Advances in Health Sciences Education

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 259–268 | Cite as

Research faculty development: an historical perspective and ideas for a successful future

  • Randy R. BrutkiewiczEmail author


What does it take to be successful as a tenure-track research faculty member in a School of Medicine? What are the elements necessary to run a successful laboratory? How does one find the resources and help to know what is important for promotion and tenure? Most training in graduate school or in clinical fellowships does not answer these questions. Too often, new junior tenure-track research faculty members are left to learn from the “school of hard knocks” and essentially are reinventing the wheel, which is a huge waste of time. This article describes the history of research faculty, what makes them successful, and offers suggestions on how we can help them reach their greatest potential.


Faculty development Medical school faculty New office development Research faculty 



I have been extremely privileged to work with outstanding professionals in the OFAPD: Drs. Steve Bogdewic, Mary Dankoski, Lia Logio, Megan Palmer and Emily Walvoord, as well as Ms. Krista Hoffman-Longtin, Mr. Jon Eynon and Ms. Marsha Quarles. I am also grateful to Dr. Bogdewic for giving me the opportunity to begin and develop this office, and for his continued support. His leadership and mentorship have been very much appreciated. Drs. Bogdewic and Dankoski also offered great suggestions on improving the manuscript. Drs. Hal Broxmeyer, Ora Pescovitz and Dean Craig Brater opened doors leading to the opportunity for me to be a member of Dr. Bogdewic’s team.


  1. Baird, L. L. (1986). What characterizes a productive research department? Research in Higher Education, 25, 211–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Biglan, A. (1973a). The characteristics of subject matter in different academic areas. Journal of Applied Psychology, 57, 195–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Biglan, A. (1973b). Relationships between subject matter characteristics and the structure and output of university departments. Journal of Applied Psychology, 57, 204–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bland, C. J., Seaquist, E., Pacala, J. T., Center, B., & Finstad, D. (2002). One school’s strategy to assess and improve the vitality of its faculty. Academic Medicine, 77, 368–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bland, C. J., Weber-Main, A. M., Lund, S. M., & Finstad, D. A. (2004). The research productive department: Strategies from departments that excel. Boston: Anker Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  6. Bland, C. J., Center, B. A., Finstad, D. A., Risbey, K. R., & Staples, J. G. (2005). A theoretical, practical, predictive model of faculty and department research productivity. Academic Medicine, 80, 225–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clark, M. J., & Centra, J. A. (1985). Influences on the career accomplishments of Ph.D’.s. Research in Higher Education, 23, 256–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dorsey, E. R., et al. (2009). The economics of new faculty hires in basic science. Academic Medicine, 84, 26–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goldman, C. A., Williams, T., Adamson, D. M. & Rosenblatt, K. (2000). Paying for university research facilities and administration. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Monograph.Google Scholar
  10. Hagstrom, W. O. (1964). Traditional and modern forms of scientific teamwork. Administrative Science Quarterly, 9, 241–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Joiner, K. A. (2005). A strategy for allocating central funds to support new faculty recruitment. Academic Medicine, 80, 218–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Joiner, K. A. (2009). A simple model to optimize resource allocations when expanding the faculty research base: a case study. Academic Medicine, 84, 13–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Joiner, K. A., Hiteman, S., Wormsley, S., & St. Germain, p. (2007). Timing of revenue streams from newly recruited faculty: Implications for faculty retention. Academic Medicine, 82, 1228–1238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jones, L. V., Lindsey, G., & Coggeshell, P. E. (1982). An Assessment of research-doctorate programs in the United States. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  15. Kornhauser, W. (1962). Scientists in industry: Conflict and accommodation. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  16. Kuhn, T. S. (1970). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  17. Palmer, M. M., Dankoski, M. E., Brutkiewicz, R. R., Logio, L. S., & Bogdewic, S. P. (2010). An Rx for academic medicine: Building a comprehensive faculty development program. To Improve the Academy, 28, 292–309.Google Scholar
  18. Sax, L. J. (2002). Faculty research productivity: Exploring the role of gender and family-related factors. Research in Higher Education, 43, 423–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Snow, C. P. (1959). The two cultures and the scientific revolution. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional DevelopmentIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUS

Personalised recommendations