Summer Research Program

All medical students have the opportunity to engage in a variety of research activities – both basic and clinical – during the summer break in conjunction with faculty members. Many take advantage of this program each year. Most choose to participate during the summer before and after their first year.

  • The research begins after the school year is over and lasts for approximately 10 weeks.
  • Students are paid a research stipend during this period or receive transcript notation.
  • Students attend a series of weekly lunch-time seminars in which faculty discuss the fundamentals of basic and clinical research.

The Office of the Associate Dean for Medical Student Research organizes these activities.

Requirements for Participation

The student must be able to work full-time, at least 40 hours a week, during the nine-week program. The student is not allowed to have any other university employment during the summer or any scholastic obligations such as remediating courses to be considered for the funded portion of the program.

No prior research experience is required.

How to Identify a Mentor

All faculty on campus are considered potential mentors for the Summer Research Program. Since there are thousands of research projects on-going at UTSW, we will not keep an exhaustive list of projects.

The student should narrow down what field of medicine they would like to work in, and then do some research. Rene Galindo, M.D., Ph.D., is available at any time to help guide students to the mentor who best suits their research interests.

Below are three sites that are good resources for finding mentors in your area of interest:

  • The Research by Department website: These pages are updated by the departments with their research faculty or current project.
  • Project Indexes for the Summer Research Program: The indexes are previously funded projects through our Summer Research Program. These exact projects are probably no longer open, but they will inform the type of research that several mentors are working on across the campus.
  • The UTSW Influuent System: Searching by “Profiles” is the quickest way to find individual faculty by name. The option of searching “Everything” works if one wants to look for faculty doing research (or with clinical interest) in a given area.
  • Don’t be afraid to do a Google search.

Also see our Guide For First Years Interested In Research

Timeline for UT-Summer Research Program

October-January – Students begin the process of researching potential mentors and laboratories that fit their current field of interest.

February 15 – Letter of Intent between the student and mentor due to the Medical Student Research Program office.

March 1 – Application for funding is due. This collaborative effort between the student and the mentor will be submitted online for consideration by the review panel. 

April 1 – Funding decisions go out. Mentors are also allowed to sponsor students and the MSRP office can assist with that process.

April 15 – Students and mentors NOT applying for funding will submit a Summer Research Elective proposal so the student can participate for credit.

May – The office will work with students to get them on-boarded to the University as employees and credentialed at the hospitals based on the information submitted on the applications.

June – Start of the program. During the program, the students are expected to work 40 hours a week for the entire summer. Credit students are expected to work full time for at least five weeks.

August-End of the program. Student will submit a 1-2 page written summary and evaluation of their summer experience to the office.

Summer Research FAQs

What opportunities are available for undergraduates and high school students?

If you’re an undergraduate student interested in obtaining a Ph.D. or if you intend to apply to M.D./Ph.D. programs, you should apply to the SURF Program.

If you’re a high school student interested in research, you should apply to the STARS Program.

Is it possible to obtain elective credit for research that I conduct?

If you are not chosen to participate in the funded portion of the Summer Research Program, you might be eligible for the Summer Research Enrichment Elective. Instead of getting a stipend, students will get transcription notation that they worked on research during the summer and the weeks will count toward a Distinction in Research.

In publications, do I need to cite support by any particular program?

Yes. Here’s how.