Identifying and evaluating gaps in knowledge, skills, and qualities necessary for a career in academia

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Due to demands for qualified faculty and educators, more pharmacy residency programs have adopted resident teaching certificate programs (RTCP). There is a lack of standardization and published research on what should be included in these programs. The primary objective of this study was to utilize an online survey to identify and evaluate perceived gaps in skills, qualities, and knowledge needed for a successful career in academia.


An IRB-approved Qualtrics® survey was developed and emailed to faculty at Ohio colleges of pharmacy in January 2018.


Eighty of 299 total surveys (26.8%) were completed by faculty with representation from all seven colleges in Ohio. When asked to select from a provided list, the top five self-identified gaps in knowledge at the beginning of their career were: accreditation (80.56%), institutional finance (79.17%), programmatic assessment (79.17%), admissions/marketing (77.78%), and experiential site recruitment/retention (77.78%). However, when asked to list five gaps as a free response, the most common themes were tenure, teaching, research, curriculum, and work life balance/time management. Additional questions assessed skills, qualities, resources, and faculty development techniques.


There are many identifiable gaps that participants recalled experiencing in their early years as a faculty member. The number of RTCPs is growing and RTCPs are often the only training residents receive in direct relation to academia and pedagogy. It is critical that RTCPs cover consistent content to expose residents to a career in academia and teach skills that residents need to successfully educate others.