An Integrated Approach to Evaluate Faculty Members Research Performance

Iyengar, Rama MBA; Wang, Yanping PhD; Chow, Jennifer; Charney, Dennis S. MD

Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181bb2364
Researchers' Performance
Abstract

Medical school administrations need a widely acceptable method of assessing research performance of faculty to make management decisions. The challenge is to identify metrics that allow for comparison across fields. Level of extramural funding, quality of publications, and peer recognition are the commonly used indicators of success. European institutions typically use the impact factors of the journals where their scientists publish, whereas U.S. institutions, including Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM), mostly use grant funding as the major criterion of research productivity. At MSSM, the authors, representing the Dean’s Office, collected data on the performance of research faculty in 2006 and 2007 and developed a method to compare the impact factors of publications by individual researchers across disciplines. This was then compared with each individual’s research density (grant funding/square foot of research space) to determine whether these measures correlated and whether combining them yielded insights different from using either one independently. Results indicated a weak correlation between the two metrics in 2006 data and no significant correlation in 2007 data. Each faculty member was plotted on a four-quadrant model on the basis of the impact of his or her publications and research density. This dual-metric model allowed for the identification of the strongest and weakest performers and classification of those in between to develop appropriately tailored strategies for mentoring and development at the level of individual faculty. This integrated approach, based on objective numerical criteria, shows promise as a useful method for management of the research enterprise of medical schools.

Author Information

Ms. Iyengar is associate dean for planning and resource management, Office of the Dean, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York.

Dr. Wang is currently psychology postdoctoral fellow in psychiatry, New York-Presbyterian, Hospital-Payne Whitney Westchester, White Plains, New York. When this article was submitted, she was assistant professor, Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York.

Ms. Chow is currently program manager, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York. When this article was submitted, she was management analyst, Office of the Dean, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York.

Dr. Charney is dean, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York.

Editor’s Note: A commentary on this article appears on pages 1482.

Correspondence should be addressed to Ms. Iyengar, Office of the Dean, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave Levy Place, Box 1217, New York NY 10029; telephone: (212) 241-6701; fax: (212) 241-7146; e-mail: (rama.iyengar@mssm.edu).

© 2009 Association of American Medical Colleges