Survey results: Bioinformatics in Montenegro
We conducted a survey on bioinformatics among young students in Montenegro in the Autumn of 2021. The goal was to obtain information about their background knowledge and their interest in bioinformatics.
We received 105 responses, 74.3% from female respondents and 25.7% from male respondents.
The majority of the responses came from the southern region of the country (60%), while responses from the central and the northern region were less common (12.3% and 27.6%, respectively).
The majority of the respondents attended the Gymnasium (61%), followed by the Secondary professional school (33.3%) and the undergraduate university studies (5.7%).
Attitude towards mathematics, natural sciences and computer science
When asked about the continuation of their studies, 29.5% of respondents expressed an interest towards mathematics / computer science or natural sciences (12.4% and 17.1%, respectively).
Despite their interest, only 21.9% respondents think that these fields are significantly promoted at their school or university and 54.3% do not have an opportunity to hear about practical uses of these fields often (at least once in 6 months).
Attitude towards bioinformatics
Around two thirds (67.6 %) of respondents had never heard about bioinformatics before.
When asked to self-assess their knowledge in relevant background areas, respondents were on average most confident about maths (3.9/5), followed by molecular biology (3.6/5), chemistry (3.5/5) and programming (3.2/5). Importantly, they were on average very confident about their knowledge of English (4.4/5) and 89.5% stated that they would be able to follow a training session in this language with none to minor difficulties.
Among the listed topics, respondents on average expressed the highest interest for molecular biology (3.6/5) and drug design (3.6/5), followed by programming (3.5/5), biochemistry / biophysics (3.2/5), clinical bioinformatics (3.2/5), genome analysis (3.1/5), genome evolution (3/5) and machine learning (3/5).
Among the listed bioinformatics educational formats of different lengths, respondents on average expressed the highest interest for a 3-day seminar (3.7/5), followed by a single introductory session (3.6/5) and a 7-day training school (3.5/5).
A pleasant result of the survey was that one third of the respondents expressed the highest possible interest towards a 7-day training school and a 3-day seminar in bioinformatics.