Purpose: Although numerous characteristics impact faculty research productivity, and although researchers have suggested comprehensive theoretical models to explain the relationship between these characteristics and levels of faculty research productivity, few studies have assessed these models. This study tests the ability of the Bland et al. (2002) model - based on individual, institutional, and leadership variables influencing faculty research productivity - to explain individual and group (department) research productivity within the context of a large medical school. Method: This study used data from a University of Minnesota Medical School - Twin Cities vitality survey conducted in 2000 that had a response rate of 76% (n = 465 faculty). A statistical software package was used to conduct t tests, logistic regressions, and multiple regressions on these data. Results: The validity of faculty, department, and leadership characteristics identified in the Bland et al. (2002) model were confirmed as necessary for high levels of research productivity. Faculty productivity was influenced more by individual and institutional characteristics; group productivity was more affected by institutional and leadership characteristics. Conclusion: The characteristics and groupings (individual, institutional, and leadership) in the Bland et al. (2002) model predict faculty research productivity. Research productivity is influenced by the interaction of the three broad groupings, and it is the dynamic interplay of individual and institutional characteristics, supplemented with effective leadership, that determines the productivity of individuals and departments.