College of Medicine Research Unit
To be the key unit in the College of Medicine’s educational and research programs through supporting and facilitating the research projects and activities in both the undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
▸ Provide support for the research activities of the undergraduate and postgraduate students
▸ Review and provide feedback for improvement of the research proposals submitted through the COM-Research Unit
▸ Conduct sessions on research methodology and statistical software packages such as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for the enhancement of research
▸ Provide support to COM faculty who are involved in research projects
▸ Organize the COM research activities for conducting research days and to facilitate participation in the research conferences organized by other institutions
▸ Encourage and support students’ participation in local and international meetings
▸ Create a database for faculty and students’ research activities and publication
▸ Improve the publication rate from the research projects being conducted in COM
▸ Development of sessions for research methodology
▸ Sessions for skills in how to analyze the research data using the statistical software packages
▸ Assignments for medical students for proposal writing and report writing
The Medical Research (MRES) program was established in 2004 with the first batch of medical students. It was designed to run longitudinally throughout the four years of the medical curriculum and was divided into two blocks: MRES-I for the 1st/2nd year of the curriculum where the students should identify their research topic and select their supervisor. They would then prepare their research proposal which is submitted to King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC) for approval. During MRES-II for the 3rd and 4th year of the curriculum, the students would collect data, perform the analysis, and present their research project. Over the years, the MRES program has evolved with more support being provided to the medical students.
The Research Unit was formally established in 2011 to efficiently manage the workload due to the increased number of students. The main aim was to promote research activities in the College of Medicine by having all the supporting resources under one unit. The members of the Research Unit meet regularly every week to review the progress and are currently working on revising the schedule of MRES sessions so that the students present their research projects at the beginning of the 4th year. The Research Unit will facilitate the students’ submission of their research manuscripts for publication and presentation in local and international conferences.
The students are given lectures on the different stages of research proposal, data collection, data analysis, and report writing followed by tutorials / workshops, after which they are required to submit assignments on which they are given formative feedback. In MRES-II they are also given workshops on SPSS as well as data presentation to help them in the final stages of their research project. The faculty members of the Research Unit also provide individual consultation to the students to guide them through each stage of the research proposal and research report process. The Research Unit will also provide support to the Masters in Medical Education (MME) students in the submission of their research proposals for their Masters Project. All the research proposals of MBBS as well as MME students are thoroughly reviewed by the members of the Research Unit before they are forwarded to the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC) for approval. Research proposals submitted through the Research Unit are generally expedited in the approval process from the KAIMRC.
The MRES program has submitted 400 research proposals (batches 1-9) of which 210 have been completed and 190 are in the process of being completed. There have been another 110 research projects which have been completed in the MME program (batches 1-6). There have also been 21 publications so far in medical journals. The research projects have also been presented in both local and international conferences. The Research Unit has been providing the main support in the submission of the research projects to the annual conference organized by the Ministry of Higher Education. Since 2011 it has also been active in organizing the annual KSAU-HS Students Research Preparatory Day to select and award the best research projects from the whole University.
Integration of Research:
The College of Medicine, KSAU-HS is currently seeking an increased scholar research activities for higher national ranking. Additionally, the College's target is to integrate teaching and scholarship. There are several strategies for integrating teaching and scholarship: bringing research into the classroom, involving undergraduates in research projects, and broadening the definition of scholarship beyond frontier disciplinary research.
Fostering Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Science Research in the College of Medicine:
Over the past decade or more, there has been a marked shift toward scientific research that spans disciplines and organizational boundaries and is carried out by teams rather than individuals. The deanship at COM is continuously seeking to facilitate the development of new research initiatives that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries. The research facilities and equipment at COM are made available to faculty members to foster collaborative opportunities at COM. The main goals are 1) to provide the infrastructure to conduct preliminary work and/or develop pilot data that represents novel and innovative projects to enable faculty members to submit competitive applications for external research grants; and 2) to advance collaborations and multidisciplinary projects with an overall emphasis on innovation and impact.