REMED-UK study is a prospective, observational, national, multi-centre study that will utilise an online questionnaire using the QualtricsTM survey tool. This study is being run by Melanin Medics, a UK-registered charitable organisation that aims to increase diversity in medicine.
Ethics approval: This study received ethical approval from the Faculty of Health Research Ethics and Integrity Committee, University of Plymouth on 9 February 2021 (Ethics approval reference: 2570).
Inclusion criteria: Every medical student enrolled in medical schools listed in the UK’s Medical Schools Council at the start of the 2020/21 academic year.
Exclusion criteria: Any student that is unwilling or unable to give informed consent or does not meet the inclusion criteria.
The UK National Research Collaborative Model will be used to distribute the questionnaire to medical students currently enrolled in medical schools listed by the Medical Schools Council at the start of the 2020/21 academic year. The survey will be disseminated through emails and various social media platforms. Prospective data will be collected over eight weeks (22 March to 16 May 2021).
Sample size: ≥ 381 medical students. Calculated using Raosoft ® Sample Size Calculator using the following parameters: margin of error (5%), confidence interval (95%), population size (45000), response distribution (50%).
An initial questionnaire was created by members of the REMED-UK steering committee based on literature findings [10, 12, 21–26, 13–20]. The initial questionnaire was sent to the REMED-UK regional leads (students across various UK medical schools) for feedback. The questionnaire was modified based on the received feedback.
The questionnaire (Appendix 1) has the following domains:
- Research experience and achievements (since starting medical school)
- Perception of research
- Research self-efficacy
- Career interest
- Motivation for research
- Barriers to research
Pre-processing steps will include re-categorising free text entries into existing similar data categories and grouping free text entries into new data categories. Statistical analysis will be conducted on IBM SPSS Statistics 26 software. Variables with less than 80% responses will be excluded from the analysis.
Descriptive statistics will be presented as mean ± standard deviation for parametric data, and median ± interquartile range for non-parametric data. Frequencies will be presented as both absolute numbers and percentages.
Binary logistic regression analysis will be utilised to test for associations between categorical outcomes (binary) and the independent variables. Multinomial logistic regression analysis will be utilised if the categorical outcome has more than two categories. Multiple linear regression analysis will be utilised if the outcome variable is continuous. Generalised linear models (binomial distribution and logit link) will be utilised if the outcome variable is a proportion but with a binary outcome. The assumptions for these statistical tests will be investigated before running the tests. For all analysis, a p-value < 0.05 will be considered statistically significant.
See Appendix 2 for the hypotheses that will be tested in this study.
- Demographic: Age, Sex, ethnicity, Russell group vs non-Russell group university, stage of training, previous degree, part-time job, type of secondary school, parent’s highest level of academic qualification, previous research experience, medical school decile
- Desire to get involved in various aspects of research (e.g. data collection, analysis, writing manuscript.): Categorical (yes/no). These components will be analysed separately.
- Research perception: Continuous level (Likert scale)
- Research participation: analysed at categorical and continuous levels
- Publications: analysed at categorical and continuous levels. Secondary analysis will consider PubMed-indexed publications, number of first-authored publications, and collaborator status
- Presentations: analysed at categorical and continuous levels. Secondary analysis will consider oral presentations, and level of presentation (international or national: yes vs no).
- Grants: Proportion of successful grant applications (whilst still accounting for the number of applications)
- Confidence in various aspects of research: Analyse the individual Likert items as continuous variables in isolation
- Involvement in various aspects of components of research (e.g. data collection, analysis, writing manuscript.): Categorical (yes/no). These components will be analysed separately.
On completion of the study, the data will be analysed, and reports will be prepared. The study report(s) will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journal(s) and presented at national/ international meetings.