Extracurricular Research

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Motivated students may seek out research experiences outside of the curriculum providing they are in acceptable academic standing and receive approval from the Director and Assistant Dean, Physician-Researcher Training and their academic advisor. To assist in guiding students through these opportunities, the Office of Medical Student research provides the following guidelines for the students and their mentors.

  • While the research curriculum has a formal mentor/project selection process, students conducting research outside the curriculum may locate a research mentor through networking with students and professors, consulting research news@Vanderbilt, and looking through the BRET Faculty Database.
  • Notify our Office of your intent to conduct research outside of the curricular opportunities by completing the Extracurricular Research Notification before beginning the research experience.
  • Some research opportunities may involve monetary compensation for the student. However, institutional guidelines do not allow a student to receive Vanderbilt course credit as well as monetary compensation for the same duties. For questions regarding student compensation please contact the Registrar's office, 615-322-2145.
  • The student should consult our Safety Training Guidelines, discuss their safety training needs with their mentor or lab manager, and complete any safety requirements prior to beginning their research experience.

Students interested in additional research training and opportunities beyond those present within the medical school curriculum are encouraged to explore the provided links. 

Medical Scholars Program
A year-long mentored research program providing support for students  DSC_0143a.jpg

Medical Scientist Training Program
Training Grant Programs

Vanderbilt Summer Research Internship Program in Biomedical Informatics
Dates: June 1 – August 1, 2014
Application Deadline: March 7, 2014
Contact: Rischelle Jenkins, Program Coordinator
The Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Informatics is designed to provide students from diverse backgrounds with a high quality Biomedical Informatics research experience. Learn more.

Vanderbilt Summer Research Training Program in Diabetes and Obesity, Kidney Disease, and Digestive Disease
Dates: Mid May - Mid August (2-3 months)
Application Deadline: February 10, 2014
Contact: Suzanne Starr, Program Administrator
The Vanderbilt Student Research Training Program (SRTP) is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and allows medical students to conduct research under the direction of an established scientist in the areas of diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, or digestive disease at Vanderbilt. Learn more.

Student Summer Research Training in Kidney Disease
Dates: June 1 – July 30, 2014
Application Deadline: January 15, 2014
Contact: Nancy Lightsey, Program Administrator
The Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at Vanderbilt conducts a broad range of NIH funded, cutting edge basic science and human and patient-oriented research. Learn more.

Meharry-Vanderbilt-TSU U54 Cancer Partnership Summer Cancer Research Program
Dates: flexible, 8-10 weeks
Application Deadline: March 18, 2015
Contact: Susan Mills, Associate Director-Administrator, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
The Summer Research Program is designed to train the next generation of competitive researchers in cancer and overcoming cancer health disparities. Read more about the program in the 2015 M-V Student Research Brochure.pdf


Vanderbilt-Emory-Cornell-Duke Fogarty Global Health Fellows Program
1-year NIH-funded opportunity for early career investigators interested in working in low-resource settings.

AAMC Clinical and Research Opportunities
Listing of fellowships, internships, summer programs, scholarships, and grants currently available in the United States and abroad.

American Medical Association Foundation Seed Grant Research Program encourages medical students, physician residents and fellows to enter the research field. The program provides $2,500 grants to support small basic science, applied, or clinical research projects.

American Otological Society Medical Student Training Grant
Research grant awards and training fellowships to study otosclerosis, Meniere's disease, and related disorders.

American Skin Association Medical Student Grants Targeting Melanoma/Skin Cancer
One-year research opportunity in the area of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.

CDC Experience Applied Epidemiology Fellowship
One-year fellowship in applied epidemiology designed for physicians who want to study population health.

CDC Hubert Global Health Fellowship provides third- and fourth-year medical and veterinary students with public health experience in a developing country. The main focus of the fellowship is a 6- to 12-week field assignment where fellows are mentored by experienced CDC staff and learn through hands-on experience while working on a public health project. 

