Peer mentorship to build research capacity among members of the International Student Surgical Network (InciSioN): a proof of concept study
Kanmounye US., Bandyopadhyay S., Munoz-Valencia A., Khalil H., Sana H., Badwi N., Ma X., Swaroop M., Madani K.
Background: International Student Surgical Network (InciSioN) is the largest student and trainee global surgery interest group worldwide and its members have contributed significantly to global surgery research. The InciSioN Research Capacity-Building (IReCaB) program aimed to enhance the research skills and confidence of participants via a peer mentorship model. Methods: After an open call to members of InciSioN to enroll, participants’ knowledge of research methods and the process was evaluated through a test to assign mentor and mentee roles, with mentors being those who scored ≥ 20/25. Mentors then delivered a series of four webinars to help disseminate research methodology to mentees. Finally, mentees were tested on their knowledge of research and their satisfaction with the program was also evaluated. Results: Fifty-two participants, mostly from LMICs (n = 23/52, 44.2%) were enrolled, and 36 completed the program. There was a significant improvement in the proportion of questions answered correctly on the post-program test (R = 0.755, p < 0.001). Post-IReCaB test scores were greater than pre-IReCaB scores (p < 0.001). The difference in confidence after the course was also significant (p < 0.001). IReCaB participants successfully designed, implemented, and published an international cross-sectional study. Conclusion: This study showed improvements in participants’ understanding of theoretical components of scientific research. We offer a model for research capacity building that can be implemented, modeled, and further refined by similar organizations with academic research goals.