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Medical Student Research Program (MSRP)

For any questions about the program or application process, please contact Cari Fowler
Contact Cari Fowler for a copy of the current mentor list.

About the Program

The Medical Student Research Program (MSRP) is designed to develop the future generation of academic clinicians and addresses the many challenges in medical training that have led to a decrease in scientific literacy in physician trainees and the development of clinician-scientists who perform basic, clinical, population, and translational research.

MSRP provides an integrated interface of UMMC's medical school curriculum into its robust research mission, providing medical students with active research mentors, with hopes of reversing the trend of a declining interest in research and academia. MSRP's goal is to foster the development of medical students into clinician-scientists who use their research experience to inform their clinical care. Students that participate in MSRP are exposed to a broad variety of biomedical research at UMMC.

MSRP achieves this through its two distinct MSRP programs: The ten-week MSRP Summer of Research and the three-year MSRP Full Option. 

The MSRP program is funded by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation and the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The program is directed by Dr. Sarah Sterling, associate professor of emergency medicine, and Dr. Heather Drummond, professor of physiology and biophysics. The Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research provides administrative support to the MSRP program

MSRP Summer Option

Open to all M1 students, the MSRP Summer of Research is a competitive ten-week summer experience which pairs students with a faculty research mentor at the end of their M1 year. As part of this program, students work directly with their mentors on a designated research project and participate in the research, whether the research is conducted in the lab, in the clinic, or on the computer. The Summer of Research also includes an eight-week seminar series that features guest lectures from UMMC executives, deans, department chairs, faculty, residents and former MSRP students. Students also receive a $4,000 stipend. 

Goal

Provide M1 medical students with a focused research experience under the supervision of a UMMC faculty member and to expose students to research, provide them with tools for development as a clinician-scientific, and guide the top student and mentor teams towards development of a competitive application for the Full MSRP Option. 

Eligibility

  • Enrolled as an M1 in the School of Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center

Application Information

  • Applications are normally due at the end of January each year. 
    • 2022 Summer of Research applications are currently closed.
  • We encourage students to start reaching out to potential mentors starting in October/November. Email Cari Fowler for an updated mentor list.

Requirements

  • Must work the hours agreed-upon with their mentor weekly, including attending lab meetings and other department functions. M1 students are provided one week of paid vacation during the summer.
  • Must attend 90% of the Summer MSRP Lecture series
  • Must present a poster or oral presentation at the annual MSRP Summer Research Day
  • Must complete an evaluation at the end of the summer

MSRP Full Option

M2 students who participated in the Summer of Research or who have participated in a similar research experience either in graduate or undergraduate studies, may apply for the MSRP Full Option. The Full Option provides the student with a three-year research experience under the direction of a research faculty member. Students are provided a $5,000 grant to help cover research expenses, fund travel to present their research at a national meeting, and offset publication costs. Students who successfully complete the program are recognized at the annual Medical Student Honors Day and receive a special distinction on their medical degree. 

Goal

Provide M2-M4 medical students with a comprehensive research experience under the supervision of a UMMC faculty member which leads to publication and presentations at the national level and provides robust tools for development as a clinician-scientist. 

Eligibility

  • Enrolled as an M2 in the School of Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Must have a GPA greater than or equal to 3.0 and be in good academic standing
  • Must have completed the MSRP Summer of Research or equivalent 

Application Information

  • Applications are normally due at the end of December each year. 
    • 2022 MSRP Full Option applications are currently closed.
  • We encourage students to start reaching out to potential mentors starting in September/October. Email Cari Fowler for an updated mentor list. Mentors may only have one student per year enrolled in the program for a total of three students (e.g., 1-M2, 1-M3, 1-M4) per mentor. Exceptions to this rule are rare, but can be made in extenuating circumstances.

Requirements

  • Must meet with mentor at least monthly
  • Must maintain a 3.0 or greater GPA throughout the program
    • If the GPA drops below 3.0 during the program, the student will enter a probation period until the the next semester. After the probation period, if the GPA has not improved, the student will be dismissed from the program.
  • Must present a poster (M3) or oral presentation (M4) at the annual MSRP Summer Research Day
  • Must complete an evaluation and progress report at the end of each year

M2 Year

The program starts in the middle of the M2 year with application decisions normally being communicated in early February. During the M2 year, students and mentors will work together to plan experiments and attend lab meetings and departmental seminars as agreed upon. It is expected that progress on the project may be slow given the demands of the M2 schedule and preparation for the USMLE.

M3 Year

Students will continue to work on their research and attend lab meetings and seminars as agreed upon with their mentor. Students may also elect to take a two-week MSRP research block (CONJ633), but it is not required as part of the program. Students must present a poster at the annual Department of Medicine Research Day.

M4 Year

Students will continue to work on their research and attend lab meetings and seminars as agreed upon with their mentor. Students are required to take the four-week MSRP research block (CONJ660A) as a part of the program. Students must present an oral presentation at the annual Department of Medicine Research Day.

Students are expected to present their work as a poster, electronic or oral presentation at a national meeting and to be a contributing author on a submitted manuscript as a result of their MSRP work. 

Mentors

UMMC faculty (assistant, associate or full professors) who conduct hypothesis-driven clinical, translational, basic or population research; who can provide written objectives for a research project that is suitable to a MSRP student; and who can provide an appropriate environment and mentorship program may serve as a MSRP student mentor.

In addition to providing an excellent research mentoring experience and written research plan for the MSRP student, mentors are required to: 1) meet monthly with their students; 2) fill out an annual performance review survey of their student; 3) attend at least 1 MSRP event (lecture, informal mixer, committee meeting or MSRP Research Day) each year; and 4) assist the student in preparing a poster or oral presentation for the MSRP annual Research Day.

If you are interested in being listed on the MSRP Mentor List or on serving on the MSRP Committee, please contact Cari Fowler.