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Independent investigator incubator (I3): a comprehensive mentorship program to jumpstart productive research careers for junior faculty

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medical Education, August 2018
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (89th percentile)

Mentioned by

2 news outlets
6 tweeters


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61 Mendeley
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Independent investigator incubator (I3): a comprehensive mentorship program to jumpstart productive research careers for junior faculty
Published in
BMC Medical Education, August 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12909-018-1290-3
Pubmed ID

John Paul Spence, Jennifer L. Buddenbaum, Paula J. Bice, Julie L. Welch, Aaron E. Carroll


In the highly competitive environment of academic medicine, junior faculty investigators face high attrition rates due to challenges in finding effective mentorship, securing grant funding, and obtaining resources to support their career development and research productivity. The purpose of this study was to describe the centralized, cost-sharing design of the Independent Investigator Incubator (I3) program as a novel approach to junior faculty mentoring and to evaluate quantitative outcomes for program improvement. In September 2014, the I3 pilot program, a comprehensive mentorship program targeting junior faculty pursuing research careers, was launched. Participants included junior faculty during the crucial first three years of their research careers or during their transition from career development awards to more independent research. Following initial screening, the I3 mentees were paired with a senior faculty "super-mentor" with expertise in either basic science or clinical research. Mentees were provided with robust traditional one-on-one mentoring, targeted feedback from a super-mentor review committee, as well as biostatistician and grant writing support. To assess the effectiveness of the I3 program, we tracked outcome measures via baseline and 12-month mentee surveys. Data collected assessed program diversity, mentee self-assessments, evaluation of the mentoring relationship, scholarship and productivity metrics. Raw data were analyzed using a paired t-test in Excel (P < 0.05). Results of the baseline mentee self-assessment survey found that the I3 mentees indicated common "perceive deficits" including navigating the organizational and institutional culture, clear direction in achieving promotion and tenure, among others. When baseline mentee survey responses were compared to 12-month responses, we identified strong "perceived growth" in categories, such as Research and Interpersonal Skills and Career Development Skills. Further, productivity metrics at 12-months revealed that roughly 80% of I3 mentees successfully published a manuscript(s). The I3 program has helped generate roughly $12.1 million dollars in investigator-initiated funding after two years in the program. The I3 program allows for shared costs between institutions and increased availability of successful subject matter experts. Study results imply that the I3 mentoring program provides transformative mentorship for junior faculty. Using our findings, we developed courses and an annual "snapshot" of mentee performance for mentors.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 6 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 61 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 61 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 8 13%
Other 7 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 6 10%
Professor 4 7%
Student > Bachelor 4 7%
Other 15 25%
Unknown 17 28%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 15 25%
Social Sciences 8 13%
Business, Management and Accounting 3 5%
Psychology 3 5%
Nursing and Health Professions 2 3%
Other 9 15%
Unknown 21 34%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 21. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 22 June 2021.
All research outputs
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Outputs from BMC Medical Education
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from BMC Medical Education
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Altmetric has tracked 21,397,370 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 93rd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 3,032 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 6.3. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 299,303 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them