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announces the availability of the 2015-2016 Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship (ICRF) for medical students. The program is open to medical students in good standing at any US-based medical school. Accepted students spend a year out from medical school to conduct mentored clinical research in developing countries coordinated through one of six hosting schools, of which UCSF is one. At UCSF, an annual stipend of $29,000 and up to $10,000 in research and travel funds is provided to each fellow.  In keeping with the wishes expressed in Doris Duke’s will, the Medical Research Program does not fund research that uses animals.

Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships in Public Health
The flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, to promote the expansion of research in public health and clinical research in resource-limited settings. Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships began in July 2011 with fellows in sub-Saharan Africa, and expanded to include countries in Asia and Latin America.

Global Health Fellows and Scholars Support Centers
Provides supportive mentorship, research opportunities and a collaborative research environment for early stage investigators to enhance their global health research expertise and their careers.

Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications
Opportunity to participate in on-going medical informatics research under the tutelage of Lister Hill Center mentors. Participants work directly with leading medical informatics professionals for varying lengths of time.

HHMI Medical Research Fellows Program
Offers year-long and summer programs with the flexibility to select your mentor and project from HHMI investigators throughout the United States and conduct full-time basic, translational, or applied biomedical research.

International Dissertation Research Fellowship Program supports the next generation of scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences pursuing research that advances knowledge about non-US cultures and societies. 

NIH Medical Research Scholars Program
A comprehensive, year-long research enrichment program engaged in mentored basic, clinical, or translational research. Training is offered on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, or nearby NIH facilities.

NIH Clinical Research Training Program
A year-long enrichment program for clinical and translational research investigation in an area that matches the student's academic interests and career goals. Training is offered on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, or nearby NIH facilities.

NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
NIDDK's Medical Student Research Training Program (MSRT) provides 9-12 months of mentored research training experience to help students solidify their decisions to pursue a research career, focus their research interests, and provide a background for future training and career development.

NIH Clinical Research Fellowship for Medical Students/International Opportunities/Fellowships in Environmental Medicine for Medical Students
A one-year program offering epidemiological or clinical mentored research related to environmental health issues at the NIEHS campus in Research Triangle Park, NC, or with NIH in Bethesda, MD.

Paul Calabresi Medical Student Fellowship: Clinical Pharmacology
Fellowships are available for 6 to 24 months to research areas in pharmacology and clinical pharmacology.

Sarnoff Fellowship Program
The Sarnoff Fellowship Program offers research opportunities for outstanding medical students to explore careers in cardiovascular research. Applicants must be enrolled in accredited U.S. medical schools.  Sarnoff Fellows conduct intensive work in a research facility, located in the United States, for one year.  Prior research experience is not a prerequisite.

Society of Hospital Medicine, Student Hospitalist Scholar Grant
SHM continues to invest in the future of hospital medicine by offering grant funding for scholarly work with an active SHM mentor in a project related to patient safety, quality improvement or other areas relevant to the field of hospital medicine.  For more information, please view the video "What is Hospital Medicine?" or contact Debra Beach at dbeach@hospitalmedicine.org.



It is time to submit your abstract(s) for the 33rd Annual Research Forum.  Online abstract submission is being offered again this year.  Below is the Save the Date announcement for the poster session.  The abstract submission link is below.  

The top three abstracts will be selected for oral presentation at the Annual Research Forum.  The oral presentations will be judged by non-scientifically/non-medically trained professionals and will be judged grossly on the ability to effectively communicate to a lay audience.  Feel free to forward this information to others. 

Online abstract submission link:  https://gme.mc.vanderbilt.edu/ResearchForum

*Only House Staff and Medical Students are eligible for abstract submission*

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SHM continues to invest in the future of hospital medicine by offering  grant funding for scholarly work with an active SHM mentor in a project related to patient  safety, quality improvement or other areas relevant to the field of hospital medicine.

Please take a moment to read more about The SHM Student Hospitalist Grant.

Also, here is a video to help with the cause: "What is Hospital Medicine?"

Please support this new opportunity by:

  • Sharing this information with students who could benefit from the grant
  • Offering to serve as a mentor for a student who wishes to apply for the grant

For additional information please contact Debra Beach at dbeach@hospitalmedicine.org.

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