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Student Research Opportunities

Photo of Trisha Shattuck conducting research.Today’s academic medical center is defined by a complex infrastructure of people, services, buildings and missions serving three fundamental masters – education, patient care, and research. At the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, opportunities abound for students to invest their energies, abilities and talents to advance our knowledge and understanding of basic sciences, clinical sciences, public health, and biopsychosocial understandings of wellness and disease through involvement in our various student research programs.

Students can enroll in research opportunities that may span one month to several years, including:

  • Formal research protocol and design courses in order to gain familiarity with the research process.

  • Individualized research project for elective credit.

  • The design and implementation of an individualized summer fellowship with faculty mentors.

  • A variety of full year enrichment fellowship programs available either through the school, nationally competitive programs, or as a special leave of absence identified by the student with support from the school.

  • Research interests in public and health care management and organization through participation in the combined degree programs, M.D./M.P.H. or M.D./M.B.A.

  • An M.D./Ph.D. which requires an additional three to five year commitment.

Additionally, supporting students' spirit of inquiry, encouraging the mental tenacity to see the project through, and expecting the ability to record, write-up and present findings according to accepted scientific standards are the promises each of our faculty gives to each student embarking on any research endeavor with us. We want our students to appreciate what goes into the rigorous search for the right research questions, how to achieve the tightest research design and protocol, and how to systematically convey experiences and results in oral and written form. We invite you to explore the opportunities available so that each student can build into his or her own academic development that unique set of skills and unique bond that develops among people invested in identifying and carrying out a protocol on a specific research question.


School of Medicine – College Summer Fellowship Program

The purpose of the program is to provide a research enrichment experience and some exposure to clinical medicine. A popular and competitive program for nearly two decades, the program is offered to college students intent on exploring and developing their appreciation for research experience as part of their overall preparation for medical school and a medical career. The faculty develop and make available suitable project descriptions from which students select a research opportunity. The student then meets with the faculty sponsor(s) and they develop a research protocol. The student commits approximately 30 hours per week to carry out the project. Approximately eight hours a week are set aside for clinical experience and seminars. A stipend is provided as is assistance in locating housing. Accepted students are encouraged to explore the faculty and research departments and centers listings to access areas of interest, ongoing research themes and initiatives by departmental focus, and current initiatives, recent publications, and future initiatives of specific faculty.


Graduate School – Undergraduate Summer Research Internship in Biological and Biomedical Sciences

The University of Connecticut Graduate School in Biomedical Sciences invites highly qualified and motivated undergraduate students to apply for a limited number of summer internships. The internships are available to students who have completed their sophomore year and are interested in a doctorate degree in the biological or biomedical sciences. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the research activities of a laboratory under the direction of a faculty member, receive a stipend, and housing assistance.


Department of Health Careers Opportunity Programs – Summer Research Opportunities for High School and College Students

Summer Research Fellowship Program
The Summer Research Fellowship Program is a ten-week program designed to provide a research enrichment experience and some exposure to clinical medicine to undergraduate students who are interested in a career in medicine. Applicants should have completed some college coursework in biology and chemistry, preferably through organic chemistry. A variety of projects are available. Faculty develop and make available suitable project descriptions. A faculty sponsor will be identified for each accepted applicant. The student meets with the faculty sponsor and develops the project protocol. The student commits approximately 30 hours each week to the project. Approximately eight hours are set aside for clinical experience and seminars. Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) students are encouraged to apply. A stipend and assistance with housing are provided.

High School Student Research Apprentice Program
The High School Student Research Apprentice Program is a six-week summer program for high school students, traditionally under-represented in American medicine, who have completed their junior or senior year and have indicated an interest in medicine. The program provides students with a research experience in one of the basic science or clinical laboratories at UConn Health or Storrs campus. Students report the results of their research in a presentation before faculty, preceptors, and other program participants and invited guests during the final week of the program. Participants at UConn Health must be able to commute daily. Participants at the Storrs campus will receive housing Monday through Friday.


Medical/Dental Student Summer Research Program

The Medical/Dental Student Summer Research Program is offered to entering and first-year students from the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine. It is designed to give students the opportunity to engage in research projects under the guidance of a faculty member. Students are notified of opportunities in December with a “letter of intent,” application cover sheet and procedures. Interested students need to file the “intent” to Lynda Rae Fox in February. Students then meet with faculty to develop a research protocol. Fellowships are awarded for approximately 400 hours of research time. The stipend is normally $3,000 depending on sources of funding available for the program. The number of stipend supported projects is limited and are awarded on a competitive basis by the Faculty Research Committee. Students are advised to prepare their applications carefully in close conjunction with their sponsors. Most important are the articulation of a clear hypothesis and the delineation of defined approaches to test it.

