Dean’s Research Scholar

UT Southwestern Medical Center is dedicated to strengthening the University’s future physician scientists. The Dean’s Research Scholar Program is designed to provide a yearlong opportunity in basic, clinical, or translational research to highly qualified UT medical students with a well-designed research project proposal.

The Dean’s Research Scholars focus on full-time research while taking a leave of absence from Medical School. During their time, they will make lifelong connections with department members as well as other researchers across campus.

The students have ample time to complete a research project and have the opportunity to present their work as a thesis to complete an M.D. with Distinction in Research. No other employment is allowed during this year.

A complete application for consideration must be turned in by April 1. 

A complete application consists of:

  • Application that captures your academic as well as previous research, publications, honors and awards, and any professional activities
  • Official transcripts and Letter of Good Standing from the University. As you will be taking a leave of absence from Medical School, we need to confirm that rematriculation is guaranteed.
  • Research proposal. This proposal should delineate a project that is capable of sustaining one year of research. It is important that the proposal provide a clear sense of direction for a hypothesis-driven project. The proposal should be approximately 2–3 pages that cover the topics of: Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Preliminary Studies, Research Design, and Methods. You may include a separate page for citations
  • Letter of support from your mentor
  • Mentor's NIH biosketch
  • Training plan that outlines the support provided by the mentor and his/her department. To assure the student's development into an independent researcher, the mentor and student will need to develop a training plan that includes research as well as other educational opportunities available to the student. This plan needs to include any opportunities for extra education in the field he/she is researching, such as journal clubs or departmental conferences. Most importantly, the research facilities and resources that the mentor will provide to the student as part of the learning experience are needed. Additional faculty or researchers who might mentor the student might also be included as resources for the student.
  • Two letters of recommendation that address student interest in research or academic integrity. The letters should be emailed to Amanda Arista.
  • Completed Application to the Basic Certificate in Clinical Science through the Graduate School. Click on the “Apply Now Online” and complete the application. There is no need to attach or send in letters of recommendation or personal essays as we will use those which you have attached to your DRS application. If you have any questions about this application, please contact Amy Mackenroth.

Once the applications are received, the top applicants will be expected to interview with a panel of researchers to discuss their career goals and their proposed research projects.

Acceptance will be announced by May 1.

Common Questions

What projects will be considered for funding?

The review committee is looking for well-developed, hypothesis-driven, student-led projects. Ideally, students will publish their projects.

How much is the stipend?

The student will receive approzimately $23,000 stipend as well as coverage of one year of health insurance, should the student choose to participate.

Who is eligible?

All UT Southwestern medical students in good standing with the University are welcome to apply. Students do not have to be U.S. citizens, but have to be eligible to work with an appropriate visa. Students may only be enrolled in the M.D.-only track.