For students in the Biomedical Sciences program, the bachelor's internship is one of the first moments where they come into contact with working in a research department. Remarkably enough, little is known about the development of professional identity during these internships. How can internships contribute to the development of a professional identity?
A professional identity is about the extent to which someone can identify with the profession he/she practices. More and more research indicates that a well-developed professional identity is important for motivation and well-being in a future workplace. If the professional identity remains underdeveloped, it could increase the chance of getting burned out.
According to the team, two questions are therefore important to investigate. The first question is how students at Radboud University experience the development of their professional identity during their internship. Subsequently, the next question is whether this development is influenced by the motivation-promoting basic need of competence, autonomy and relatedness.
With knowledge about these development processes, internships can be improved and prepare students better for working life. In this way, future researchers are optimally facilitated in their professional identity development.
With the help of the TLC voucher, the questions mentioned before are further investigated. A mixed methods design is used for this, in which validated questionnaires are administered at the beginning, middle and end of the internship. With the help of these questionnaires, the level of professional identity, motivation and self-efficacy of the trainees is analyzed.
The team will also organize focus group interviews, both with students and supervisors from the internship. In addition, possible differences are examined between students who do a laboratory internship and students who do their research internship from behind a desk. Of course, attention is also paid to the possible effects of the current corona-related circumstances on the internship.