Background: Participation in research during undergraduate studies may increase students' interest in research and inculcate research essentials in them. Aims: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the mentored student project (MSP) program. Settings and Design: In the MSP program, students in groups (n = 3 to 5) undertook a research project, wrote a scholarly report, and presented the work as a poster presentation with the help of a faculty mentor. To begin with, the logic model of the program was developed to identify short-term outcomes of the program on students, mentors, and the institution. A quasi-experimental design was used to measure the outcomes. Materials and Methods: A mixed method evaluation was done using a newly-developed questionnaire to assess the impact of the MSP on students' attitude, a multiple-choice question (MCQs) test to find out the impact on students' knowledge and grading of students' project reports and posters along with a survey to check the impact on skills. Students' satisfaction regarding the program and mentors' perceptions were collected using questionnaires. Evidence for validity was collected for all the instruments used for the evaluation. Statistical Analysis: Non-parametric tests were used to analyze data. Based on the scores, project reports and posters were graded into A (>70% marks), B (60-69% marks), and C (<59% marks) categories. The number of MSPs that resulted in publications, conference presentation and departmental collaborations were taken as impact on the institution. Results: Students' response rate was 91.5%. The students' attitudes regarding research changed positively (P = 0.036) and score in the MCQ test improved (P < 0.001) after undertaking MSP. Majority of project reports and posters were of grade A category. The majority of the items related to skills gained and satisfaction had a median score of 4. The MSPs resulted in inter-departmental and inter-institutional collaborations, 14 publications and 15 conference presentations. An area for improvement noted was to have the MSP implemented in the curriculum without increasing students' overall workload and stress. Conclusion: The study identified strengths and weaknesses of the MSP program. Our model of undergraduate research project may be incorporated in undergraduate medical programs to foster positive attitude and knowledge base about scientific research and to instil research skills among students.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes