Research training should facilitate effective researcher role development. While researcher roles require the performance of specialised knowledge and skill, they also require development of personal research identities within social contexts. Interaction with research peers can provide opportunities for reflective role development. Ad-hoc cohort-specific peer interventions are relatively common in research training, but these can lack standardisation and clear conceptual frameworks to underpin strategies. Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) provide a structured approach to peer support for learning. As such, we aimed to develop, implement and evaluate a PASS program for research trainees. Participants (N = 21; (9 male, 12 female; exercise science n = 5, biomedical science n = 7, science n = 2, public health n = 4, nutrition n = 3) were post-bachelor honours students and PASS was provided on a weekly basis. Demographic, academic, and PASS data were collected from institutional records. Students completed standardised PASS satisfaction evaluations. Standard undergraduate PASS administrative, funding, and reporting strategies were successfully applied. Leader selection, training, and PASS resource development processes were adapted for the research training context. Attendance and student satisfaction was high as was timely completion of research related assessments. PASS has been shown to provide methodological consistency and a transparent conceptual framework to frame expectations about the process, leader and participant roles, and mechanisms to evaluate impact. PASS enables institutionally sanctioned but peer driven opportunities for social exchange wherein reflective interpretive approaches to research role development can be considered.
Recommended CitationCusick, Anne; Camer, Danielle; Stamenkovic, Alexander; and Zaccagnini, Melissa, Peer Assisted Study Sessions for research trainees, Journal of Peer Learning, 8, 2015, 18-33.