Factors Influencing Decisions to Become Involved in Research: a Study of Pre-clinical Medical Students from New Zealand

  • Yassar AlamriEmail author
Original Research



The rate of medical student participation in research remains relatively low despite the number of benefits it affords. The aim of the current study was to explore the factors influencing the decision to become involved in research as it pertains to pre-clinical medical students at our institution.


An anonymous questionnaire was handed to second and third year (i.e. pre-clinical) medical students.


A total of 249 students returned the completed questionnaire (response rate of 42%). A sizeable proportion of the respondents (40.2%) indicated an interest in being involved in research (e.g. ethics application, data collection or reporting of results), as medical students. Neither age nor debt-burden seemed to influence the students’ interest in research. Intrinsic interests in research and career progression were cited as the main motives for involvement in scholarly activities. On the other hand, the main barriers to research participation were time and financial costs.


Creative solutions specifically addressing the obstacles identified by medical students are needed in order to enhance their participation in research early in their careers. Given the limitations of this study, further research is required to corroborate our findings.


Pre-clinical Medical student Research Publications 



The author would like to thank Ms Anne-Marrie Patterson for her assistance in liaising with the study participants.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study was approved by the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, on behalf of the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee (reference: D18/207).

Informed Consent

Students who responded to administered survey after reading the Information Sheet were assumed to have provided consent at the time of completion.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Medical Science Educators 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New Zealand Brain Research InstituteChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of MedicineChristchurch Public HospitalChristchurchNew Zealand
  3. 3.Canterbury District Health BoardChristchurchNew Zealand

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