Medical Student Summer Research Program

Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP) offers up to 40 competitive scholarships in the amount of $2,400 to first-year B.U. medical students to complete a research project during the summer. Research projects MUST BE conducted with a BUMC/VA faculty member. This scholarship does not support projects outside of BUMC.  

In order to receive a scholarship, students must be in good academic standing and eligible for promotion to the second year.

Detailed Description and Goals of MSSRP

The MSSRP provides mentored research experiences for first-year B.U. medical students during the summer between their first and second year of medical school. Students work full-time on their projects for 7 weeks in a variety of Boston University Medical Center (BUMC) departments including Medicine, Surgery, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, and Cardiology.

The overall goals of the MSSRP are to:

  • Identify and recruit motivated first-year Boston University medical students to participate in mentored research projects;
  • Introduce/enhance medical students’ understanding of basic science and/or clinical research principles;
  • Provide a strong foundation in the ethical conduct of research;
  • Strengthen skills in critical evaluation of data and reinforce the concept of evidence-based medicine;
  • Broaden medical students knowledge of the role and relevance of research to clinical medicine; and
  • Facilitate the development of faculty-student mentorship and student professionalism.

Research scholars work with BUMC faculty within the context of ongoing clinical and basic science research. Students identify potential projects and preceptors through lists of past preceptors/projects or by independently seeking preceptors through BUMC departments.

Once a mentor and project are identified, the student submits a letter of intent in early March and an application in late March. The MSSRP Advisory Committee reviews student proposals and decides on allocation of scholarships.

Before the start of their research, students are required to attend mandatory seminars on compliance in IRB, human data, IACUC, and laboratory safety. A mandatory orientation workshop for scholars is held at the end of the spring semester and trains students in the essentials in research, science communication skills, and statistical analysis. Mandatory presentation workshops are held in late June.

The “Medical Student Research Symposium,” held annually in January or February, represents the culmination of students’ research and is open to the entire BUMC community. Scholars are required to submit an abstract of their research and display a poster on this day. Up to six students are competitively chosen to present oral presentations of their research at the symposium. The best posters in several categories are chosen for the Serchuck Award.

Timeline for MSSRP



Class-of-2022 students who are granted a scholarship for summer, 2019 are responsible for at least 7 weeks of full-time research during the summer break which is May 18 – July 14, 2019 (about 8 weeks in total). Class-of-2022 second-year classes begin July 15, 2019. Scholarships are $2,400.

Students searching for a preceptor and research project may browse Preceptors/Projects.


  • Meeting of Intent is due March 15, 2019. If you are applying for a project at the VA, you are exempt from this requirement.
  • MSSRP Application (three parts) is due March 29, 2019.  If you are applying for a VA project, the application is due March 4, 2019.

MSSRP Application for Summer 2019:

If you have questions regarding the Medical Student Summer Research Program, please contact Ana Gregory.