Impact of a biomedical research project on the human capital development of emerging researchers

Keywords: skills, knowledge, community-based research, rural-based university

Abstract

Various evaluative studies have been carried out to obtain the views of multiple stakeholders involved in community-based biomedical research projects. However, rarely have the viewpoints of postgraduate students and junior faculty involved in such initiatives been explored. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the views of postgraduate students and junior faculty at a rural-based university on the effect of a longitudinal biomedical research project on their acquisition of relevant skills. In-depth interviews and a focus group discussion were conducted. The thematic content analysis technique was used to analyse the qualitative data. Both postgraduate student and junior faculty groups indicated that they had acquired considerable research skills and knowledge; gained experience; were exposed to practical reality; and strengthened their interpersonal skills and general personal development. However, some respondents highlighted that they still believed that training in data analysis and exposure to new laboratory techniques would have strengthened their individual capabilities to conduct cutting-edge research. The results of this study highlight the need for community-based biomedical researchers to equip members of their teams with the skills and knowledge that will help them achieve their academic and career goals.

Significance:

  • The importance of engaging study participants to get their views on the ‘hidden’ value of biomedical research projects has been identified.
  • The need for community-based researchers to equip members of their teams with relevant research skills and knowledge has been emphasised.
  • The results of this study can be useful in the planning and implementation of similar projects in the future.
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Published
2018-03-27