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Table 2 Solutions offered by survey respondents regarding how to increase medical student research engagement

From: The experiences, attitudes and understanding of research amongst medical students at an Australian medical school

Themes Representative responses % of responses
Improve access to and promotion of research opportunities “[Allow] earlier exposure to actual research as opposed to just teaching research methods” 51.8%
“Updated databases of possible research project opportunities”
“A subscription service notifying students of new research opportunities tailored to the fields they want to pursue”
“More accessibility to full time researchers as clinicians are too busy”
“More opportunities for students in rural settings to do research”
Better education about both research skills and the importance of research “Faculty teaching … on research skills such as ethics submission and study design” 18.4%
“Explaining the role of research in patient care”
“Knowing the weighting of research on internship and specialty applications”
Provide incentives to complete research “Better remuneration and appreciation, not treated as free labour with a $200/week summer research scholarship for fulltime work” 8.7%
“Make it more interesting and financially accessible for students that cannot justify putting off getting paid for a whole year”
Allow dedicated time for research “Active exposure via shadowing researchers or Honours students” 6.9%
“Further integration of research into the course such as [the programs at] Stanford and Harvard”
Actively encourage research “Active encouragement and platforms to showcase undergraduate research like [the International Conference of Undergraduate Research] and the research week” 3.6%
“Consultants/medical staff that are associated with teaching hospitals [should be] encouraged to involve medical students in research projects”
“Active encouragement by faculty [with] tutors speaking about their own research projects”
Safeguard against the exploitation of medical students by researchers “Having increased accountability for supervisors to credit/acknowledge students as opposed to using them as guinea pigs for data collection” 2.1%
“Better canvassing of opportunities with more opportunities to get involved where students are aware of time commitment and if [they will receive authorship]”
Publish stories about other medical student research experiences “Produce day-in-the-life stories/videos following BMedSc (Hons) students” 2.1%
“Talks by current and past students about what [research is] really like, not just from the faculty”
Medical student research should not be promoted “Most BMedSc (Hons) projects are small and lacking in [academic or clinical] utility” 1.8%
“Too many students do research [to increase employability] and are not actually interested in it”
“Doing research to get an internship/advanced training place produces non-contributory, [poor quality] research”