Building a Local Research Symposium: The Crossroads of Scholarship, Education, and Faculty Development

MedEdPORTAL. 2020 Dec 24:16:11048. doi: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.11048.


Introduction: Demonstrating research productivity for faculty and trainees is challenging in primarily community-based settings, where academic, structural, and financial resources for faculty development in scholarship may be limited. More tools are needed to guide faculty leaders in community-based settings to develop opportunities locally.

Methods: At our community-based children's hospital with recent academic affiliation and a new residency program, we developed an annual research symposium targeted to faculty and trainees. We refined tools for solicitation and scoring of abstracts, speaker selection, skill-building workshops, scholarly case report presentations, and a mentored poster session. We worked with available resources, kept costs flexible and low, and secured local partnerships to defray expenses. Evaluation consisted of session evaluations and trends in abstract submissions, institutional review board (IRB) submissions, and resident scholarly productivity over 4 years.

Results: Scholarship improved over the symposium's first 4 years, with increased attendance (from 80 to 150), abstract submissions (from 29 to >50), IRB-approved research projects (from 65 to 123), and positive feedback on symposium evaluations. From our first three resident classes, 61 resident-authored abstracts were presented at our symposia, with 33 presented at regional and national meetings and 15 converted to peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Discussion: We have developed a local research symposium to meet the needs of a new hospital's faculty and trainees. Evaluation data have allowed us to tailor the program to stakeholder needs. We provide a tool kit of generalizable resources for community-based programs to build on these efforts in a high-yield and cost-effective manner.

Keywords: Communication Skills; Community-Based; Editor's Choice; Faculty Development; Publishing/Scholarship; Research Symposium; Scholarship; Self-Regulated Learning.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Faculty
  • Fellowships and Scholarships*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*