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Research Opportunities

Office of Student Research

The Office of Student Research (OSR) provides funded and volunteer positions, advice on research careers, and access to both internal and external research programs for high school, college, graduate and medical students. The combined master's degree programs. Opportunities are afforded to those whose primary interest is to gain some experience in basic and clinical research and advance their scientific knowledge, to become scientific investigators, and to combine a clinical and research career. The office encourages the development of clinician-scientists who are able to bridge both basic and clinical sciences and clinical practice. Such individuals are in an ideal position to translate research into clinical application, and patient problems into laboratory investigation. Student involvement in biomedical investigations is encouraged through participation in research projects supervised by medical school faculty who serve as role models and offer insight into careers in academic medicine and research. For those with advanced research experience, funded research traineeships are also available at selected foreign sites. These programs have a common goal: to enhance the research capabilities of students, to enhance the treatment of patients, and to advance scientific investigations that enable improved patient care. Through the OSR, the medical school faculty at the University of Maryland, as well as at several foreign institutions, has provided such opportunities for more than 20 years.

The areas of research that students are involved in span the broadest definitions of behavioral and biomedical research conducted by the faculty using established and “cutting-edge” techniques to unravel research questions. These have included, but are not limited to: cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, endocrinologic disorders, environmental health, epidemiology, infectious diseases, immunology, molecular biology, neuroscience, oncology, toxicology and virology. They have delved into various aspects of AIDS and HIV research, from clinical trials to epidemiological and public health studies, and anatomical and surgical studies to vaccine development. Trainees have worked alongside faculty to study endocrine, environmental and toxicological problems such as diabetes, industrial pollution, and the causes and treatment of neurological disorders including Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis. The global nature of disease and faculty research interests have also provided students with the opportunity to conduct advanced basic and clinical research dealing with AIDS, bioethics, cardiovascular disease, drug discovery in rain forests, oncology, tropical diseases such as malaria, and vaccine development for diseases facing third world countries.

The OSR provides medical students with research traineeships that are awarded on a competitive basis and provide stipends that follow NSRA and NIH institutional guidelines for 2.5-3 months of full-time participation. These experiences are available to incoming medical students during the summer before they matriculate and to matriculated students usually between their first and second years and, on occasion, to third and fourth year students. Opportunities available at the School of Medicine are complemented by those for students with strong research experience, at many of our foreign sites in the Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, China, the Dominican Republic, India, Jamaica, Mali, Malawi, the Netherlands, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, the OSR maintains a web site that contains growing list of research and clinical opportunities.

The grants for work in the medical school are solely for stipends while those for the foreign sites include travel, housing and other expenses provided by funds from the granting agency. The OSR also strongly encourages students to apply early to external organizations who might also fund their research activities. Students who are successful in attracting partial stipend support can receive OSR supplemental awards up to the maximum of comparable OSR awards, thus allowing the office to fund additional students. The fundamental nature of these programs is to encourage medical students' involvement in research. OSR funds are therefore not granted to those with advanced research degrees in the behavioral and biological sciences, nor to those about to enter or conducting masters and doctoral dissertations.

Colloquium on Science - Student Research Forum

The OSR conducts a summer program that parallels its research program to encourage and maintain continuance of student interest in research, to provide role models to younger students, and to enrich a student's background and expertise. An orientation that include a short course on Ethical and Responsible Conduct of Research is followed by a series of research seminars colloquiums on science and on diverse topics presented by the faculty of the School of Medicine since 1985. This is accompanied by career seminars. The summer ends with the Student Research Forum on the first or second Friday in August at which students present both oral and poster presentations of their research.

High School, Pre-Medical, and Pre-Graduate Student Programs

The OSR also conducts summer research programs for high school and undergraduate students to encourage their entry into the health professions and/or biomedical and behavioral research. Both volunteer and stipend-based programs are provided at the School of Medicine and abroad. Entry-level programs provide under-represented minority students and others with opportunities to conduct research with faculty mentors in the area of cardiovascular, pulmonary and hematological research or in toxicology and environmental health. The programs, funded by NIH and the NSF, provide students with a realistic understanding of the biomedical research environment through experimental opportunities, prolonged contact with our medical research faculty who serve as role models, and with the application procedures necessary for them to successfully apply to graduate and professional schools.

All students must meet the basic requirements of each program that generally consist of a minimum GPA of 3.0 (B average), U.S. citizenship or resident alien status, and the completion of basic courses in biology, chemistry and/or mathematics. Additional requirements include personal statements and references from faculty.

The office also hosts the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine and National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine for the Baltimore/Washington Area and first year medcial students can apply to coordinate each program ($1500 each). The OSR also awards two-three internships for attendance to high school participants in Maryland (Baltimore, Eastern Shore and Western Maryland).

Medical Student Research Day

The Office of Student Research (OSR) and Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), the national medical honor society, and the OSR, sponsor a research competition each year in late September. All medical students are encouraged to participate and attend these presentations. With the exception of MD/PhD students, prizes are awarded for both oral and poster competitions. A total of $2,000 is awarded to students having the top three oral and poster presentations. A reception follows a keynote address by a prominent physician-scientist.

Award for Excellence in Research

The Dean's Award for Excellence in Research is given each year at the Awards Breakfast prior to graduation to a senior who best exemplifies a strong and continued interest in research during medical school and shows the promise of a future career in research. The award consists of a commemorative plaque and a prize of $500. The award is not open to MD/PhD candidates but can include those who may have taken a leave of absence for research (e.g., Howard Hughes Fellows, NIH Clinical Research Fellows or a Master's research degree. Additional information is available at the OSR website.

Policies & Procedures for Routing Student Grant & Stipend Applications
(Effective August 2006)

Routing Deadlines

All medical student research grant/fellowship/internship submissions or other such applications on behalf of medical students must use ORD's web-based routing form.

All applicants must notify the Office of Student Research (OSR)/Dean's Office of an impending grant submission at least two weeks prior to agency deadline.

All such grants will be submitted to the OSR at least nine (9) business days prior to the agency deadline for review & validation.

The OSR will present the submission to the Medical Education Advisory Council (MEAC) at least seven (7) days prior to the sponsor deadline for review & validation. See below* for agency limitations on the number of applications from a single institution.

Electronic proposal submissions must be in final form and either uploaded to the web-based routing form or uploaded to the Sponsor website at the time they are submitted to the OSR. "Hard Copy" submissions also must be in final form, with the sole exception of the science portion of the grant. Tab any pages of the hard copy application requiring Dean's Office or ORD signature.

OSR will sign the routing form will then forward the routing form and attachments to the Dean's Office.

The Dean's Office will sign the routing form and, if required, the Cost Sharing Approval Form, and will then forward the routing form and attachments to ORD.

Within 4 business days after the time the signed routing forms and the proposal in final form are available to ORD for review, ORD will submit the electronic proposal to the sponsor or sign the hard copy proposal. For hard copy submissions, ORD will contact OSR to pick up the signed proposal unless other instructions are provided.

Grants Requiring Institutional Letters of Support

Grants requiring Institutional Letters of Support must be discussed in advance of the routing process. When necessary,' a "Letter of Good Academic Standing" that may on request include acknowledgement of a '"Leave of Absence"' should it be needed, can be obtained by filling out the form available on the OSA website. "Letters of Recommendation" should be solicited from the appropriate faculty.

Please contact the OSR Administrator for guidance at the time you have decided to apply. The OSR Administrator will facilitate the processing of any applications requiring such letters.

Sponsors Who Limit Applications to One Per Institution

When an agency limits the number of applications from an institution, the OSR and MEAC will prioritize the submissions and recommend one or more applications for submission. Sponsors who limit grant applications to one per institution require special coordination within the SOM. If you are gong to apply for one of these grants, please contact the OSR Administrator for guidance at the time you have decided to apply. The OSR will notify the MEAC, and facilitate the process of review.

POLICIES & PROCEDURES FOR ROUTING STUDENT GRANT & STIPEND APPLICATIONS (EFFECTIVE AUGUST 2006)

Routing Deadlines

All medical student research grant/fellowship/internship submissions or other such applications on behalf of medical students must use ORD's web-based routing form.

All applicants must notify the Office of Student Research (OSR)/Dean's Office of an impending grant submission at least two weeks prior to agency deadline.

All such grants will be submitted to the OSR at least nine (9) business days prior to the agency deadline for review & validation.

The OSR will present the submission to the Medical Education Advisory Council (MEAC) at least seven (7) days prior to the sponsor deadline for review & validation. See below* for agency limitations on the number of applications from a single institution.

