The Roles of Students and Supervisors in Medical Research Projects: Expectations and Evaluations


avatar Salman AlSabah 1 , * , avatar Eliana Al Haddad 2 , avatar Fahd AlSaleh 3

1 Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Hospital, Kuwait University, Kuwait

2 Amiri Hospital, Kuwait University, Kuwait

3 Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, Kuwait University, Kuwait

How to Cite: AlSabah S, Haddad E A, AlSaleh F. The Roles of Students and Supervisors in Medical Research Projects: Expectations and Evaluations. J Med Edu. 2018;17(4):e105652. doi: 10.22037/jme.v17i4.23298.


Journal of Medical Education: 17 (4); e105652
Published Online: February 24, 2019
Article Type: Research Article
Received: November 08, 2018
Accepted: January 07, 2019


Background: As research becomes one of the cornerstones of modern medicine, medical students are playing a greater role in contributing to its production. While such studies help expand their knowledge, the importance of doctoral supervision is important in effective training, empowerment and the facilitation of young scholars in becoming independent researchers. However, the roles of students and supervisors in the creation of a research paper is still a gray zone.Methods: An online, web-based survey was designed and sent out to medical students, residents and professors. Participants were queried about their background, demographics, position in education, and     attitudes towards research projects. The goal of the questionnaire was to identify students` expectations from supervisors and attitudes toward research projects, and vice versa. Questions were evaluated on a 5-point scale, with 1 being ‘strongly disagree’ and 5 being ‘strongly agree’ Results: Ultimately, 194 participants responded to the questionnaire, of which 82% were medical students. Most students believed that it is the supervisors that should be cited as first authors, and that it was the students’ responsibility to ensure that the work done on the research topic is completed by the submission deadline. Contrarily, when taking the supervisors point of view, they believed that it was their responsibility not the students’. In general, the supervisors believed they had a bigger role to play when it came to laying out the research project and ensuring its progression.Conclusion: The perception of the roles of supervisors and students when it comes to producing a research project differ quite significantly. Supervisors believe that they should have much more minute responsibilities involving overall project management, while students believe that the time management of the projects is more of their responsibilities, with supervisors guiding and overseeing the project as a whole.


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