During the Research Immersion (RI) Phase, you will complete a 3-6 month research project. To ensure that you and your mentor are prepared for the PLAN course and RI, the Office of Medical Student Research (OMSR) has designed the Pathway2PLAN (P2P). P2P provides guideposts and milestones on the road to the PLAN course in which you–with mentor and faculty input–design a research project plan to be implemented during your RI months. P2P includes 5 phases, all of which you will complete via REDCap surveys (hyperlinks below):
PHASE 1: Initial Research Area Interest Form – *Required of all 2nd-year MD Students.*
In this short REDCap survey, you will name your top 2 areas of research interest. Almost all students will complete this survey during the Discovery course.
PHASE 2: Research Interest Form – *Required of all 2nd-year MD students.*
This REDCap survey gathers more information about your research interests and possible mentor. You may utilize the approved mentor lists as a starting point in your exploration of possible projects and mentors. This survey is your first opportunity to designate which section of PLAN you intend to take (September or March). No worries if you change your mind as long as you do so before the posted deadline for the intended block.
PHASE 3: Mentor Meeting Report – *Required of all 2nd-year MD Students
We encourage you to meet with multiple potential mentors to discuss your interests and emerging project. For Phase 3, you will comment on these mentor meetings when you submit your Mentor Meeting Report.
As you plan theses meetings, OMSR encourages you to consult several resources that should help facilitate your conversations with possible mentors:
- The Inquiry Student Handbook’s helpful section “How to Find a Mentor“
- Discussion topics for your first meeting with a possible mentor
- Research Mentor Overview and Expectations – includes detailed guidelines for and expectations of your mentor
In Phase 4, you will meet with your RI mentor to complete the Mentor Agreement Form. This REDCap form helps facilitate important discussions regarding specific project information as you prepare for PLAN and RI months. With your mentor, you will develop specific aims, discuss compliance issues, and plan the timing of your RI blocks. Your mentor must also read and sign this form.
For this final P2P phase, you will provide final details of the project before you begin the month-long PLAN course. Your mentor’s input on this form is essential.
The OMSR and Research Directors then review each RIPF submission before designating final research areas. If they have any concerns about the feasibility of your project, they will reach out to you for clarification before approving your RIPF. After RIPF approval, OMSR will facilitate your registration in the PLAN course.
**Note: PLAN registration necessitates prior IRB approval. You will need to provide your IRB project number on your RIPF.**