Journal of Integrated Health Sciences

: 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 67--70

Evidence generating community health intervention project – An innovative practice to cultivate research culture among medical students: An Indian medical college experience

Niraj B Pandit, Grishma D Chauhan, Nilesh G Patel, Maharshi V Patel 
 Department of Community Medicine, SBKS MIRC, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Niraj B Pandit
Department of Community Medicine, SBKS MIRC, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, Piparia, Vadodara, Gujarat


Deprived research culture among medical students and lack of research at medical student level was thought-provoking key to start “An Evidence Generating Community Health Intervention Project” (EviGenCHIP). EviGenCHIP is unique innovative program initiated by the Department of Community Medicine and Medical Education Unit. There are more than 600 medical colleges in India. It is an opportunity to sensitize and develop research culture in young minds of Indian medical graduates. The study aimed to sensitize medical students about the role of research and evidence in medical science and thus developing research culture among undergraduates. Methods: This was the education-based observation cross-sectional study. Students themselves identify the health problem during their learning time. They would do scientific research on the selected problem and find out best solution for that problem. Every year, the institute conducts this program for 3rd MBBS students during April to October. At the starting of the project, the institute conducts sensitization session to teach them basics of research and epidemiology method. Then, the institute divides the students among small groups and allocates one faculty to guide them in their projects. At the end, the institute conducts the presentation session and appreciates students as well faculties with certificate. Results: Since 2014, EviGenCHIP started, total 110, 106, 84, 76, 121, 152, and 150 students have participated in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021, respectively. Total 25, 20, 13, 16, 21, 24, and 31 faculties have participated in EviGenCHIP project for respective year. It has long-term impact. Feedback of EviGenCHIP showed that students are developing research culture, which might not be possible with traditional academics. Conclusion - EviGenCHIP like projects have long term impact. It will take time to create research culture in medical colleges but support at college level and university level surely change the culture. Conclusion: EviGenCHIP like projects have long term impact. It will take time to create research culture in medical colleges but support at college level and university level surely change the culture.

How to cite this article:
Pandit NB, Chauhan GD, Patel NG, Patel MV. Evidence generating community health intervention project – An innovative practice to cultivate research culture among medical students: An Indian medical college experience.J Integr Health Sci 2022;10:67-70

How to cite this URL:
Pandit NB, Chauhan GD, Patel NG, Patel MV. Evidence generating community health intervention project – An innovative practice to cultivate research culture among medical students: An Indian medical college experience. J Integr Health Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jun 4 ];10:67-70
Available from:

Full Text


Contemporary undergraduate and postgraduate medical education curriculum places significant focus on students obtaining comprehensive, practical clinical knowledge, and skills for practice in medicine.[1] This has meant that the development of skills of research and evidence generation have not been emphasized in the medical education agenda.[2] A recent study provided evidence of this which reported that 57% of medical colleges did not publish a single research publication between 2005 and 2014.[3]

However, as health-care needs are constantly evolving, the demand for new, innovative, well-conducted medical research is required and we rely on future medical practitioners to be motivated and experienced enough to conduct this research.

Several factors contribute to this lack of research including a lack of funding to support the conduct of research, limited resources (including time), but also a lack of a structured framework to support research in medical schools.

Furthermore, for the small amount of research that is conducted in medical schools, the research is not often conducted using an iterative scientific approach. Meaning that the research that has been conducted fails to advance knowledge and evidence in the field and to provide a foundation of evidence upon which further research can be conducted.[4]

However, studies have shown the positive results with community-based teaching at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Social Sciences.[5] A study conducted by Alexandria Faculty of Medicine of a random sample of 644 (3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th years' students) found that students had high levels of interest in research, and positive attitudes toward integrating research activities into undergraduate medical curricula. However, a considerable proportion of students were not fully aware of the benefits of engaging undergraduate students in research. Students believed that the main problems facing students' research are curriculum overload, time restriction, inadequate training in research, lack of staff guidance and cooperation, lack of interest and motivation, and lack of incentives.[6]

