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Program Information 

 About the Program


A limited number of 8, 10 or 12 week full-time, paid summer research fellowships are available competitively for M1 and M2 students wishing to participate in a hands-on rigorous basic science, clinical or translational research study supervised by Medical College of Wisconsin faculty investigators. Students are integrated into the research environment and actively participate on the research team. The program provides opportunities for students to observe how new discoveries translate into the development of new drugs, devices and treatment modalities and to explore research and potential research careers.  Publishing and presenting are two program goals. Participation is limited to medical students enrolled at the Medical College of Wisconsin who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents in order to receive federal grants.


Some summer projects may be extended (unpaid) into the academic year to help fulfill Scholarly Pathways curriculum requirements.





 Program Administration

Program Director: David R. Harder, PhD, Kohler Company Professor of Cardiovascular Research and Associate Dean for Mentoring, Email:  Phone: 955-8200


Program Manager: Seema B. Sernovitz, MSEd, Office of Academic Affairs, Email: Phone: 955-8865

 Funding for Summer 2014

Summer research fellowships are funded through several external grants from National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other local, state and national organizations, and through various internal resources including MCW departments and research centers. The Medical Student Summer Research Program provides the administrative mechanism through which to disseminate these resources and to coordinate the recruitment, application and award process. Except where noted below, students and preceptors need to complete only the general application available on this website in order to apply for a fellowship funded through the various resources.

 Research Areas Currently Supported

Summer research fellowships are awarded competitively, due to the variability of available funding from year to year. Approximately 50 slots are committed for summer 2014 to support stipends for students interested in working in research areas that correspond to the various resources below. Additional slots may be available funded through pending NIH research education grants in specific research areas and through departmental support. 


National Heart Lung Blood Institute-NIH-NHLBI T35 Research Training Grant (Federal)
  o PI: David R. Harder, PhD – This grant supports 24 slots (12 weeks each)  Preceptors must be NIH-funded investigators.
  o Research area: Heart, lung, blood, sleep
  o Contact: Seema Sernovitz,   Phone: 955-8865

National Heart Lung Blood Institute-NIH-NHLBI R25 Research Education Grant to Increase Diversity in Health-related Research (Federal) – This grant supports 6 slots (12 weeks each) Pending NIH-NHLB1 Funding.  Preceptors must be NIH-funded investigators.
  o MPIs: Kenneth B. Simons, MD and Jeannette Vasquez-Vivar, PhD
  o Research Area: Heart, lung, blood, sleep
  o Special applicant eligibility requirements apply
  o Contact: Seema Sernovitz,   Phone: 955-8865


National Institute on Aging-NIH-NIA T35 Training Grant in Aging and Injury Research (Federal) This grant supports 10 slots (10-12 weeks each)
  o PI: Linda N. Meurer, MD, MPH:
  o Research area: Aging related injury prevention and management, patient safety
  o Contact: Mary Czinner ,   Phone: 955-7671


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases NIH-NIDDK R25 Digestive, Metabolic and Kidney Disease Research Education Program (DMKREP) (Federal)
This grant supports 5 slots (10 weeks each) 
  o MPIs: Kevin R. Regner, MD and Michael B. Dwinell, PhD
  o Research area: Digestive, metabolic and kidney diseases
  o Students will be matched with a research and clinical mentor and must commit to participating in DMKREP Learning Community activities during the academic year post-training
  o Contact: Seema Sernovitz,   Phone: 955-8865


Friends of the Medical College of Wisconsin. This grant supports 2 slots (8 weeks each)
  o Research area: Topically unrestricted
  o Contact: Seema Sernovitz,   Phone: 955-8865


Dr. Michael J. Dunn Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships.  This grant supports
3 slots (8 weeks each)

  o Research area: Topically unrestricted
  o Contact: Seema Sernovitz,   Phone: 955-8865


Class of 2001 Scott Sprtel Summer Research Fund. This grant supports 1 slot (8 weeks)
  o Research area: Topically unrestricted
  o Contact: Seema Sernovitz,   Phone: 955-8865


Herma Heart Center of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Several fellowships are available annually pending funding.
  o Research area: Pediatric cardiology/cardiovascular
  o Contact: Mary Krolikowski


Injury Research Center Program. Several fellowships are available annually pending funding.
  o Director:  Stephen Hargarten, MD, MPH
  o Research area: Injury
  o Contact: Mary Czinner  Phone: 955-7671


Department of Family and Community Medicine Several fellowships are available annually pending funding.

  o Research area:  Family Medicine and community-based research

  o Contact:  Michele Leininger, Program Coordinator,


Dr. Elaine Kohler Summer Academy of Global Health Research. Several fellowships are available annually.
  o Director: Stephen Hargarten, MD, MPH
  o Students spend part of the summer at MCW and part abroad
  o Contact: Tifany Frazer   Phone: 955-4763

Additional information and application (please the text link to:



Medical Student Summer Quality Improvement Program (MSSQIP).  5 fellowships (10 weeks each) are available pending funding
o Director: Geoffrey Lamb, MD
o Projects must involve a quality improvement initiative or formal study that informs a quality improvement effort. Preceptor must be a member of the Medical College Physicians (MCP) which is constituted of the MCW physicians in adult practice.
o Contact: Geoffrey Lamb, MD  Phone: 805-0826



Medical students interested in research areas described below must apply directly to these organizations. Students who are awarded outside fellowships typically participate in the regular orientation, seminars and other activities scheduled for students in the Medical Student Summer Research Program. 

Students and their preceptors should ALSO COMPLETE the general summer research application as a back-up resource . Contact Seema Sernovitz, 955-8865 ( to identify MCW projects/faculty working in these research areas below:

Foundation for Anesthesiology Education and Research-FAER
  o Research Area: Anesthesiology
  o MCW contact: Judy Kersten, MD (
  o FAER Website and application:

Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation (Application deadline 2/1/2014)
  o Principal interest areas: Population/Community-Based Health Research
  o  Contact: Eileen Wilson, Program Coordinator ( ) Website:

Alpha Omega Alpha Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship
  o One candidate from each medical school can apply for a minimum of 8-10 weeks of training in clinical investigation, basic laboratory research, epidemiology or social science/health services research. MD/PhD candidates are not eligible
  o MCW Contact: James Sebastian, MD, Councilor
  o Proposals must be submitted to Dr. Sebastian by December 31, 2013. The final application (sent by Dr. Sebastian) to the AOA must be postmarked by January 31, 2014.

American Society of Nephrology. The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) helps support medical students interested in basic or clinical nephrology research. Student Scholar Grants enable students to spend 10 to 52 weeks performing continuous, full-time research under a nephrology mentor.
Applicant Requirements:
Must be enrolled in a U.S. medical school and in good standing.
Must not be receiving other sources of stipend support.
Nephrology mentor must be a current ASN member.
Research must be completed in a nephrology lab or clinic.
Contact ASN Grants and Development Associate, Evelyn Shapiro, with any questions at or (202) 416-0673.

American Society of Hematology Minority Medical Student Award Program (MMSAP)

Eligibility Applicants must self-identify as being from racial or ethnic groups shown to be underrepresented in health-related sciences.  Hematology preceptor must be a member of the American Society of Hematology. Application deadline is March 10, 2014. Call 202-776-0544 or email for more information.


American Federation for Aging research (AFAR) MSTAR Program.  (Tentative application deadline:  1/31/2014) Summer research training for medical students considering careers in academic geriatrics.  MCW Contact:  Edith Burns, MD Professor of Medicine, Geriatrics Division,


Glenn/AFAR Scholarships in the Biology of Aging (Application Deadline:  January 15, 2014)  Opportunity to conduct a 3-6 month research project focusing on biomedical research in aging.  Up to ten $5,000 scholarships will be awarded in 2014.  Special consideration will be given this year to research on age-related macular degeneration.


Wisconsin Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Community-based health professions training programs and health-education resource enhancements to improve access to quality health care.  MCW Contact:  John Meurer, MD, MBA, Professor of Pediatrics and Director, Institute for Health and Society.

 Steps to Apply for a Fellowship

STEP 1: September – December:  Identify, contact, “interview” and confirm a project and preceptor, using resources such as:

o Faculty research interest pages
o Departmental websites accessible from INFOSCOPE
o PubMed to peruse publications and abstracts of faculty
o Guidance and referrals from program contacts listed in the funding section of this website Questions? Contact Seema Sernovitz, Office of Academic Affairs,  Phone: 955-8865

Applicants and potential preceptors should discuss the potential of extending summer projects as Pathway projects. Faculty investigator must agree to serve both as summer preceptor and pathways mentor.




