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A research education program model to prepare a highly qualified workforce in biomedical and health-related research and increase diversity.

Crockett ET - BMC Med Educ (2014)

Bottom Line: Thirty-six (36) have completed their research training, and eighty percent (80%) of them have continued their research experiences beyond the program.All experiences have been positive and highly promoted.This approach has the potential to train a highly qualified workforce, change lives, enhance biomedical research, and by extension, improve national health-care.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Medicine, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA. ecrocket@msu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: The National Institutes of Health has recognized a compelling need to train highly qualified individuals and promote diversity in the biomedical/clinical sciences research workforce. In response, we have developed a research-training program known as REPID (Research Education Program to Increase Diversity among Health Researchers) to prepare students/learners to pursue research careers in these fields and address the lack of diversity and health disparities. By inclusion of students/learners from minority and diverse backgrounds, the REPID program aims to provide a research training and enrichment experience through team mentoring to inspire students/learners to pursue research careers in biomedical and health-related fields.

Methods: Students/learners are recruited from the University campus from a diverse population of undergraduates, graduates, health professionals, and lifelong learners. Our recruits first enroll into an innovative on-line introductory course in Basics and Methods in Biomedical Research that uses a laboratory Tool-Kit (a lab in a box called the My Dr. ET Lab Tool-Kit) to receive the standard basics of research education, e.g., research skills, and lab techniques. The students/learners will also learn about the responsible conduct of research, research concept/design, data recording/analysis, and scientific writing/presentation. The course is followed by a 12-week hands-on research experience during the summer. The students/learners also attend workshops and seminars/conferences. The students/learners receive scholarship to cover stipends, research related expenses, and to attend a scientific conference.

Results: The scholarship allows the students/learners to gain knowledge and seize opportunities in biomedical and health-related careers. This is an ongoing program, and during the first three years of the program, fifty-one (51) students/learners have been recruited. Thirty-six (36) have completed their research training, and eighty percent (80%) of them have continued their research experiences beyond the program. The combination of carefully providing standard basics of research education and mentorship has been successful and instrumental for training these students/learners and their success in finding biomedical/health-related jobs and/or pursuing graduate/medical studies. All experiences have been positive and highly promoted.

Conclusions: This approach has the potential to train a highly qualified workforce, change lives, enhance biomedical research, and by extension, improve national health-care.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Evaluation and grading form for REPID candidate. This evaluation form was used to rank the candidates.
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Fig2: Evaluation and grading form for REPID candidate. This evaluation form was used to rank the candidates.

Mentions: All of our trainees were recruited from the Michigan State University campus from a diverse population of undergraduates, graduates, health professionals, and life-long students/learners (Table 1 and 2 show demographic representations). Health professionals are individuals enrolled in medical school or pursuing a master’s degree in nursing, Epidemiology, public health or other health related programs (Table 2). About 25–30 applicants were selected for a personal interview, and each was scored and ranked using a grading system (Figure 2), and then based on their scores 15–18 trainees were recommended by an advisory board. Consistently, there was a larger population of female trainees with African American ethnicity background during the past three years of the training (i.e., Ratio 2:1 female:male). Once the trainees were admitted they were enrolled in the online hybrid research-training course.The research training program consists of two components: The first, and most important, includes teaching the standard of basics and methods in biomedical research, followed by a 12 week hands-on summer research experience (Figure 1). The foundation of the program introduces trainees to the standards of biomedical research concepts and methodology. This training assures that trainees gain the appropriate knowledge and information about what research is and how it is performed. They also acquire the basic technical skills necessary to function in a biomedical research laboratory or an epidemiology/clinical research team setting. This objective is accomplished through an on-line introductory course (i.e.; Basics and Methods in Biomedical Research), which is presented to the trainees prior to the summer hands-on research experience. The first and last classes are in-person, which allows the trainees to interact with each other and the instructor. Further, the trainees are given the opportunity to request in-person training for lab skills. This innovative approach allows trainees to have the satisfaction of learning on their own, while having the option to ask questions if they need help. This allows for trainees residing in remote parts of the State of Michigan or anywhere in the country to receive the research training. This research-training course significantly enhanced the trainee’s self-confidence in their ability to participate in the second part of the program. Through the on-line course, trainees also received assistance to create an individual development plans portfolio “IDPs” to record their research and academic goals, objectives, timelines, progress and accomplishments. The trainee identifies his/her short- and long- term academic/ research/ career goals and how s/he plans on achieving these goals with the program. The program’s mentor and teaching instructor/staff closely monitor each trainee’s research progress and the development of professional skills, while working with the trainee and providing instructions to overcome obstacles and barriers. Each trainee was required to submit weekly assignments, they were also required to perform lab tasks, submit a final paper, and present a Power Point presentation. These assignments allowed the instructor to monitor each trainee’s progress throughout the training program. After successful completion of the research course (to get a passing grade of 75% or more), the trainees then participated in the second part of the program, a 10–12 week summer hands-on research experience which allowed them to work with their selected research mentors.Table 1


A research education program model to prepare a highly qualified workforce in biomedical and health-related research and increase diversity.

