Medical School

EmailEmail    |   Bookmark Page Bookmark  |   RSS Feeds RSS  |   Print Page Print  

Program Information 

 About the Program

A limited number of 8, 10 or 11-week paid, full-time (40 hours per week) summer fellowships are awarded competitively to medical students wishing to participate in a rigorous basic science, clinical or translational research experience supervised by Medical College of Wisconsin faculty. The training takes place at the Medical College of Wisconsin during the summer between the M1 and M2 years. Students actively participate on a research team and gain opportunities 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. 

 Program Contacts

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

 Program Requirements

The Medical Student Summer Research Program provides the infrastructure to coordinate the recruitment, application and selection processes associated with receiving a fellowship and to oversee the didactic requirements of the participants.


The research training must be conducted contiguously within the 8, 10 or 11 weeks of the training appointment, with no vacation weeks allowed during the training period. Students anticipating time conflicts during the training weeks should discuss these circumstances with their preceptors and the Summer Research Program Manager prior to applying for a fellowship. Preceptors are not obligated to accommodate time-away requests.


In addition, students who accept a fellowship must agree to participate in the mandatory activities listed below:

  • Complete all training weeks supported by the fellowship
  • Attend an orientation program and a scientific integrity and ethics course presented during week one of the program
  • 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 to the individual research projects)
  • 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

Although the summer research program is not part of the medical education curriculum, students who complete the summer research fellowship and mandatory activities are eligible to receive ungraded credit on their MCW transcript.


 2015 Summer Research Training Start and End Dates

The summer 2015 training period begins on Tuesday, June 2 (Orientation) and ends on July 26 (8-week session), August 9 (10-week session) or August 16 (11-week session). The training weeks are contiguous with no breaks allowed.


Applicants who are awarded a paid fellowship will receive a training *stipend in an amount corresponding to the number of training weeks that will be worked during the summer and the capacity of the specific resource that is supporting the fellowship. The amount of the stipend closely follows the NIH pre-doctoral training rate of approximately $450 per week, with some variances between internal and external resources. 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 and August 1 (8 week fellowships) and September 1 (10 or 11 week fellowships).  The first paycheck is issued on July 1 for all sessions. 

 How to Apply for a Fellowship

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

  • Faculty/Project Information pages linked to this website
  • Departmental websites and Faculty Collaborative Database accessible from INFOSCOPE
  • 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

STEP 2: December -February 2 (Application Deadline):  Submit the application and research proposal electronically to: Seema Sernovitz, Office of Academic Affairs,  Phone: 414-955-8865. The submitted applications will be forwarded for review and selection to the respective PIs for each funding source. Fellowship awards are announced as funding decisions are made, typically on or before April 15.  

 Summer Research Projects and Funding Sources

Summer research fellowships are supported by several external grants from National Institutes of Health (NIH), through various internal resources, including MCW departments, and through several external organizations. Approximately 46 research fellowship positions will be competitively awarded in 2015, supported by the training and education grants described below.  To receive consideration for these grants, applicants must choose faculty/research projects that align topically with the research focus of the respective resources. A limited number of fellowships may be supported by MCW departments in research areas outside of these topics, pending the availability of funding. These opportunities are posted as funding is secured.



National Heart Lung Blood and Sleep Institute-NIH-NHLBI 2T35 HL072483-32 Federal Training Grant in Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep-Related Research
This grant supports 24 fellowships annually (11 weeks each)
o PI: David R. Harder, PhD
o Research area: Heart, lung, blood, sleep and related
o Contact: Seema Sernovitz,  Phone: 414-955-8865
o Link to faculty/projects relevant to heart, lung, blood and sleep-related research 
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015
o Applicants may be subject to a secondary interview pending the size of the applicant pool


National Institute on Aging-NIH-NIA 2T35 AG029793-08 Federal Training Grant in Aging and Injury-Related Research
This grant supports 10 fellowships annually (10-11 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: 414-955-7671

o Faculty/projects relevant to aging related injury prevention and management
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases NIH-NIDDK 1R25 DK098104-02 Federal Education Grant in Kidney and Related Diseases Research
This grant supports 5 fellowships annually (10 weeks each)
o MPIs: Kevin R. Regner, MD and Michael B. Dwinell, PhD
o Research area: Kidney and related diseases
o Students will be matched with both a research and clinical mentor and must commit to participating in Kidney Disease Learning Community activities during the academic year post-training
o Contact: Kevin Regner, MD, PI, Interim Chief of Medicine-Nephrology,, Phone: 414-805-9050, or Seema Sernovitz, Phone: 414-955-8865
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015 



