The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) is designed to support undergraduate students’ professional development as future scientists. Juniors, seniors, and postbaccalaureates who attended ABRCMS during 2008–2011 were emailed a link to an online questionnaire in which they reported their experiences at the conference. Attendees reported many ABRCMS-provided benefits. Frequency of attending or presenting at ABRCMS is positively related to science self-efficacy, research confidence, sense of belonging in science, and intentions to pursue a research degree in graduate school. Increased research confidence predicts graduate school plans and intentions for a research career in science; however, men were slightly more likely to intend to pursue a research career than women, likely due to higher research confidence. Although all attendees benefited from ABRCMS, underrepresented minority (URM) students had higher science self-efficacy and sense of belonging in science after attending ABRCMS than non-URM students. This finding demonstrates the effectiveness of ABRCMS as an intervention to increase the representation and success of URMs in science. Results highlight the importance of attending a minority-oriented research conference where URMs can develop their science self-efficacy, research confidence, and sense of belonging in science. However, changes to the conference and undergraduate research experiences may be necessary to reduce gender gaps.
Casad, B. J., Chang, A. L., & Pribbenow, C. M. (2016). The Benefits of Attending the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS): The Role of Research Confidence. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(3), ar46. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.16-01-0048