The Northwestern Summer Research Program for Medical Students

Project: Research project

Project Details


As a gateway for a clinician-scientist career, this T35 Summer Program (“The Northwestern Summer Research Program for Medical Students”), aims to offer academically promising medical students from five medical schools in the greater Chicago area (FSM, Loyola, Chicago, Illinois at Chicago, and Rosalind Franklin) a rich and didactic summer research basic science or outcomes research experience in NIDDK areas of interest. Feinberg School of Medicine (FSM) does not have a T35 program and has assembled 33 federally, primarily NIDDK funded T35 mentors with excellent mentorship track record for 8 T35 trainees from a pool of ~880 first-year medical students (25% URM and 52% women). Champions at each medical school participate to facilitate recruitment. Events, such as a T35 Meet-and-Greet, where interested students meet potential T35 mentors and student/mentor matching through the PD and T35 Committees facilitate the application process. The selection process is rigorous and transparent with special emphasis on selecting the most competitive URM and female students. The selected T35 trainees engage in an onboarding process prior to the summer, that includes and Onboarding Lunch, training modules for IRB and RCR, as well as introduction to the pertinent literature by the T35 mentor. The Summer program allows the T35 trainees to immerse themselves in their research project with their T35 mentors for 8 weeks (June-August). Daily T35 Lunch Lectures introduce the trainees to basics skills and knowledge related to performing research, followed by lectures from T35 mentors about their NIDDK research and their academic pathway. Weekly check-in occurs with the PD at the T35 Trainee Meetings allowing for cross-fertilization of trainees, progress reports and mitigation of road blocks. Mid-summer a NIDDK funded visiting professor will come for annual T35 Retreat, allowing for a full day exchange with the trainees. The summer concludes with a Poster Session where students present their research to faculty and staff. Ongoing feedback is solicited during the summer for lectures and the program and T35 mentors are evaluated by the trainees at the end of the summer to offer programmatic improvements. A concluding 1-page summary or preferably an abstract submission to a national meeting is expected. T35 trainees are highly encouraged to continue their research with their T35 mentor throughout their medical school tenure. Ongoing mentorship is provided in expected bi-annual meetings with the T35 mentor during medical school and networking opportunities are provided at the Meet-and-Greet, Onboarding Lunch, T35 Retreat and Poster Session. The T35 program enjoys the enthusiastic support from the Dean’s office and participation of leaders from all participating schools, department, centers and institutes in diverse T35 Committees.
Effective start/end date9/1/218/31/26


  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (5T35DK126628-03)


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