Medical Student Research Programs

A student works liquid to a test tube
A student works in a Molecular Biology research lab.

UT Southwestern Medical School has a longstanding commitment to student research. UTSW medical students can engage in a variety of research activities – both basic and clinical – working directly with the faculty. The Office of the Associate Dean for Medical Student Research is charged with organizing these activities.

Many medical students take advantage of the Summer Research Program, usually the summer before or after their MS1 year. The research lasts about 10 weeks. In a series of weekly luncheon seminars, faculty and former student researchers discuss the fundamentals of basic and clinical research. Students are paid a research stipend and encouraged to submit their work to national and regional meetings, including the Medical Student Research Forum.

Other students choose to use their elective credits in their third and fourth years to complete a Research Elective, doing a project with a chosen mentor. For these electives, the student contacts a faculty mentor and then gets approval from the Associate Dean.

Both of these opportunities can lead to an M.D. with Distinction in Research. Students with 24 weeks of research experience can apply for the distinction and present a thesis to their research mentors and peers.

Students are encouraged to explore yearlong research programs in basic or clinical research. National research programs sustain comprehensive research training in a variety of disciplines.

The Medical Student Research Office has limited funding to help students present their original research at national conferences. Funding will be assessed on an individual basis and an application will be required. Please contact Rene Galindo, M.D., Ph.D., directly for more information.