HONORS IN RESEARCH PROGRAM
Honors in Research Application
The Honors in Research Program is an optional research training opportunity that enables medical students to extend their summer research training experience throughout their educational program with the goal of 1) exploring additional aspects of their project that potentially may generate new data or add knowledge to their investigation, and 2) further enhancing the student’s overall research exposure. Students will be recognized at graduation with the M.D. with Honors in Research on their diploma, and with Honors in Research on their transcript, pending the satisfactory completion of the Honors requirements.
Who is eligible? The Honors option is open to MCW medical students who participated in the formal Medical Student Summer Research Training Program for 8 -12 weeks, supervised by MCW faculty investigators. Students participating in research programs away from MCW or outside of the summer research program are not eligible to apply.
What are the requirements? Students must: 1) complete a total of 16 weeks of *mentored research training on one project, including the weeks spent during the summer research program, and 2) submit an approved research thesis by November 1 of the M4 year. The Honors project must be an extension of or very closely related to the original summer research project. Time spent writing the thesis does not count toward the 16 week requirement. Additionally, Honors candidates must maintain a satisfactory academic record throughout the medical education program. * The mentor must be a full-time MCW faculty member and must provide a letter of support for the applicant at the time of application and a letter verifying the completion of the training at the time the Honors thesis is submitted (see additional information below).
When can I complete the additional lab time? Approved honors candidates who complete 12 weeks of research during the summer may complete the additional training time by taking a 4-week graded research elective during the M3 year or in the months of July or August of the M4 year. For students completing only 8 or 10 weeks of training during the summer, the additional 6 or 8 weeks of required lab time may be completed in a combination of a 4-week elective, as described above, plus noncore Pathway time and personal time. The student must provide a plan for completing the time. The Honors application must be approved prior to beginning the additional time in order for it to “count” toward the 16 week requirement.
The learning activities are determined by the research preceptor and the student. The preceptor completes the standard third-year evaluation currently used for graded electives. Students are graded on the standard five-point grading scale.
What are the application requirements? The Honors application must include the following information:
For the original project:
• Explain the background and scientific significance of the original project.
• State the hypothesis and original specific aims.
• Briefly explain how they were achieved (methods).
• Briefly describe the results of the original project.
• Briefly describe your role on the research project.
• How many weeks have been completed (summer)
• Did you publish or present this work?
For the Honors project:
• Explain the background and scientific significance of the Honors project.
• State the new hypothesis and the new specific aims.
• Discuss how the Honors project extends or enhances the original project.
• Briefly describe the anticipated methods.
• Briefly explain your role on the extended project.
• Do you anticipate publishing or presenting as a result of the extended research?
• Explain how/when the additional training time will be fulfilled (e.g. research elective, pathways time, on nights/weekends with specifics).
From the Faculty Preceptor:
The Honors application must be accompanied by a letter of support from the research preceptor confirming the number of weeks of actual research the student completed during the summer and an assessment of the potential success of the future research time. The proposed interactions between student and preceptor also should be described.
Both the initial summer project and the subsequent research elective need to be reviewed and approved before the actual research is performed. No research completed after the summer project period will count for the Honors program unless the Honors application has already been approved. The approval for the additional four-week Honors elective research block will be reviewed and approved by a member of the Honors committee with the submission of the Honors application. Completion of work not previously approved will not be considered in compliance with this policy.
The submission of a thesis encompassing the entire 16 weeks of research is required by November 1 of the M4 year. The actual writing of the thesis is not considered to be a part of the 16 weeks of research time. The thesis will be reviewed by the Honors Committee and must be approved by February 15 of the M4 year in order for the M.D. with Research Distinction to be awarded at graduation and noted on the diploma and transcript.
Students interested in pursuing the Honors in Research Program may apply as soon as the summer research period is completed using the Honors in Research Application
Preceptors must provide a letter of support demonstrating their willingness to mentor and monitor their Honors applicant throughout the added training and thesis writing process. The letter should also clearly indicate the student’s and preceptor’s roles in the project, as well as how the student will be involved in the overall research environment.