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  • Medical Student Research Program (MSRP)

    Student/Mentor Application
    Please limit to 9 typed pages in Times Roman 12pt font.
    E-mail application and all related documents to mwest@umc.edu.

    Rationale

    Several challenges in medical training are currently leading to a decrease in scientific literacy in physician trainees and major problems in the development of clinical scientists who perform basic, clinical, and behavioral research. Some of this is due to the loss of role models and mentors for research, which has led to a decline nationally in the numbers of physician-scientists and an increasing estrangement of medical students from research. Major organizations such as the Institute of Medicine, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund, and the major medical subspecialty societies are attempting to address this growing problem through advocacy and support of research at all levels of medical training.

    UMMC has an opportunity to assist in the reversal of these trends in academic medicine by promoting interest in research and academia. There is a need to develop mechanisms to better interface basic science PhDs with MDs during medical school as well as in postgraduate/residency programs to stimulate an appreciation of basic science and critical research skills. With the recent emphasis by the NIH on translational research, clinician scientists will play an increasingly important role in the overall academic mission of the institution. The MSRP is designed to develop the future generation of academicians, who will make up the UMMC faculty. 

    Purpose

    The overall goal of the MSRP is to foster the development of students into Academic Clinicians who will pursue clinical, behavioral, or basic research. The provision of in-depth and meaningful involvement in research activities of the Medical School will expose students to the broad variety of investigation ongoing in University Medical Center and stimulate interested students to consider careers in academic medicine.

    Full Option Requirements

    Students will need to complete the summer MSRP option (or equivalent) before joining the full MSRP option. The summer MSRP option will consist of a 10-week paid research experience in the summer between the M1 and M2 years. A student is required to be in good standing and have a GPA ≥3.0 for application to the full MSRP option.

    Applications for the full MSRP option will be accepted in the fall of the M2 year. No more than one application per mentor and one application per student will be permitted in each year. Therefore, a mentor may have no more than one student at each level (1 M2, 1 M3, and 1 M4 maximum).

    The full MSRP option will include research and/or academic study (literature review, manuscript or presentation preparation, etc.) to be completed throughout the M2, M3 and M4 years. While the MRSP and mentors acknowledge that students must place emphasis on coursework and STEP 1 preparation, the student will be required to make a firm commitment to the program and completing the objectives originally outlined in the proposal/application.

    On June 1st of each year, (June 15th for M2s) students and mentors will be required to submit a progress report to the Office of Research. These materials will include an evaluation of the student by the mentor and of the mentor by the student. In addition, a one-page summary (annual report) will be required. This report should detail student accomplishments during the past year, including platform presentations at the local or national level, poster presentations, publications and/or any other accomplishments by the student. Students who do not submit these materials to the Office of Research by June 1st (June 15th for M2s) will be removed from the program.

    In addition to the yearly evaluations, students will also be required to take part in the MSRP research day. M2s and M3s will be required to present a poster. Students will also be required to present a seminar of their research in their M4 year.

    Students who do not show sufficient effort towards project completion, as determined by the MSRP committee, and after consultation with the mentor, will be dismissed from the program. A minimum GPA≥3.0 is required to be maintained throughout the duration of MSRP program to be in good standing. If student GPA drops below 3.0, the student will enter a probationary period until the next semester, at which time the student will either be: (1) removed from probation by establishing GPA≥3.0 ; or (2) dismissed from the MSRP program.

    To successfully complete the MSRP, the student will be required to present their work (talk or poster) at a national meeting. The student must also be a contributing author on a submitted manuscript as a result of their work conducted in the MSRP prior to completion of the program.

    Guidelines

    The student will receive a one-time $1,000 travel allowance in order to attend a national meeting. Travel requests must be submitted at least two weeks BEFORE the date of travel, include all original receipts, and a note from the mentor indicting their awareness and approval of the trip. The student will receive $1,300 per year for supplies and reference materials that are directly related to their research activities and that have been approved by their mentor. These funds may not be used to purchase laptop or desktop computers. In some instances, the MSRP Committee may approve utilizing supply funds for travel purposes when a student’s project involves a significant portion of regional or national presentations. If such an instance is expected, the student and mentor should include this information in the submitted budget as part of the initial application. Requests for a variance in the breakdown of travel/supply funds during the student’s participation in the program must be submitted by the mentor to the Office of Research. The MSRP Committee will review the request and make a determination.

    All expenditure requests must be submitted to the Office of Research for processing prior to purchase/travel. Requests for expenditures at the end of a student’s term in the program (~2-3 months from the anticipated completion/graduation date) will generally be disallowed. In extenuating situations a request from the student’s mentor justifying the late expense may be submitted to the Office of Research. The MSRP Committee will review the request and determine allowability. Excessive spending at the end of a student’s program tenure will not be allowed in any case.

    During the M2 year:
    It is expected that progress on the project may be slow given the demands of the second year class schedule and preparation for the STEP1. However, the student and mentor should work together to plan experiments when feasible for the student. Additionally, the student should try to meet with their mentor, attend lab meetings, and go to departmental seminars, in order to stay abreast of research developments in their area. The student will be expected to present a poster at the MSRP research day.

    During the M3 and M4 years:
    The student should balance participation in the MSRP with their clinical training. As with the M2 year, it is expected that the student and mentor will plan experiments when time permits. The student should continue attending lab meetings and seminars as well as meeting with their mentor as often as possible. M3 students will be required to complete a two week research block. M4 students will be required to complete a one month research block. Students in the M2 and M3 year will present a poster. Students in the M4 year of the MSRP will be required to present a talk of their work.