STEP 2: December 20 (Deadline):  Complete and return the “Intent to Submit an Application” form. Submit form electronically to: Seema Sernovitz, Office of Academic Affairs,  Phone: 955-8865


STEP 3: Deadline February 3:  Submit the research proposal and the student and preceptor portions of the application, as well as the preceptor’s *Protocol Information Form, if complete.  All materials should be sent electronically to: Seema Sernovitz, Office of Academic Affairs,   Phone: 955-8865
* Preceptor’s Protocol Form must be submitted on or before April 15


Fellowship awards are announced as funding decisions are made. Decision dates vary by funding resource; however, most decisions are made by April 15.


Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to receive federal funding. Only Medical College of Wisconsin medical students are eligible to apply. This is a full-time, paid program. Students anticipating time conflicts during the training weeks should discuss these circumstances with their preceptors PRIOR to applying for a fellowship. Preceptors are not obligated to accommodate time-away requests.



 Program Requirements

Although the student and preceptor are free to develop a daily work schedule that is compatible with the needs of the investigation, the research training must be conducted over 8-12 contiguous weeks (based on the length of the appointment) with no vacation weeks allowed. In addition, students who accept a fellowship must agree to participate in the following mandatory activities:

• Complete all training weeks requested in their application
• Attend an orientation program and a scientific integrity and ethics course
• Attend all didactic seminars presented during the course of the summer
• Complete the online CITI course in human subjects protection and/or the online course in the humane use of animals in research (as applicable)
• Complete a series of brief program assessment questionnaires
• Attend all departmental programs and activities designated by the preceptor or required by specific funding agencies
• Submit a written abstract of their research
• Prepare a poster of their research and present it at the Medical Student Research Day Poster Session held in the fall of the year

Presenting a poster may fulfill a Pathway requirement. Contact your Pathways Director for details.





Students awarded fellowships supported by NIH training or education grants will be strongly encouraged to pursue Honors in Research and to seek out opportunities to publish and present their work.


 Fellowship Stipends and Travel Awards

Stipends: Fellows receive a stipend based upon the number of full-time weeks worked in the laboratory. The NIH sets the annual rate (approximately $450 per week).  The total amount of the stipend is divided into 2-3 payments (depending upon the number of weeks worked) and is distributed monthly by direct deposit on July 1, August 1 and September 1 (3 payments for 10 or 12 week fellowships).  The training period begins on the Monday, June 2, 2014. The first check will be received on July 1.

Travel Reimbursements: In addition to the stipend, a limited number of travel reimbursements (maximum of $500) are available on a first come, first served basis to offset expenses for medical student summer research trainees who have been selected to present their research at national scientific meetings or student research forums. 

 Integration with the Scholarly Pathways

During STEP 1 of the application process, students interested in developing a research project that could be conducted during both the summer training period and noncore Pathway time should discuss these interests with the potential faculty preceptor to determine whether the research project is suitable and the preceptor is willing to serve also as the Pathways mentor during the academic year. If the preceptor concurs, it may be possible for students to begin to prepare for the summer research experience during noncore pathway time prior to the summer training. However, these pre-summer efforts must be made with the understanding that time spent on the project prior to the summer 1) is not compensated monetarily, and 2) does not constitute a guarantee that the student’s proposal will be competitive in the summer research award process. An alternate plan for completing the project in the absence of a paid summer fellowship should be discussed during the initial interview between the student and the potential preceptor.

 Honors in Research Distinction

The receipt of a summer fellowship does not guarantee approval for the Honors program. Students wishing to apply for the Honors in Research Distinction must complete 16 weeks of research and write a research thesis due in the fall of their M-4 year. The Medical Student Research Affairs Committee must approve both the thesis proposal and the final thesis product. Typically, 10-12 weeks of research is completed during the summer, with the additional 4-6 weeks completed as an M3 honors elective or an M4 honors elective (available only in July and August of the M4 year), and during noncore Pathway time. The Pathway time and electives are graded; no financial compensation is provided.

Time spent on research following the completion of the summer program will not count toward the honors requirement until the project has received Honors approval; therefore, students are advised to apply for Honors as soon as possible following the summer research training. Only students whose projects are approved for Honors are eligible to apply for the M3 and M4 Honors electives. Students should contact the Registrar’s office for enrollment guidelines for these electives. Students who successfully fulfill these requirements will be recognized with the M.D. with Honors in Research at graduation.


© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 03/11/2014