Mississippi INBRE Outreach Scholars Program: Adapting a Summer Scholars Program to the Virtual World Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The Mississippi IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (#P20GM103476) launched the new Mississippi INBRE Outreach Scholars (MIOS) summer research program in 2019. The program was designed to offer students community outreach and research experiences related to the study of behavioral and health disparities life sciences. The program was adapted in early 2020 to offer the program in a fully online format in the summer of 2020. This manuscript details the program adaptations and discusses program evaluation data related to scholars' perceptions of program benefits and expectations and their confidence in research-related skills. The program evaluation was a mixed method approach that included a qualitative post-program survey and a pre-post quantitative survey. Scholars identified technical and communication skill building and resilience were areas of personal growth as a result of participating in MIOS. Overall, the program met scholars' expectations for the program and improved their confidence levels in various research-related tasks/skills after completion of the program. The analyses presented here demonstrates that a mixed method analysis is useful for examining the extent to which programs such as Mississippi INBRE are meeting goals of providing a rich research experience in health disparities for a diverse student body. Future longitudinal data may be examined to explore the long-term impact of MIOS on career preparation and choices and graduate education.

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Advances In Physiology Education

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