To address this problem of deprived research culture among medical students and lack of research and evidence generation at medical student level with the spirit of crafting future leaders of medicine, Smt. B. K Shah Medical College and Research Institute attached with Sumandeep Vidyapeeth deemed to be University began their unique innovative scholarly research programs named “Evidence Generating Community Health Intervention Project” (EvigenCHIP). The Department of Community Medicine in collaboration with Medical Education Unit (MEU), SBKS MIRC, did ground work to understand research among medical students and thought to develop in-house concept of research culture cultivation among undergraduate medical students. Sumandeep Vidyapeeth is an institution deemed to be university under denovo category. Our de novo work is on evidence-based education system, wherein one of component is teaching evidence-based medicine (EBM) to students.[7] As part of teaching EBM, one of the components is learning various level of evidence. The learning exercise for generation of evidence was thought to great help to students. The group of teachers churned their mind and came out with concept of EviGenCHIP. The team developed the module for EviGenCHIP and trained teachers for the mentorship of research project. The concept was developed form problem solving for better health which was implemented in India HAP foundation and at world level by Dreyfus Health foundation, New York.[8] The first program was conducted in 2014 and then after it is regular for our UG students. This is our on-going project for each batch of medical students. We are sensitizing students with research or evidence generation among scientific pool.


To sensitize medical students about research and evidence in medical science through the EviGenCHIP concept and assess the impact among undergraduates.


This was the education-based observation cross-sectional study.

Looking to the teaching schedule of students, 3rd year part one was found the best time for the EviGenCHIP project. The reason behind selecting 3rd year is that the students are mature and understand research. The actual implementation of EviGenCHIP is done in three phases. First phase is of 2-day workshop of students with mentor or guide, which includes didactic sessions on theory and group discussion. During these 2 days, students would learn research methods with synopsis writing. At the end of session, students in group of 4–5 under guidance of teacher would develop research protocol, which includes identifying problem, research question, objective of research, introduction with literature search, method of conducting research, statistical aspect, ethical issues, feasibility of research, and references with inform consent form, participants information sheet, and data collection tool. After completing workshop, students are told to refine the proposal and submit to ethics committee for approval. This is the point of junction where students are learning role of ethics committee in research. On ethics approval phase 2 would start, that is validation of research tool and data collection or experiment. On completion of data collection students do analysis and write report. In last phase students will submit report and do presentation of their work.

The department is closely working for the concept. All data of the students are available at coordinator of EviGenCHIP. That data of number of project, number of students and number of faculties were collected to compiled the information. Thus collected information was used for the data presentation. The author team also did follow up of the students who applied for the Indian Council of Medical Research-Short Term Studentship (ICMR-STS) and that also tracked to understand the motivation. This all are inoforamtion is data based. No personal interaction with students was done to collect this information. As the project has not collected any information from participants, there is no need of ethical approval.


Since 2014, EviGenCHIP started, total 110, 106, 84, 76, 121, 152, and 150 students have participated in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021, respectively. The year 2020 was the COVID-19 pandemic year, so it was not conducted due to limitation of movement in community [Table 1].{Table 1}

Total 25, 20, 13, 16, 21, 24, and 31 faculties have participated in EviGenCHIP project for a year of 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021, respectively [Figure 1] and [Table 2].{Figure 1}{Table 2}

Since 2014, total 152 research projects under EviGenCHIP were conducted by students.

Outcome variables are successful completion of projects. Till date, there is not a single incomplete project. All students and guides did great job with completion of project. Faculties also have tried to do publication in scientific journal. One of outcome indicator is publication. Till date, more than 27 publications are done by various teachers in various journals. Currently writing research publication is not component of EviGenCHIP, soon we are going to incorporate publication also. The students who are planning to go developed countries like USA and European countries are found more positive on doing research. Furthermore, it was observed that such students if apply for ICMR-STS; there are higher chance to get ICMR-STS award.

Feedback of EviGenCHIP showed that students received good research as well as community exposure, which might not possible with traditional academics. It was a good learning experience for students. Evidence-generating community health projects can be an effective tool for medical writing at undergraduate level and also improves active learning in public health and the research skills.


This EviGenCHIP is one of the innovative programs of the Department of Community Medicine and MEU of SBKS MIRC. It has a key objective of sensitizing students for various aspects of research in medical science. Along with this objective, there are other secondary outcomes which are better student teacher relationship, working in team, group discussion and sensitization with research ethics.

