Medical Science Educator

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 553–560 | Cite as

Exploring Medical Students’ and Faculty’s Perspectives on Benefits of Undergraduate Research Experience

  • Rintaro ImafukuEmail author
  • So Yasuda
  • Koji Hashimoto
  • Daiya Matsunaga
  • Yusuke Ohashi
  • Kazuo Yamamoto
  • Koji Tsunekawa
  • Takuya Saiki
Original Research


In terms of curriculum development, it is important for faculties to set up a learning environment that supports activities that facilitate the achievement of the intended learning outcomes. This study explores perspectives from medical students and faculty on the benefits of undergraduate research experiences. Thematic analyses of interview data from 18 students and 11 faculty members indicated that transferable skills (e.g., active learning and critical appraisal) were commonly perceived as benefits of undergraduate research (UR) by students (28.6%) and faculty members (35.5%). On the other hand, the most commonly identified benefit of UR among students was research-specific skills (e.g., conducting rigorous experiments and designing a study) (39.7%) and knowledge (22.2%). Faculty members intended to enhance students’ attitudes toward research during UR (e.g., having an inquisitive mind and being research-minded) (50.9%). This study demonstrates that this perception gap is caused by the students’ perceptions of research and faculty members’ difficulties in engaging students during research through mentorship. Therefore, students and faculty members need to thoroughly discuss how they engage mutually, negotiate common purposes, and develop resources for UR. It should be noted that institutional support for mentoring relationships such as offering more opportunities where the faculty members can discuss the best pedagogical approach in UR with others across departments and institutions is key to aligning teaching for constructive learning.


Undergraduate research Student perceptions of learning Faculty intended learning outcome Curriculum development 



This paper was financially supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) Number 17K15741.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Competing Interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval and Consent to Participate

This work was granted by the Institutional Review Board at Gifu University (25-360).


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Copyright information

© International Association of Medical Science Educators 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Education Development CenterGifu UniversityGifuJapan
  2. 2.School of MedicineGifu UniversityGifuJapan

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