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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35-36

Research dean's list: A novel proposal to encourage academic research and scholarly publishing by pharmD students

Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication28-Feb-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ahmed Abu-Zaid
Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jrpp.JRPP_18_107

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How to cite this article:
Abu-Zaid A. Research dean's list: A novel proposal to encourage academic research and scholarly publishing by pharmD students. J Res Pharm Pract 2019;8:35-6

How to cite this URL:
Abu-Zaid A. Research dean's list: A novel proposal to encourage academic research and scholarly publishing by pharmD students. J Res Pharm Pract [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 May 17];8:35-6. Available from: https://www.jrpp.net/text.asp?2019/8/1/35/253211

Dear Editor,

Nowadays, it is not enough for PharmD students to be only clinically competent, but also they need to act research oriented and proficient.[1] According to this philosophy, there is a growing proclivity toward integrating curricular and extracurricular research training into the pharmacy school syllabi worldwide.[2]

In general, the participation of students in research is wheeled by intrinsic and extrinsic motivations.[3] The intrinsic motivations are internally self-driven by students, for example, improving their resume. Conversely, extrinsic motivations are externally stimulated by schools through financial and nonfinancial awards. Although the former motivations are essential, the latter ones should never be ignored.

Worldwide in pharmacy schools, the so-called “Academic Dean's List” is an extrinsic award which recognizes students who attain academic distinction on a semester basis – i.e., completing a minimum of 12 letter-graded credit hours and achieving a grade point average of ≥3.75 (cutoffs vary according to individual schools' policies).[4] It is time to appreciate students' research and their academic distinction as equally important. To that end, pharmacy schools are called to establish the “Research Dean's List (RDL)” which is a novel proposal to encourage academic research and scholarly publishing by PharmD students.

The RDL will be an extrinsically ambitioned award which recognizes students who attain research excellence on a yearly basis. While individual pharmacy schools in each country can define the eligibility requirements, it is more preferred to be done through a national consensus meeting. For instance, in Saudi Arabia, this can be achieved through formulating a designated task force headed by the Saudi Pharmaceutical Society and co-headed by deans of the colleges of pharmacy in the kingdom. Fundamentally, these eligibility requirements should be based on graded objective parameters (e.g., peer-reviewed publications, abstract presentations, earning international or national research prizes, and achieving outstanding scores in research-related modules). Forms of award for inclusion in the RDL may include a special appreciation during the Dean's List awarding ceremony, a commendation letter, and possibly an array of financial incentives (e.g., partial tuition fee waivers).

This proposed RDL initiative yields promising benefits to pharmacy students and schools. Student-related benefits include encouraging cultivation of research-specific skills, promoting scientific productivity, offering a sense of intellectual fulfillment, and deepening interest in pursuing pharmacist–scientist and academic pharmacy careers. Conversely, pharmacy school-related benefits include highlighting the same significance for research and academic excellence in curricula, displaying the school's research-intensive eminence, increasing the school's pool of scientific output, and supporting budding of accomplished pharmacist–investigator graduates.

Exploring the perceptions of pharmacy students and deans toward the implementation of RDL proposal is warranted. The RDL may be used by admission committees to rank pharmacy students when they apply to research-based scholarships, travel grants, or clinical residency training.

In conclusion, this is the first letter to call for a new implementation of the RDL as an initiative to extrinsically encourage research productivity by pharmacy students. Finally, pharmacy schools should continuously attempt to extrinsically boost their students to undertake meaningful research activities that culminate in fruitful outcomes.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Michalets EL, Williams C, Park I. Ten year experience with student pharmacist research within a health system and education center. Curr Pharm Teach Learn 2018;10:316-24.  Back to cited text no. 1
American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Lee MW, Clay PG, Kennedy WK, Kennedy MJ, Sifontis NM, et al. The essential research curriculum for doctor of pharmacy degree programs. Pharmacotherapy 2010;30:966.  Back to cited text no. 2
Abu-Zaid A, BaHammam LO, Hijji TM, Shakir IM, Eshaq AM, Alawadi M, et al. Extrinsic motives to encourage extracurricular research activities: A reminder call to medical schools in Saudi Arabia. Int J Med Educ 2017;8:99-100.  Back to cited text no. 3
DiPietro PA, Longo SL, Welch BE, Kennedy DR, Nemec EC. Current practices of awarding graduation honors within doctor of pharmacy degree programs. Am J Pharm Educ 2017;81:69.  Back to cited text no. 4


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