Although research is not a requirement, many students choose to engage in research during their medical education. Whether they have a strong background in research or have never conducted a study, students have the opportunity to conduct research in the basic sciences, clinical topics, or public health.
Finding a Mentor
All students must have a mentor. If you are interested in joining a research project but aren’t sure where to begin, we can help. Dr. Donohue can meet with you to discuss your interests and help you find the right mentor.
How to Get Started in Research
James Scholar Program
The James Scholar Program is an honors program designed for outstanding students who wish study one topic in depth during their undergraduate medical education.
The Craig Fellowship is a competitive summer program between the M1 and M2 years during which students can conduct research and receive a stipend.
The Illinois Neurological Institute, affiliated with OSF, offers students who are interested in research in Neurology/Neurosurgery financial support through their competitive Fellowship and Scholarship.
Other Research Opportunities
Other programs for students that can have a research component include:
Frequently Asked Questions
How much time should I expect to spend doing research?
This depends on the project and your mentor’s expectations. The time commitment often ranges from 5-10 hours per week, but this can vary. What is most important is that you communicate openly with your mentor about your availability and you decide on a schedule that suits both of you.
Can I do a project without a mentor?
All research projects that students conduct require a faculty mentor.
Does the research I conduct need to be in the area of my specialization?
No, it does not. If you are an M1 and are not sure yet what your specialty will be, residency programs will appreciate that you took the initiative to do research, even if the topic is different from your specialty. Once you have decided on a specialization, research in that area is a great way to enhance your training.
Are there opportunities to take a gap year and do more research?
UIC offers students the opportunity to take a year between their 3rd and 4th years to get a MS (part of the MD/MS-CTS joint degree program), which entails conducting research and taking classes
Can I get help writing an abstract or making a poster?
UICOMP has a collection of templates for posters. If you would like feedback on an abstract or a poster, you can contact Dr. Donohue ([email protected]).