Assessment of Undergraduate Research Experience in Term of Benefits, Barriers and Mentorship from Student's Perspectives: A Mixed Quantitative-Qualitative Method
Keywords:Undergraduates, Research Experience, Benefits, Barriers, Mentorship, Sudan
Undergraduate research has many demonstrated benefits like enhancement of student’s critical thinking, understanding of research process, and soft skills development, yet so many challenges are facing medical students with availability of time being the most cited among many undergraduates. The aim of this study was to assess the undergraduates research experience in terms of benefits, barriers and mentorship from students perspectives.
This study used a mixed quantitative-qualitative approach. The quantitative part was observational, analytical cross-sectional study design with census sampling and 900 participants from 3 batches. The qualitative part constructed in 6 focus group discussions with thematic analysis. The data were collected using standardized pre-validated questionnaire for the quantitative data, and structured questions for the qualitative data. Statistical analysis for the quantitative data was performed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) ® version No. 26, while qualitative data were analyzed using ATLAS.ti 9 software.
From 950 census of the three batches, 900 student filled the questionnaire with 94.7% response rate. The mean age of the participants was 24.7, with 69 % females. After finishing their research only 7.7% published their work (65.3% journal, 16.7% conferences presentations). The highest gains reported from this experience were understanding the research process in the medical field, learning to work independently, and ability to read and understand primary literature, while the lowest were learning laboratory techniques, clarification of career path, and confidence in their potential to be science teachers. Themes generated from the qualitative data regarding undergraduate research benefits were: 1. Research knowledge, 2. Soft skills and 3. Scientific/Academic paradigm. The three most reported barriers were research knowledge and skills (44.4%), mentorship (24.4%), and time management (21.7%).
When assessing mentorship, 28.9% indicated that their supervisor was about average “He was very good, He wasn't always available, but when available he tries to give us everything he can, generally he was so nice” group3, participant4, 15.8% said he/she is outstanding as a teacher and mentor “she was so supportive (supportive as a supervisor, teacher and even as a mom), she was trying to get the best out of us “ group1, participant1. We investigated the association between students evaluation of their supervisors and their evaluation of the overall research experience, these two variables were moderately correlated (r=.31 , P = .000). Also there is a significant positive correlation between supervisor`s evaluation and students tendency to choose another research experience as undergraduates (r= .2 , P= .000). Nevertheless, Supervisor`s evaluation also correlate with the overall benefits from the research experience (r= .2 , P =.000).
Undergraduate research experiences had many well-established benefits yet so many challenges were encountered by students when conducting medical researches. These challenges need to be addressed properly in order to maximize the outcomes. Nevertheless, Mentorship is a defining feature and can determine the outcome of the whole research experience among undergraduates, and this necessitate baying further attention to this factor.
- 2023-02-20 (2)
- 2022-12-31 (1)
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Hayat Abdoallah Ahmed
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
- Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
- The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
- Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site; with the understanding that the above condition can be waived with permission from the Author and that where the Work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license.
- The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a prepublication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
- Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
- The Author represents and warrants that:
- the Work is the Author’s original work;
- the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
- the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
- the Work has not previously been published;
- the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
- the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
- The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from the Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.
Enforcement of copyright
The IJMS takes the protection of copyright very seriously.
If the IJMS discovers that you have used its copyright materials in contravention of the license above, the IJMS may bring legal proceedings against you seeking reparation and an injunction to stop you using those materials. You could also be ordered to pay legal costs.
If you become aware of any use of the IJMS' copyright materials that contravenes or may contravene the license above, please report this by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you become aware of any material on the website that you believe infringes your or any other person's copyright, please report this by email to email@example.com