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Purpose of the Elective


Students will participate in basic, clinical research, quality improvement, or patient safety research projects under the supervision of faculty in the Health Science Center. The goal of this elective is to immerse students in a rich scholarly environment, and provide an opportunity to work with research/faculty mentors to fully engage in a scholarly research process from writing the proposal, to collecting the data, to disseminating results.


Learning Objectives

  • Formulate a research question and identify a research methodology to answer that question.
  • Understand research ethics and apply an ethical approach to research design, implementation, and dissemination
  • Design a research study and gather quality data.
  • Apply and interpret basic biostatistics relevant to the individual research project
  • Write scientific reports

Elective Structure

  • Research is completed in blocks of four (4) weeks that can be combined over the four year medical school curriculum, if approved by the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) and SOM Research Office.
  • Students will receive a “pass/fail” grade for each four (4) week elective they complete.
  • Students must have a pre-existing working relationship with the faculty member/mentor cited in their application form.
  • The elective is offered at all periods, as determined by the student and his/her faculty mentor.
  • An off-campus (non-UTHSCSA or UTSPH) mentor is allowable, but must be approved by the SOM Research Office.

Application Process

The application must include two items:

    1. The Research Plan (to be completed by the student) will cite the project's specific aims, significance, innovation, approach, and timeline.
    2. The Mentoring Plan (to be completed by the mentor) will cite the mentor’s expectations for the students’ work, the resources they will provide (including training), a supervision plan, and a signed agreement to be the student’s mentor during this rotation.
               NOTE: The faculty member is responsible for ensuring that students working on projects are in compliance with regulatory requirements and UTHSCSA policies (e.g., training in human subjects protection, clinical research training, IACUC policies and procedures, etc.)

Students must submit their completed application for this elective rotation no later than four (4) weeks prior to the start of the rotation.

Application Forms


Elective Deliverables

At the end of the research elective, students must submit a final written report and an hours log to the SOM Research Office. All reports and forms are due no later than eight weeks following completion of the elective (or prior to your last official class day if the research elective is completed within two month of your graduation). All documentation must be submitted to

Additional Forms

Research Elective End of Rotation Final Report Guidelines

Progress Report and Hours Log Template



Questions regarding the Medical Student Research Elective can be directed to or 210-567-0611.