Exploring how national educational organizations can promote educational research amongst members: a survey-based study

Lavjay Butani, Gary L.Beck Dallaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Engagement of academic faculty in research remains low. While barriers to research have been explored, there are no data on how national organizations can help overcome these barriers. Our study explored faculty satisfaction and motivational drivers for engagement with research opportunities offered by the Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics (COMSEP), an organization of pediatric medical educators, and characterize strategies perceived by faculty to promote the use of these opportunities. Methods: In 2021, 5 survey questions were administered to faculty members of COMSEP to explore satisfaction with COMSEP’s research offerings, the perceived value of educational research, and the facilitators, barriers and potential opportunities for COMSEP to promote research. Clark’s Commitment and Necessary Effort model on motivation served as the theoretical framework for our study, which explores motivation, self-efficacy and contextual factors influencing an individual’s pursuit of goals. Chi-square analysis and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test were used to compare categorical and scaled variables among groups who did and did not avail of COMSEP’s research offerings. Results: 90 (25%) of 360 recipients responded. 61% expressed satisfaction with COMSEP’s research offerings. 68% indicated research was an expectation of their academic appointment, that education was their primary research focus (74%) and that they did not have other research opportunities that met their needs (58%). Of respondents, 75.7% of females had submitted a proposal compared to 60% of non-responders who were females. The comparison by gender was not statistically significant. Exploration by academic rank revealed that 35% of instructor/assistant professors had submitted a proposal compared to 65% of associate professors/professors (p =.05). Barriers leading to non-submission to any of the offerings included having too much other work, lack of enjoyment in writing and inability to find mentors. Respondents endorsed the importance of several strategies to promote engagement in research-skill building opportunities, personalized consultations and increased funding. Conclusions: Faculty educators value the importance of educational research and recognize that research opportunities offered by COMSEP address an unmet need, but express ambivalence in the enjoyment of writing (reflecting their mood), and endorse structural barriers, that are amenable to change, affecting their personal agency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number137
JournalBMC medical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Educational research
  • Faculty
  • Organizational strategies
  • Survey
  • Undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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