Supporting the Biomedical Science UG Project Research Journey Through Staff-Student Partnerships

Stephany Veuger*, Lindey Cookson, H. Creighton, S. Gallaher, Seth Racey, Mike Ridley, Ian Robson

*Corresponding author for this work

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Introduction: Developing research skills enhances graduate attributes and student employability. The UG research project is coined the pedagogy of the 21st century but the diversity of supervisory styles is a source of student perceived inequality of experience. The goal of this study was to provide structure and support to undergraduate (UG) biomedical science research students and supervisors by co-creating research informed resources that are accessible, engaging and student centred. We asked 1) How do UG students experience research supervision? 2) What approaches do supervisors use to support UG project students? 3) How do students as partners benefit from being involved in pedagogical research? Materials and Methods: In Stage One, 3 UG student research partners co-developed questionnaires and followed these up with semi-structured interviews. Fifty two UG project students took part in an interactive poll and 14 supervisors answered a questionnaire. Seven students and 4 supervisors were interviewed. These were analysed by thematic analysis. In Stage Two, the questions were asked of UG project students ( n = 79) via an interactive poll and the resource developed in Stage One was trialled with students ( n = 68) and supervisors ( n = 37). Results: The global theme identified was that students feel strongly that the student-supervisor relationship influences their experience, satisfaction and success. In all polls, >90% of students but <60% of supervisors agree that a good student/supervisor partnership has an effect on the success of the final project. A smaller percentage of students felt strongly that they were able to develop a successful partnership with their supervisor. We co-created a visual model and a list of discussion points of how the student-supervisor partnership can be developed, aimed at making supervision more effective whilst being non-prescriptive. Discussion: The resource can be easily adapted. Students believe it helped them to develop a staff-student partnership and supervisors commented that it helps to clarify roles and manage student expectations. This scalable project will support the practice of future UG biomedical science project research students and supervisors. Working with students as partners enabled the development of richer ideas whilst supporting their employability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12215
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Biomedical Science
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2024

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