Introduction: There has been a decline in the number of academic clinicians in the UK. Also, there are gender and ethnic inequalities in research opportunities amongst UK clinicians. The decision to get involved in research as a clinician is usually made as a medical student. Hence, this study aims to investigate the factors affecting UK medical students’ involvement in research, and to understand their perceptions of research, motivation for and the barriers to their engagement in research.
Methods: This study is a prospective, observational, national, multi-centre study that will utilise an online questionnaire using the QualtricsTM survey tool. Medical students that are at least 18 years old and enrolled in a UK medical school in the 2020/21 academic year are eligible to partake in this study. The following data will be collected: demographic, research experience, research perception, research self-efficacy, motivation, and barriers to engaging in research. The outcome measures are: number of research projects, publications, presentations, and successful grant applications.
Conclusion: This study will produce evidence-based reports that will guide UK medical schools and relevant organisations in developing resources and programmes that will increase the number of future academic clinicians and resolve inequalities in research opportunities and engagement amongst future clinicians.