Research Elective in Biomedical Science Department: Any BUSM department
Boston University School of Medicine
Course Director(s):
as specified in the submitted research proposal

The research elective in biomedical sciences will expose for a period of four weeks one medical student per rotation to biomedical research. The student will select a research project as defined by a scientist mentor who will serve as the project’s technical advisor. The research project will be sufficiently well defined and the required supporting infrastructure well developed so that the student will be able to start with data acquisition and/or data analysis on day one, and complete data analysis by the fourth week. The student will write a report in the standard format of a scientific publication, including the Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion sections. The goals of this elective are to train medical students in biomedical research and to give them the opportunity to publish in the scientific literature.

The student will meet with the technical advisor prior to the start of the elective at which time they will agree to a plan of operations and a research timeline to be followed during the elective. The plan of operations includes a mutually agreed number of work hours per week to satisfy the BUSM minimum of 40 hours per week, a description of the specific research activities to be performed by the student, and the required deliverables of the rotation. Finally, in this preparatory meeting, they will also agree on completing all operational project pre-requirements to be fulfilled prior to the elective’s start date, including IRB and/or IUCAC approvals.
The research elective will take place in the laboratory or general facilities available to the technical advisor.
During the first few days of the rotation, the student will be trained on the specific techniques by the technical advisor or by a senior member of the laboratory. During the elective, the student will meet with the technical advisor at least once a week to review research progress. Furthermore, a mid-clerkship review by the technical advisor will be performed, which will be submitted to the course director. This review will be documented, with any points for improvement relayed, and will include a statement on whether or not the student is at the expected timeline for the project. If the student is not meeting the expected timeline, then the reviewer needs to provide a plan (which may be as short as a statement or longer depending on the needs) on how to get the student back on the timeline if possible. If getting back on track with the project is not possible, then an alternate plan needs to be defined where the student can meet research project objectives and hourly requirements to receive credit for the rotation.
The rotation will be graded according to a Honors, Pass, Fail scale depending on the degree of success of the research activities. An Honors grade requires submission of a first draft manuscript to the technical advisor and the course director. A Pass grade requires successful completion of data acquisition and analysis.

GOAL The purpose of the research elective is for the BUSM student to develop scientific skills in biomedical science.


By the end of the research elective, the BUSM student will be able to:

o Apply scientific methods for the study of problems in biomedical science (U, R, E)
o Analyze scientific data (U, R, E)
o Synthesize new knowledge from experimental findings (U, A, R, E)
o Construct a scientific paper (A, R, E)
o Communicate scientific knowledge (A, R, E)

The faculty for this elective must satisfy the following conditions to use this course to support a student research project:
1) They must have constructed a research proposal with their student and submitted this to the Electives and Research Subcommittee Chair 8 weeks prior to the start of the rotation
2) Any IUCAC or IRB approvals must be dated before submission of the research proposal for review.
3) The faculty must have a minimum of once-a-week meetings with the student

The faculty acting as the technical supervisor must also specify the following in their proposal:
-based on the learning objectives, how the student will be evaluated in conducting the proposed research project
-that they will be responsible for mid-clerkship feedback
-that they will be doing the final formative evaluation

Specify the number of students per period that can participate: One student

Minimum-4 weeks Maximum-8 weeks