Background. Undergraduate research experience has become increasingly relevant for today’s medical students, considering the professional requirements of their challenging future. Methods. In the mentored student project (MSP) programme at Melaka Manipal Medical College, students undertake a short-term group research project under the guidance of their mentor. After data collection and analysis, students are required to write an abstract, present a poster and also write individual reflective summaries of their research experience. We evaluated the MSP programme using reflective summaries of a batch of undergraduate medical students. Data from 41 reflective summaries were analysed using the thematic analysis approach. The learning outcomes at the third and fourth levels of the Kirkpatrick evaluation model were determined from the summaries. Results. Students’ reflective summaries indicated that they were satisfied with the MSP experience. In all the summaries, there was a mention of an improvement in teamwork skills through MSP. Improved relations with mentors were another relevant outcome. Improvement in communication skills and a positive change related to research attitude were also reported by students. Conclusions. Reflective summaries as a means to evaluate the MSP programme was found to be an easy, feasible and cost-effective method. The qualitative approach adopted for data analysis enabled the programme coordinators to assess the strengths and barriers of the programme.
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