Electronic proposal submissions must be in final form and either uploaded to the web-based routing form or uploaded to the Sponsor website at the time they are submitted to the OSR. "Hard Copy" submissions also must be in final form, with the sole exception of the science portion of the grant. Tab any pages of the hard copy application requiring Dean's Office or ORD signature.

OSR will sign the routing form will then forward the routing form and attachments to the Dean's Office.

The Dean's Office will sign the routing form and, if required, the Cost Sharing Approval Form, and will then forward the routing form and attachments to ORD.

Within 4 business days after the time the signed routing forms and the proposal in final form are available to ORD for review, ORD will submit the electronic proposal to the sponsor or sign the hard copy proposal. For hard copy submissions, ORD will contact OSR to pick up the signed proposal unless other instructions are provided.

Grants Requiring Institutional Letters of Support

Grants requiring Institutional Letters of Support must be discussed in advance of the routing process. When necessary,' a "Letter of Good Academic Standing" that may on request include acknowledgement of a '"Leave of Absence"' should it be needed, can be obtained by filling out the form available on the OSA website. "Letters of Recommendation" should be solicited from the appropriate faculty.

Please contact the OSR Administrator for guidance at the time you have decided to apply. The OSR Administrator will facilitate the processing of any applications requiring such letters.

Sponsors Who Limit Applications to One Per Institution

When an agency limits the number of applications from an institution, the OSR and MEAC will prioritize the submissions and recommend one or more applications for submission. Sponsors who limit grant applications to one per institution require special coordination within the SOM. If you are going to apply for one of these grants, please contact the OSR Administrator for guidance at the time you have decided to apply. The OSR will notify the MEAC, and facilitate the process of review.

Routing Process for Student Grant Applications or Grants on Behalf of Students

Where do I obtain the Routing Form?
  • UMB web-based Routing Form
  • The OSR Administrator will submit the electronic form. The PI and student are responsible for answering the questions on the Routing Form.
When should I begin routing?
  • Contact the OSR Administrator at least 4 weeks in advance of grant deadlines.
  • Route applications and proposals BEFORE submitting to the Sponsor, including electronic submissions.
  • Submit the application to the OSR at least nine (9) business days prior to the agency deadline for review & validation.
  • Ensure that the budget (if required) is submitted to OSR and ORD is the Final Budget.
What signatures are required?
  • Principal Investigator
  • Faculty Supervisor/Mentor when the PI is a Student
  • OSR Assistant Dean
  • Dean's Office
What does ORD require in order to sign the application?
  • Completed, signed University Routing Form
  • Completed application Face Page
  • PI signature on application, and other signatures required by Sponsor and OSR/Dean's Office
  • Internal spreadsheet budget (if a detailed budget is not required by Sponsor).
  • If cost-sharing is required by the sponsor, a Cost Sharing Approval Form must be completed and signed by the Dean's Office.
  • Collaborator's Chair/Dean Sign Off - If a Collaborator from another department/school is committing effort to the project
  • If human subjects are involved – On the routing form, choose Approved, Pending or To Be Submitted; provide the protocol number if known.
  • If animal research is involved- On the routing form, choose Approved, Pending or To Be Submitted; provide the protocol number if known.
  • Project plan or scope of work (draft is acceptable if required)
  • Final proposal uploaded to web-based routing form or sponsor website for electronic submission, or final version of hard-copy submission with the exception that the scope of work (if applicable) may be in draft.
Who sends the application to the Sponsor?
  • The OSR (or designee) will be responsible for sending the hard-copy application to the sponsor.
  • ORD is responsible for submitting most electronic proposals. If a sponsor does not require submission by an "authorized organization official" (or similar), OSR (or designee) will be responsible for submitting the electronic proposal or for authorizing its submission.
What if we make changes to the application (hard copy) after ORD sign-off?
  • No changes may be made to the budget or to required cost-sharing commitments after signatures are obtained.
  • A final copy of the submitted hard copy application must be sent to the OSR, mentor and ORD simultaneously with submission to the Sponsor. This should be done via the OSR Administrator.
  • Always provide a final copy of the submitted application to the SOM's Office for Research Subjects if human subject research is proposed.

Last Revision: February 14, 2013