Medical Student Research Program

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Student Research

MSRP Summer of Research

The MSRP Summer of Research experience is designed to introduce M1 medical students to the MSRP and provide them with a focused research experience under supervision of a UMMC mentor. The goal is to expose medical students to research, provide them with initial tools for development as a physician scientist, and guide the best student and mentor teams towards development of a competitive application for the Full MSRP Option.

M1 students will be notified about the MSRP Summer of Research experience in November. Interested students may apply to the MSRP Summer of Research, with the application due in February. After a competitive application process and at the end of the M1 year, selected students will participate in a 10-week summer research experience under the direction of a faculty research mentor. Students will be provided a modest stipend ($4,000). Students accepted into the MSRP Summer of Research are required to: 1) work 8.5 hours per day on their research; 2) attend 90% of the Summer MSRP Lecture Series; 3) complete a performance review survey at the end of the summer experience; and 4) give an oral presentation to the MSRP students and committee at the end of summer that summarizes their research experience. It is also expected that students will attend all lab meetings, dress appropriately for the department in which they do their research, and actively participate in all lab functions during their summer experience. Mentors are expected to meet regularly with students and provide sufficient oversight so that students can have the best research experience possible.

The Summer MSRP Lecture Series is held at noon each Friday for 10 weeks over the summer. The required performance review at the end of the MSRP Summer of Research will include both a review of the mentor and of the MSRP (program and experience). The required oral presentations at the end of summer typically lasts 5 minutes with 2 additional minutes for questions and will be held during the last week of the program over a period of two to three days.

Full MSRP option

In order to meet eligibility for the Full MSRP Option, students will need to complete the MSRP Summer of Research (or equivalent) and be in good academic standing with a GPA ≥3.0. 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 and no more than total total MSRP students at the various levels. In addition, each MSRP student must have a unique research project and plan.

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, with specific objectives detailed in each student's full MSRP application. While the MRSP committee and mentors acknowledge that students must place emphasis on coursework and USMLE preparation, the student will be required to make a firm commitment to the program and completing the objectives originally outlined in the proposal/application.

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 USMLE. However, the student and mentor should work together to plan experiments when feasible for the student. Additionally, the student should attend lab meetings and go to departmental seminars, in order to stay abreast of research developments.

The student is required to: 1) Meet with their mentor on a monthly basis and document these meeting dates in annual report to the MSRP Committee; 2) Complete the MSRP annual survey and progress report by June 15 of each year; and 3) participate in the MSRP Research Day by attending all sessions and presenting a poster of their research.

Students should meet a minimum of 10 times per year with their mentor and document the dates of these meetings. The MSRP annual survey will include an evaluation of the mentor by the student. Of note, the mentor is also required to submit an annual evaluation of the student. In addition, a one-page summary (annual report) will be required. This report should detail student accomplishments during the past year, including any presentations at local, regional or national conferences, publications and/or any other accomplishments or awards received by the student. The poster presentation at the MSRP day should be similar to any national poster presentation and will be judged and scored.

During the M3 and M4 years

The student should balance participation in the MSRP with 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.

M3 students will be required to complete a two-week research block. M4 students will be required to complete a one-month research block. The purpose of the research blocks is to give students the opportunity to make continued progress on their research plans and enhance the interaction with their mentor.

As in the M2 year, students are required to: 1) meet with their mentor on a monthly basis and document these meeting dates in annual report to the MSRP Committee; 2) complete the MSRP annual survey and progress report by June 15 of each year; and 3) participate in the MSRP Research Day by attending all sessions and presenting their research.

Students should meet a minimum of 10 times per year with their mentor and document the dates of these meetings. The MSRP annual survey will include an evaluation of the mentor by the student. Of note, the mentor is also required to submit an annual evaluation of the student. In addition, a one-page summary (annual report) will be required. This report should detail student accomplishments during the past year, including any presentations at local, regional or national conferences, publications and/or any other accomplishments or awards received by the student.

In addition to the yearly evaluations, students are required to take part in the MSRP Research Day. The M3 students are required to present a poster at the MSRP research day. The M4 students are required to present an oral presentation at the MSRP Research Day.

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 work as a poster, electronic or oral presentation at a national meeting. The student should 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. Written documentation of the national presentation and manuscript submission is required prior to graduation from the program.

All MSRP students are required to attend the Medical Student's Honors Day that is typically held in May of the M4 year, prior to graduation. Students will be presented with a certificate indicating their successful completion of the "Medical Scholars Research Program." At graduation, the students will be presented with their medical doctorate diploma that will also signify their completion of the MSRP.

MSRP student and research support funding

M1 students participating in the MSRP Summer of Research will be supported with a $4,000 student stipend. In order to receive the stipend, students must work 8.5 hours per day for at least 9 weeks. It is permissible for a student to take a vacation during the summer rotation if approved by the mentor.

Students in the Full MSRP Option 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 and include a note from the mentor indicting their awareness and approval of the trip. After the trip, student is to provide the Office of Research will all receipts in order to receive reimbursement.

Students in the Full MSRP Option will receive $4,000 total for all 3 years for supplies and reference materials that are directly related to their research activities that have been approved by their mentor, and that have been included in their MSRP budget and approved by the MSRP committee. It is permissible to spend a larger proportion of these funds in the earlier years if needed and included in the MSRP budget. These funds can be utilized to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, specialized research equipment or software, or used to pay for additional travel expenses to one or more national conferences, if this information is included on the MSRP budget. All computer/software purchases need to be ordered through established purchasing procedures at UMMC and be subject to approval by DIS. Software will be held and installed by DIS. If the student and mentor plan to use MSRP funds for something that is not on the original MSRP budget, they may submit an updated budget with the requested changes for approval by the MSRP committee.

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 chair will review the request and determine if it is allowable.