Friends of the Medical College of Wisconsin. This grant supports 2 fellowships annually (8 weeks each)
o Research area: Topically unrestricted
o Contact: Seema Sernovitz,  Phone: 414-955-8865
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015


Dr. Michael J. Dunn Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships.  This grant supports 3 fellowships annually (8 weeks each)
o Research area: Topically unrestricted
o Contact: Seema Sernovitz,  Phone: 955-8865
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015 


Class of 2001 Scott Sprtel Summer Research Fund. This grant supports 1 fellowship annually (8 weeks)
o Research area: Topically unrestricted
o Contact: Seema Sernovitz,  Phone: 414-955-8865
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015


SPECIAL INTERNAL PROGRAMS (Pending the availability of funding)


Herma Heart Center of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Several fellowships are available annually pending funding.
o Research area: Pediatric cardiology/cardiovascular
o Special interview required
o Contact: Jessica Scherr,  Phone: 414-266-2448
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015


Dr. Elaine Kohler Summer Academy of Global Health Research. 4-6 fellowships (10 weeks each) are available pending funding
o Director: Stephen Hargarten, MD, MPH
o Students spend part of the summer at MCW and part abroad
o Contact: Tifany Frazer  Phone: 414-955-4763
o Global Health website and application

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: 414-805-0826



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

o Faculty/projects relevant to family medicine and community-based research
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015 


Department of Ophthalmology.  Four summer fellowships are available in the lab of Dr. Joseph Carroll
o Research area: Applying high-resolution retinal imaging to the study of inherited retinal degenerations and other vision conditions.
o Contact: Wanda Martinez (
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015


Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Several fellowships are available annually pending funding.
o Research area: Orthopaedics
o Faculty/projects relevant to orthopaedic research
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015


Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences. Two departmentally funded fellowships are available; additional if grant funding is obtained.
o Research area:  Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences
o Contact: David R. Friedland, MD, PhD, , 414-805-5625
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015


Department of Radiation Oncology. One fellowship is available annually pending funding.

o Research area: Translational Research-Radiation treatment data analysis
o Contact: X. Allen Li, PhD, Professor or phone; 414-805-4362
Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015 


Department of Radiology.  One or two fellowships may be available pending funding.
o Research area: Interventional Radiology/Interventional Oncology
o Contact: Sarah White, MD,, 414-805-3125
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015


o Research area: Brain Cancer Imaging: Generating maps of brain tumor infiltration using histology and MRI information
o Contact: Peter LaViolette, MD,, 414-456-7490
o Complete and submit general application by February 2, 2015




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 MCW students participating in the Medical Student Summer Research Program. 

Students and their preceptors ALSO SHOULD COMPLETE the general summer research application as a back-up resource. Contact Seema Sernovitz, 414-955-8865 ( for help in identifying 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 (Tentative Application deadline: 2/1/2015)
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: Michael Lund, MD, Councilor

o Proposals must be submitted to Dr. Lund by December 31, 2014. The final application (sent by Dr. Lund) to the AOA must be postmarked by January 31, 2015.


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.
Applicants:  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). 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 in March. Go to: for more information.


American Hematology Association HONORS program (Hematology Opportunities for the Next Generation) For medical students with short term research projects up to 3 months.


American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) MSTAR Program.  Summer research training for medical students considering careers in academic geriatrics. MCW Contact: Ed Duthie, MD, Professor and Chief of Geriatric Medicine,


Glenn/AFAR Scholarships in the Biology of Aging. Opportunity to conduct a 3-6 month research project focuses on biomedical research in aging. Up to ten $5,000 scholarships will be awarded in 2013. 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.

 Honors in Research Distinction

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, 10-11 weeks of research is completed during the summer, with the additional 5-6 weeks completed as an M3 honors elective or an M4 honors elective (available only in July and August of the M4 year), and during personal time or noncore Pathway time. The electives are graded. No financial compensation is provided for any time spent on the project beyond the original summer training period.

Time spent on the 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 conclusion of 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. 


Honors in Research Application (doc)

 Travel Reimbursements

Students who successfully complete the Medical Student Summer Research Program may be eligible to apply for a travel reimbursement to offset expenses to present an accepted abstract at a national or regional scientific meeting. The presentation must reflect the project they completed during the summer research period. A limited number of travel reimbursements (maximum of $500) are available on a first come, first served basis.  A copy of the notice of abstract acceptance and a summer research travel reimbursement application are required. Contact: Seema Sernovitz,   Phone: 414-955-8865
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 09/15/2014