The summer Medical Student Research Program is a competitive mentored research program provided to medical students. Students have the opportunity to work with basic science, clinical science, or health care research investigators on a topic of mutual interest. Goals are to enhance students' research horizons and develop scientific presentation and writing skills. Projects are ten weeks in length and students are expected to work approximately 40 hours/week minus release time to attend designated weekly research seminars. Students whose projects are selected for support are paid a stipend from an NIH grant for their research activities. Students are expected to present a poster at an annual symposium at Deer Valley, which their mentors are invited to attend. Travel funds may be available for a limited number of students who wish to present their research findings at national meetings.
There is a $1,765/month stipend paid for the 10 week program. Students are expected to work 40 hours/week. During the summer, we have a weekly seminar. In the autumn, usually on a Thursday we have a banquet at Deer Valley Resort. The students' sponsors are invited, and the students present posters on their work. If a student's work is particularly meritorious, s/he will have the opportunity to present their research at either a national meeting or at the Western Clinical Research meeting held in February in Carmel, CA.
After a project has been selected, the student should discuss the proposed research with the faculty member. If both student and mentor agree on a project, the student should then write a research proposal for review by a committee that will evaluate them and give priority scores for funding purposes. The criteria used by the committee are the same as those used at NIH study sections:
1. Does the project represent hypothesis-driven science? Is there a clearly stated hypothesis and is there a test of the hypothesis?
2. Is there evidence that the student was involved in writing the proposal? We realize that most of the proposals reflect projects generated by the ongoing studies in the mentors' laboratories, but we wish to see some evidence that the proposal reflects thought and effort on the part of the student and is not simply 'lifted' from a pre-existing grant.
3. Does the project offer a learning experience for the student? We do not want the student to be considered a 'pair of hands' doing a limited number of repetitive tasks, but want them to be exposed to different techniques and have the opportunity to generate experimental protocols.
4. Is it feasible to accomplish, or at least initiate, a body of work in the allotted time frame?
This grant typically funds 25 students, however, the program has been known to fund as many as 44 students depending on available monies.
Note: All faculty must have IRB and/or IACUC approval before students can start work on any projects.
The Schedule for Summer Seminars in 2012 is listed under "Schedule". The 2013 schedule will be available in May, 2013. At a later date, a schedule of expected deadlines throughout Summer (e.g., final abstract describing research findings), and the date of presentation at Deer valley will be available.
The Annual Frank Tyler Medical Student Research Symposium is held in Deer Valley every September. Click here for pictures of some of the events at this meeting.
Jerry Kaplan, Ph.D., Director
Janet Bassett, Program Administrator
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