Short- and Long-Term Outcomes of Student Field Research Experiences in Special Populations
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Global health education and training of biomedical students in international and minority health research is expending through U.S. academic institutions. This study addresses the short- and long-term outcomes of an NCI-funded R25 short-term summer field research training program. This program is designed for MPH and Ph.D. students in cancer epidemiology and related disciplines, in international and minority settings (special populations) in a recent 7-year period. Positive short-term outcome of 73 students was measured as publishing a manuscript from the field research data and having a job in special populations. Positive long-term outcome was measured as having a post-doc position, being in a doctoral program, and/or employment in special populations at least 3 years from finishing the program. Significant factors associated with both short- and long-term success included resourcefulness of the student and compatibility of personalities and interests between the student and the on-campus and off-campus mentors. Short-term-success of students who conducted international filed research was associated with visits of the on-campus mentor to the field site. Short-term success was also associated with extent of mentorship in the field site and with long-term success. Future studies should investigate how field research sites could enhance careers of students, appropriateness of the sites for specific training competencies, and how to maximize the learning experience of students in international and minority research sites.
KeywordsResearch training Cancer Special populations International epidemiology Educational outcomes Evaluation Students
We would like to thank Ms. Melanie Wells and Ms. Brittany Corley for their effort regarding the data collection and analysis of this research. We would like also to thank the students, on-campus, and off-campus mentors of the Cancer Epidemiology Education in Special Populations (CEESP) Program. This research was supported by grant CA R25CA112383.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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