure characteristics of a successful researcher. All assistant professor faculty in the tenure track at this research university were sent a two-page survey. Analyses revealed that 50 percent of the items significantly discriminated successful and less-successful researchers. A factor analysis of these items produced four stable factors: research activities, mentoring, local networks, and scholarly habits. A backward stepwise discriminant analysis revealed that only two of the four factors were needed to effectively identify successful researchers. These two factors were research activities and scholarly habits. The rate of correct classification of the two-factor equation was such that 92 percent of the successful researchers were correctly identified. Testing this instrument in other academic settings would help to determine its generalizability.

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Correspondence to Dr. Francine P. Hekelman.

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Hekelman, F.P., Zyzanski, S.J. & Flocke, S.A. Successful and less-successful research performance of junior faculty. Res High Educ 36, 235–255 (1995).

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  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Medical Center
  • Research Performance
  • Assistant Professor
  • Clinical Investigation