COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
MEDICAL STUDENT RESEARCH PORTAL (MSRP)
In addition to patient care, both research and education are well established core missions of MUSC. These objectives are highlighted in the 2010-2015 MUSC Strategic Plan. While not every medical student will want to pursue a career in research, it is critical that students learn the basics of research and have access to opportunities that supply them with more detailed exposure. Understanding the scientific method will allow students to become lifelong learners by continually and critically interpreting and reading literature throughout their careers. For some, after fully experiencing the world of research, it becomes clear that choosing to make basic science or clinical research a large part of their career is imperative to their growth as a physician. In addition, many competitive residency programs place value on research when reviewing a student’s application. It is because of this that MUSC makes it a priority that all students have ease of access to research programs and internships.
In the past, it was often difficult for students to find research opportunities (both on campus and off) and there was not a functioning and reliable list of mentors. It has become apparent that there is a real and tangible need for such a database for students. And thus, The Medical Student Research Portal (MSRP) is intended to create and promote research opportunities for medical students and fill the void previously felt by those who searched for reliable projects. The objective of the MSRP is to become a one-stop-shop for students to navigate through research and funding opportunities and learn how engage in a research project. Whether it is longitudinal research, a summer opportunity, or creating a research elective, it is our sincere hope that all medical students will find the site helpful throughout their careers at MUSC.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE STARTING
It is important to understand that there are a variety of types of research. There are some students that may like basic science “bench research” and others that may desire more clinically applied or “translational research.” Either way, conducting “good research” involves time and good mentoring.
Some things to consider and ask yourself before beginning:
- Do you want to do basic science or clinical research?
- How much time do you have? If you only have a month or two, the scope of any project might be limited or you may have to “tag along” on something already in progress. However, if you have 3+ months or can work on the project throughout the year, then maybe the project can be more ambitious.
- Funded projects often require specific time commitments and requirements. Only commit to these if you can be sure to meet these deadlines and expectations.
- Consider summer programs that have a set curriculum or structure.
- Consider a mentor with prior student mentoring experience (not necessary but often ensures they know what it takes to help students conduct research).
- If all else fails, you can try and create your own opportunities. Emailing faculty (internal or external) in specialties of interest sometimes yields exceptional opportunities. You can use faculty search engines to help with this.
- Be sure to set up objectives and structure prior to starting any project.
- Research can be defined broadly. Writing up clinical case reports can be rewarding and serve as “low hanging fruit.”
- Look for national grants on our MSRP website that may allow you to do research on your desire topic.
- Consider the Summer Health Professionals Research Program and DART Program if you are a first year student looking for opportunities. In 2012, over 70 students received funding for summer research projects.
- When designing 4th year research electives, you must use “design your own” electives forms found the College of Medicine Year 4 site and the rotation must be approved through the Dean’s Office. This ensures that the rotation has objectives of sufficient rigor for graduation credit.