Name of the activity: #ChoosingScience

Country/NMO: Lithuania (LiMSA)

Program: Teaching Medical Skills

Type of the activity: Education. Education on health issues for specific societal groups, either in the form of projects (set of tasks for a certain group over a fixed period of time), events (something notable that happens) or conferences (form meeting about ideas related to a particular topic, usually over several days).

General description:

Currently, the main incentive to do scientific work while studying in Lithuania is to get extra points when applying for a speciality training. Unfortunately, this means that the great importance and benefit of science in healthcare development is overlooked. Moreover, since students are reluctant to do scientific work, low standards for the quality of research are set by the universities. #ChoosingScience (Lithuanian – #RenkuosiMokslą) is meant to inspire and inform students about their possibilities to work in the scientific field both during their studies and after graduation. The project is also intended to emphasize importance and benefit of research both for the researcher and the society. By sharing interviews with various representatives of the scientific field (students, clinicians – scientists, scientists, Research Exchange participants), we aim to introduce the audience with possible mentors and encourage students to get involved in research activities.

Focus area:

Promotion of science and research possibilities

Problem statement:

Currently, Lithuanian medical students lack information, encouragement and mentorship to get involved in the scientific field, join research projects or to conduct research themselves. The importance, value and benefit of scientific work alongside studies and clinical practice are not broadly realized and emphasized by Lithuanian medical universities. Furthermore, students lack information about career possibilities in the scientific field after the graduation.

Target groups:

Medical students, Healthcare Students, Doctors, Other health professionals

Beneficiaries:

General population, Medical students, Healthcare Students, Doctors, Other health professionals

Objectives and indicators of success:

– To raise awareness on lack of students’ interest and will to work in the scientific field, both pre- and post graduation (publications, including videos, interviews and articles viewed at least 2500 times)

– To share various types of publications related to the topic (at least 3 video interviews, 3 written interviews with photos, 1 article posted)

– To introduce students to various members of the scientific community (at least 2 students, 2 clinicians – scientists, 2 scientists and 2 foreign representatives introduced in the publications)

– To promote IFMSA Research Exchanges (Research Exchange experience of at least 3 participants shared in written interviews)

– To assess Lithuanian medical and other health sciences students’ involvement in scientific work and their attitude towards research (the survey on the topic is completed by at least 500 students, equally representing both Lithuanian medical universities)

Methodology:

– Various publications will be posted in LiMSA social networks – Facebook, Youtube, Instagram with hashtag #ChoosingScience (Lithuanian #RenkuosiMokslą). Types of publications: video and written interviews with representatives of the scientific community and Research Exchange participants, articles on related topics written by students interested in science.

– Surveys intended to find out about Lithuanian medical and other health sciences students’ involvement in the scientific field and their attitude towards research opportunities will be posted in LiMSA and universities’ Facebook pages and websites before and after the project.

– The results of surveys will be analysed and compared among universities. Major issues and areas requiring improvement will be defined. Both results and conclusions will be presented to the representatives of the universities.

Plans for evaluation:

We will be monitoring social media statistics (views, reach, likes, shares, etc. of publications) and checking how they change over time. The change of interest in Research Exchange will be assessed by comparing the number of exchange participants before and after #ChoosingScience implementation. Surveys on involvement in science, intention to do scientific work and attitude towards research will be shared among medical students before and after the project in order to evaluate the impact of the Activity.