It is well known fact that traditional MBBS curriculum does not have any adequate component for learning research. Medical college authorities and teachers are also not much interested in research as reported by. Garg and Nayar et al.[5] In addition, they reported that there is no recognition of medical student if he/she conducts research. Publication is also not promoted at the medical student level. Currently, only ICMR-STS is the motivation for undergraduate medial students. Every year, ICMR is inviting research proposals from all over Indian medical colleges and award 1500 including dental undergraduates 200. On completion, ICMR is awarding small amount as motivation and e-certificate to all students.[9] However, it has no connection to local level credit or mark improvement system.

Sreedharan reported in his editorial, many developed countries already incorporated research in medical curricula. Students are posted under mentor 4 months and works fulltime for learning research. He also reported that few south Asian medical colleges are doing community-based epidemiological studies and research but not integral part of medical curriculum.[10]

A study conducted at Smt. B. K shah medical college and Institute by Shah et al. showed the general views of medical undergraduates for research found that students were never been the part of research, 90.9% students believed that research in medical field is important. More than 60% students acquired the research concept during EviGenCHIP. As a result of exposure of EviGenCHIP, students agreed that they became sensitized to protocol write up (56.3%), searching literature (40.9%), data collection and analysis (45%), report writing (52.7%), and presentation as an integral part of research process.[11]

Students also perceived that group research is better than individual research as first-time experience. It helped them to develop their communication skills. A good training is known to improve the awareness and skills of medical students and develop a positive attitude toward research. Students agreed that they would be able to apply, what they learned in EviGenCHIP Workshop, in future research work.[11]

This is experience-based study and in the current study we could not able to incorporate aspects such as time management, funding issues, opportunity in research on long run, and university exam benefits. This is a limitation of the current study.


The project EviGenCHIP has long term impact. Since inception, the institute has conducted 152 research projects with undergraduate students. It is big achievement. Those students who are going abroad for studies are getting good positive response. The universities are recognizing the EviGenCHIP work with quite positive way. In India, still, we do not have much positive support for research at undergraduate level. However, as institute, we have satisfaction that these students are doing research and institute is able to create research culture.


The Department of Community Medicine is like to thank the MEU of SBKS MIRC and Dean SBKS MIRC for supporting in planning and implementing this concept for medical graduates. We would like to acknowledge Dr. Ajay George, Ex. Professor ENT and currently working in UAE for designing the name EviGenCHIP. We would like to give special thanks to university authorities of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth for full support for the implementation of concept.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Laskowitz DT, Drucker RP, Parsonnet J, Cross PC, Gesundheit N. Engaging students in dedicated research and scholarship during medical school: The long-term experiences at Duke and Stanford. Acad Med 2010;85:419-28.
2Pandit N. Medical teachers as researchers and research in medical college. NJCM - Natl J Community Med 2015;6:3.
3Ray S, Shah I, Nundy S. The research output from Indian medical institutions between 2005 and 2014. Curr Med Res Pract 2016;6:49-58.
4Cook DA, Bordage G, Schmidt HG. Description, justification and clarification: A framework for classifying the purposes of research in medical education. Med Educ 2008;42:128-33.
5Garg BS, Nayar S. Doctors for the rural poor. World Health Forum 1996;17:268-70.
6Mostafa SR, Khashab SK, Fouaad AS, Abdel Baky MA, Waly AM. Engaging undergraduate medical students in health research: Students' perceptions and attitudes, and evaluation of a training workshop on research methodology. J Egypt Public Health Assoc 2006;81:99-118.
7EBES Concept – Sumandeep Vidyapeeth. Available from: [Last accessed on 2022 Mar 07].
8Fitzpatrick JJ, Hoyt-Hudson P. Problem solving for better health-nursing: Application of an internationally tested model to nursing schools in the United States. J Prof Nurs 2013;29:e1-2.
9Short Term Studentship (STS). Available from: [Last accessed on 2022 Mar 14].
10Sreedharan J. Introduction of a research component in the undergraduate medical curriculum – Review of a trend. Nepal J Epidemiol 2012;2:200-4.
11Shah T, Purohit G, Pandit N, George A. The changing face of medical education: The impact and effectiveness of evidence generating community health project in medical students. Asian J Med Sci 2015;6:72-6.