Crockett ET - BMC Med Educ (2014)

Evaluation and grading form for REPID candidate. This evaluation form was used to rank the candidates.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4197236&req=5

Fig2: Evaluation and grading form for REPID candidate. This evaluation form was used to rank the candidates.
Mentions: All of our trainees were recruited from the Michigan State University campus from a diverse population of undergraduates, graduates, health professionals, and life-long students/learners (Table 1 and 2 show demographic representations). Health professionals are individuals enrolled in medical school or pursuing a master’s degree in nursing, Epidemiology, public health or other health related programs (Table 2). About 25–30 applicants were selected for a personal interview, and each was scored and ranked using a grading system (Figure 2), and then based on their scores 15–18 trainees were recommended by an advisory board. Consistently, there was a larger population of female trainees with African American ethnicity background during the past three years of the training (i.e., Ratio 2:1 female:male). Once the trainees were admitted they were enrolled in the online hybrid research-training course.The research training program consists of two components: The first, and most important, includes teaching the standard of basics and methods in biomedical research, followed by a 12 week hands-on summer research experience (Figure 1). The foundation of the program introduces trainees to the standards of biomedical research concepts and methodology. This training assures that trainees gain the appropriate knowledge and information about what research is and how it is performed. They also acquire the basic technical skills necessary to function in a biomedical research laboratory or an epidemiology/clinical research team setting. This objective is accomplished through an on-line introductory course (i.e.; Basics and Methods in Biomedical Research), which is presented to the trainees prior to the summer hands-on research experience. The first and last classes are in-person, which allows the trainees to interact with each other and the instructor. Further, the trainees are given the opportunity to request in-person training for lab skills. This innovative approach allows trainees to have the satisfaction of learning on their own, while having the option to ask questions if they need help. This allows for trainees residing in remote parts of the State of Michigan or anywhere in the country to receive the research training. This research-training course significantly enhanced the trainee’s self-confidence in their ability to participate in the second part of the program. Through the on-line course, trainees also received assistance to create an individual development plans portfolio “IDPs” to record their research and academic goals, objectives, timelines, progress and accomplishments. The trainee identifies his/her short- and long- term academic/ research/ career goals and how s/he plans on achieving these goals with the program. The program’s mentor and teaching instructor/staff closely monitor each trainee’s research progress and the development of professional skills, while working with the trainee and providing instructions to overcome obstacles and barriers. Each trainee was required to submit weekly assignments, they were also required to perform lab tasks, submit a final paper, and present a Power Point presentation. These assignments allowed the instructor to monitor each trainee’s progress throughout the training program. After successful completion of the research course (to get a passing grade of 75% or more), the trainees then participated in the second part of the program, a 10–12 week summer hands-on research experience which allowed them to work with their selected research mentors.Table 1

Bottom Line: Thirty-six (36) have completed their research training, and eighty percent (80%) of them have continued their research experiences beyond the program.All experiences have been positive and highly promoted.This approach has the potential to train a highly qualified workforce, change lives, enhance biomedical research, and by extension, improve national health-care.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Medicine, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA. ecrocket@msu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: The National Institutes of Health has recognized a compelling need to train highly qualified individuals and promote diversity in the biomedical/clinical sciences research workforce. In response, we have developed a research-training program known as REPID (Research Education Program to Increase Diversity among Health Researchers) to prepare students/learners to pursue research careers in these fields and address the lack of diversity and health disparities. By inclusion of students/learners from minority and diverse backgrounds, the REPID program aims to provide a research training and enrichment experience through team mentoring to inspire students/learners to pursue research careers in biomedical and health-related fields.

Methods: Students/learners are recruited from the University campus from a diverse population of undergraduates, graduates, health professionals, and lifelong learners. Our recruits first enroll into an innovative on-line introductory course in Basics and Methods in Biomedical Research that uses a laboratory Tool-Kit (a lab in a box called the My Dr. ET Lab Tool-Kit) to receive the standard basics of research education, e.g., research skills, and lab techniques. The students/learners will also learn about the responsible conduct of research, research concept/design, data recording/analysis, and scientific writing/presentation. The course is followed by a 12-week hands-on research experience during the summer. The students/learners also attend workshops and seminars/conferences. The students/learners receive scholarship to cover stipends, research related expenses, and to attend a scientific conference.

Results: The scholarship allows the students/learners to gain knowledge and seize opportunities in biomedical and health-related careers. This is an ongoing program, and during the first three years of the program, fifty-one (51) students/learners have been recruited. Thirty-six (36) have completed their research training, and eighty percent (80%) of them have continued their research experiences beyond the program. The combination of carefully providing standard basics of research education and mentorship has been successful and instrumental for training these students/learners and their success in finding biomedical/health-related jobs and/or pursuing graduate/medical studies. All experiences have been positive and highly promoted.

Conclusions: This approach has the potential to train a highly qualified workforce, change lives, enhance biomedical research, and by extension, improve national health-care.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus