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1.
Journal of clinical and translational science ; 5(Suppl 1):62-62, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1710634

ABSTRACT

IMPACT: The Summer Foundation on Research gave undergraduate students the opportunity to do research despite the new normal - COVID-19 pandemic. OBJECTIVES/GOALS: The COVID-19 pandemic prevented domestic and international undergraduate students from attending in-person Mayo Clinic Summer Undergraduate Research Programs. Mayo decided to redesign this program as a virtual, 4-week Summer Foundations in Research (SFIR) program. The goal of this program was to give students a scientific research experience. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: The SFIR included an Introduction to Experimental Design, Dialogue methodology for communicating science, scientific mentoring, asynchronous online modules and a Resiliency component. Evaluations of the program were undertaken to gather feedback for program improvement and to assess the educational and mental health impact on participants. These evaluations asked student to rate each section of the program. Additionally, students were encouraged to provide their own comments and feedback. Statistical analysis of quantitative data was performed using excel. The qualitative data was studied using the identification, analysis and interpretation of patterns method per the student’s comments on each of the questions addressed in the survey. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: These evaluations revealed positive outcomes across program components: 66% of the participants found the Resiliency component extremely worthwhile, 80% of participants liked the experimental design and 70% liked the educational courses. Qualitative data showed that mentor/mentee interactions were highly valued, and both participants and faculty suggested increasing the amount of time devoted to these interactions. Small group discussions gave students the opportunity to get to know other peers and encouraged further discussions about science and the community. Participants suggested minor improvements to the program, such as re-creating the online modules specific for undergraduate students, increasing 1-to-1 and small group’s discussion, and increasing the length of the program. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF FINDINGS: Despite the quick pivot of the SFIR program, the re-design and new format supported the development of participants’ resilience skills and training as future scientists during a particularly challenging time. Mayo is committed to continuing this program as an early step in a pathway to careers in research.

2.
Sustainability ; 13(11):6133, 2021.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1259591

ABSTRACT

When COVID-19 caused worldwide cancellations of summer research immersion programs in 2020, Mayo Clinic rallied to create an alternate virtual experience called Summer Foundations in Research (SFIR). SFIR was designed not only to ensure the continuance of science pathways training for undergraduate scientists but also to support undergraduate mental wellbeing, given the known pandemic stressors. A total of 170 participants took part in the program and were surveyed pre-post for outcomes in biomedical research career knowledge, biomedical research career interest, research skills confidence, and three dimensions of mental wellbeing. Knowledge of and interest in careers involving biomedical research rose significantly following participation in SFIR. The participants’ mean research skills confidence also rose between 0.08 and 1.32 points on a 7-point scale across 12 items from the Clinical Research Appraisal Inventory. Success in science pathways support was accompanied by positive shifts in participant mental wellbeing. Measurable decreases in stress (Perceived Stress Scale, p <0.0001) accompanied gains in resilience (Brief Resilience Scale, p <0.0001) and life satisfaction (Satisfaction with Life Scale, p = 0.0005). Collectively, the data suggest that core objectives of traditional in-person summer research programming can be accomplished virtually and that these programs can simultaneously impact student wellbeing. This theoretical framework is particularly salient during COVID-19, but the increased accessibility of virtual programs such as SFIR can continue to bolster science education pathways long after the pandemic is gone.

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