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Research Opportunities

A variety of opportunities are available to students who are interested in doing research while in medical school.

Numerous projects are ongoing at any time in Buffalo and several opportunities exist outside Western New York. Students may want to consider undertaking a project not only for the experience it will provide, but because many competitive specialties seek this background in applicants to residency.

Timing

During your first year of medical school, we’ll explain the broad range of research opportunities available at UB. If you want to pursue research, you will be connected with a dedicated faculty mentor whose work aligns with your professional interests and objectives.

You can start conducting research during the summer between your first and second years of school. You may continue researching during your second year, provided it does not interfere with your studies.

In your third and fourth years, you may select research as an elective.

Research Mentors

The OME holds a seminar each year to acquaint students with faculty involved in research. The School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences also maintains a searchable database with information regarding faculty research profiles, interests and publications.  

Funding

During the academic year, students may receive financial support for his/her participation if funds are available through a grant or department. Many summer experiences provide funding and students usually need to apply and be accepted to the program.

Academic Credit

Most students are eligible to receive academic elective credit for participation in research activities and should come to the OME for more information on the process.

Research Awards

Students may be eligible for Research or Thesis Honors distinction at graduation for significant research experience that was obtained while pursuing the MD degree.

General information is outlined on the OME Academic Affairs page.

Presentation

An annual Medical Student Research Forum is held each January. Students can share their research work with faculty and fellow students. Faculty judges review the posters and the top candidates receive cash prizes. Students are invited to participate in the forum at the end of the fall semester of their second year.  

Many students also present posters and talks outside of the University through their summer program, or through organizations like the AMA.

Internal Summer Opportunities

Dean's Summer Research Fellowship Fund

Each year, several UB medical students are given funding for their proposed summer research with UB affiliated researchers through this fellowship fund. Students should seek out faculty participating in summer research at the end of their first semester, look for emails regarding research opportunities and attend any research meet and greet opportunities provided by OME. Students who are interested in this opportunity, after finding a reseach mentor (who is not offering funding), will work with their research mentor to submit an application that includes identifying information, a research proposal written by the student, a sponsors agreement and student agreement. Applications for this opportunity are sent to students through email at the end of the fall semester. Submissions should be sent electronically before the deadline (typically early March) to Stacey Gangloff at staceyga@buffalo.edu.

Chosen students will be required to attend a mid-summer luncheon where they give an update on their research and participate in the annual Research Forum in January during their second year. In 2017, selected students were awarded a stipend of $3,000 over the summer.

New in 2017, students who are planning on doing cardiovascular related research will be considered from the Dean's Summer Research Fellowship pool of candidates for the Nader Scholarship. One student will be selected and awarded a stipend of $5,000 and be required to attend the mid-summer luncheon, Research Forum and present at a cardiovascular conference.

Additionally, our medical students receive stipends to conduct summer research in several of our departments and divisions, including:

Emergency Medicine

Medical students in the Department of Emergency Medicine’s 10-week summer research program collaborate on research with an attending physician, enroll patients for ongoing studies at Erie County Medical Center, train clinically and present their projects to their peers.

Family Medicine

The Department of Family Medicine’s eight-week summer research assistantships pair students with faculty to study such topics as primary care, health services, underserved patient populations, practice transformation and the patient-centered medical home.

Students reinforce their practical research experience with seminars and poster presentations. They may continue working on their research during the school year.

Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Immunology

Often referred to as the T-35 program, this in-depth summer research fellowship offers six rising second-year medical students the chance to conduct NIH-funded research at UB or Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

You will design and carry out independent research in infectious diseases, microbiology and/or immunology under the guidance of our world-renowned faculty. Your mentor will work with you to develop a project abstract before the fellowship begins and help you see your goals to completion.

Weekly seminars expose you to the topics and people at the cutting edge of infectious disease, microbiology and immunology research. Laboratory practical sessions, training in research methods and ethics, and opportunities to present your work give you the fundamentals to continue in a successful research career.

Pediatrics

The Department of Pediatrics typically offers one medical student the Faaiza Ansari Pediatric Internship. This internship provides medical students with experience in pediatrics early in their career by combining research and clinical aspects of general pediatrics and/or sub-specialties. If the internship program is offered for the upcoming summer, medical students will be sent the application through email.

External Summer Research

As a rising second-year student, you also may choose to conduct summer research outside of UB. We have helped identify summer research opportunities for our students at, among other institutions:

  • Mayo Clinic
  • Harvard Medical School
  • St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • and more!

Further information on funding opportunities and programs for medical student summer research can be found on UB Learns in the Opportunities folder. Students are also encouraged to visit the OME in November or December of their MS1 year if they wish to discuss research opportunities, as many summer program deadlines are in January and February.

Other

Students may also spend the summer between their MS1 and MS2 year doing Global Health activities, other health care endeavors, or simply enjoying their summer break.

Yearlong Research Opportunities

The OME can help interested students find year-long fellowships that expand research training and experience. These fellowships can be completed between the MS2 and MS3 years, or between the MS3 and MS4 years.

The following are some of the year-long research experiences in which our students have participated:

Students can also make appointments with any of the assistant deans to learn about specific opportunities that might match their interests.