Establishment of the Clinician-Scientist Investigator Opportunity Network to Develop Military Medical Research Leaders

Joseph K. Maddry, Amber Mallory, Allyson A. Araña, Michael J. Morris, Melissa Ann R. Clemons, Alexander J. Burdette, Mark W. True, Debra Niemeyer, Erik K. Weitzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The ability of military clinicians to conduct military medical research is often limited because of competing priorities and a lack of research mentorship. The Clinician-Scientist Investigator Opportunity Network (CSION) was developed with the intent of training clinicians how to engage in requirements-driven research within the DoD. Materials and Methods: Three to five academic medical faculties were selected from a pool of applicants each year to participate in a 2-year research fellowship. To be eligible for the CSION program, applicants had to meet the following criteria: (1) Completed residency graduate medical education training, (2) not be currently enrolled as a graduate medical education trainee, and (3) obtained permission from their department leadership to focus 25% of their duty hours on CSION participation to include didactic and research efforts. The remaining 75% of fellows’ time was dedicated to clinical duties. Monthly didactics, intensive mentorship, and consistent support were offered to each fellow by the CSION leadership team. Metrics were recorded to include both research and clinical productivity. Results: Between January 2019 and December 2022, 12 CSION fellows graduated from the program (four in the class of 2020, three in 2021, and five in 2022). From 2019 to 2021, the 12 CSION fellows initiated 204 research protocols, generated 489 publications/presentations, and secured 33 research grants. All graduates of the program remain active in clinical research with multiple graduates currently assigned to research positions. Conclusions: The CSION research education program is a 2-year additional duty research fellowship producing clinician-scientists conducting military-relevant medical research and publications and may be considered a low-cost/highly efficient alternative to achieve the reported benefits of the MD–PhD tract. The expansion of the CSION program may improve the quality of military medical research and health care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E864-E870
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


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