For More Information, Contact:

Lynda Rae Fox
School of Medicine
Admissions Secretary
Phone: 860-679-4713
Fax: 860 679-6763
Email: fox@nso1.uchc.edu


Richard Zeff, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Admissions
School of Medicine
Phone: 860-679-4713
Fax: 860-679-6763
Email: admissions@uchc.edu
Mailing Address
Lynda Rae Fox
Medical/Dental Student Summer Research Program
UConn School of Medicine
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-1905



Pathology Fellowship

The Department of Anatomic Pathology at UConn Health offers funded positions for post-sophomore fellowships. Interested medical students must have successfully completed two years of medical school. The program activities are similar to the first year residency in anatomic pathology. The program is accredited by the American Board of Pathology toward post graduate training in pathology. The core rotations include surgical pathology, autopsy pathology, and elective rotations.

Students interested in furthering their understanding of basic mechanisms of disease beyond that available in the standard medical school curriculum should consider this fellowship program. Students who desire more insight into the field of pathology and clinical-pathologic correlations will find this experience very satisfying. Previous students have commented that the experience afforded them the opportunity to become experts in anatomy and pathophysiology.

For More Information, Contact:

Melinda Sanders, M.D.
Anatomic Pathology
UConn School of Medicine
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3985

Phone: 860-679-2980
Fax: 860-679-4334
Email: msanders@nso1.uchc.edu



Fifth-Year M.D. Enrichment Program

The purpose of the Fifth-Year Enrichment Program is to encourage students to think broadly about their preparation for a lifetime career in medicine and to engage in some unique and intense year-long experience that supplements and enriches the standard medical school program. Students prepare an application, clearly identifying the enrichment experience, detailing the purpose, specific goals and objectives, and propose a schedule, plan and evaluation process. The full-year experience can consist of, but is not limited to, a full research year, partial research year, international experiences, clinical rotations, language study, or other. Students must detail the plan of study by month, provide the location for all activities, and identify and secure faculty supervisors who must provide appropriate letters of support and supervision. A special admissions committee is appointed to review Fifth-Year Enrichment Program applications.

Examples of projects to date include, a rising second-year student who received the nationally competitive Sarnoff Fellowship for basic science research in cardiology with faculty at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital during the 2005-06 academic year; and a third-year student who pursued a full-year research experience investigating the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis of colon with faculty at the UConn School of Medicine.


International Experiences – Center for International Community Health Studies

The CICHS was established in the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in 1980. The objective of CICHS was to develop a nationally recognized center for the study of international community health issues. Through this program, faculty at the School of Medicine work to educate medical school students in international health through courses, practicum, clerkships, and research experiences in developing countries, with special attention and interest in providing international research experiences on sexual risk, HIV/AIDS, and reproductive health. First-year students are encouraged to get involved with CICHS, to enroll in and complete the Research Elective in International Health Research, and to develop specific summer research protocols with participating faculty in the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care. Medical students interested in this program should contact Judy Lewis or Dr. Stephen Schensul.

Students normally apply for support through the Medical Student Summer Research Program.


Fifth-Year M.D. Enrichment Program  – Center for Molecular Medicine Medical Student Academic Enrichment Fellowship

The CMM Fellowship is a one-year intensive, stipend-supported, and mentored experience in human disease-oriented and/or clinical/translational research under the direction of a CMM faculty member. Students, normally after having completed at least two years of the medical school curriculum, first consult with CMM faculty to prepare a formal plan of study and apply for acceptance to program. Formal acceptance is contingent on acceptance to the enrichment program.


Research Opportunities for Students in Combined Degree Programs

Students should contact faculty in the relevant combined program offices for access to special opportunities related to their Master’s or Doctor of Philosophy.


Clinical Research Center

The CRC provides several opportunities for medical students interested in clinical projects affiliated with ongoing projects in the CRC. Students are encouraged to contact the CRC directly to find currently active projects and faculty. Students normally complete an application and apply through the Medical Student Summer Research Program.


Medical/Dental Student Scientific Research Day

Each year, the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine set aside a day in late February to acknowledge and honor student research. A faculty committee reviews the abstracts of student research projects completed the previous summer. Students are selected to present their work for either formal oral presentation or poster sessions that run concurrently throughout the day. A guest lecturer is selected to serve as the capstone speaker. Students, sponsors, faculty and family attend the awards reception/dinner. The research committee selects students for awards to acknowledge their contributions to research and excellence in their presentations.


The Selective Experience in Phase 3

Fourth-year students may engage in a two-month research experience to fulfill the Selective Experience.


Fourth-Year Electives

Fourth-year students may also satisfy required M.D. elective months in research. Special requests must be processed through the normal elective approval procedure.

UConn School of Medicine
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030

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