Medical Student Resources

med student research

Medical Student Research Opportunities

Summer Explore

Optional, 8-week, research experience the summer after their 1st year. This is funded through grants and fellowships. The Greenberg Fellowship funds 2-5 Summer Explore students who are interested in cancer research. Additional funding is also available, more information here

Deep Explore

A 12 - 20 week long experience required for all med students during the Career Launch phase of the Inquiry Curriculum. Students apply for funding through the Inquiry Office. Mentors provide 2 competency-based assessments. This can be an expansion on a Summer Explore project.

Yearlong Research

This is optional. Students take a 12 month leave of absence from SOM enrollment. The experience must be 12 months must be contiguous. Students apply for funding through UCSF and selection is competitive based on a review of applications. More information on funding here
Summer Explore Project Examples

Jennifer Grandis  - Characterizing the Incidence and Outcomes of Head and Neck Cancer in Indigenous Populations at a Hospital, Regional, and State Level, 1990-2019

Mike Rabow  - Assessing Differences in Pain Management by Race and Ethnicity in Outpatient Palliative Care

David Raleigh  - Using CRISPRi screen to investigate CDK4/6 blockade resistance in meningioma

Sam Brondfield  - Maximally Affirming Gender/Sex in Clinical Communications (MAGICC) Study

Andrew Ko  - A retrospective correlative investigation of the treatment of pulmonary nodules in patients with gastrointestinal malignancies

Lawrence Fong  - Single cell dissection of tumor and peripheral T-cell responses in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with pembrolizumab and stereotactic radiotherapy

Deep Explore Project Examples

Lisa Barry, PhD, MPH  - Mental and Physical Health of Older Incarcerated Persons Who Have Aged in Place in Prison 

Malini Nijagal, MD, MPH  - Pregnancy Pop-Up Village: Utilizing PRECEDE-PROCEED to disrupt perinatal care delivery systems

Geoff Stetson, MD  - Morning Report for All: A Qualitative Study of Disseminating Case Conferences via Podcasting

Renee Hsia, MD, M.Sc  - Is There an Increasing Risk of Receiving Percutaneous Coronary Intervention in a Low-Volume Hospital, and How Does This Differ by Race, Class, and Insurance

Sam Brondfield, MD  - Corresponding about Death: Analyzing Letters from Patients with Cancer to Medical Students

Yearlong Research Project Examples

Holger Willenbring  - Preclinical selection of AAV capsids for liver gene therapy  in machine-perfused human livers

Lawrence Fong - Immunoprofiling patients with advanced prostate cancer: impact of PROSTVAC and ipilimumab on immunophenotype, predictors of response, and mechanisms of resistance.

Ross Okimoto  - CIC-rearranged sarcomas co-opt the p300/CBP coactivating complex to drive sarcoma oncogenesis

Shawn Hervey-Jumper  - Balancing Task Complexity with Reliability for Multimodal Language Assessments During Awake Brain Mapping

Sabine Mueller  - Assessing the association of Klotho with neurocognitive outcome and brain volume in pediatric brain tumor patients

Trever Bivona  - Defining the role of CDK4/6 amplification in resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors in patients with EGFR-mutant lung adenocarcinoma.



How do med students find research mentors?

Visit a Mentor Events

Visit a Mentor Events occur in August and December each year. The December 2022 event will be held on December 13-16 and is focused on 1st year medical students seeking short-term summer projects of 8 weeks. During the event, one hour time blocks will be split into TWO 20- minute appointments with a 10-minute break between meetings. All meetings will be held by Zoom and links to meeting times will sent to you by students.

What is Visit-a-Mentor?

This event helps students connect with experienced faculty researchers interesting in mentoring.  As a potential faculty mentor, this structured event gives you the opportunity to make time available to the full class of medical students efficiently. 

Why do medical students need mentors?

Each year over 100 first year medical students participate in Summer Research projects spanning ~8 weeks.  After that, nearly all medical students will go on to choose a long-term Deep Explore research project that spans from 12-20 weeks during their fourth year or pursue grant-funded Yearlong Research during a fifth year.

How do I participate in the December Event?

First, provide your availability on this survey. The survey will take approximately 4 minutes to complete. This information will be shared with students who will contact you directly two weeks prior to each session. Your designated meeting times, profile and contact information will then be shared with medical students for sign-ups. Based on our previous events, we anticipate over 100 individual students to participate in the event leading to over 250 mentor visits.

Inquiry Immersion Interest Groups

During the Inquiry Immersion, which happens the first two weeks of January, the Med School hosts Immersion Interest Groups. These are small groups session that connect faculty/programs that have research opportunities with med students looking for labs to conduct either their Summer Explore or Deep Explore projects.