School of Medicine Scholarly Activity Guidelines
The School of Medicine integrated curriculum includes a Scholarly Activity requirement. The purpose of this educational requirement is to promote medical students' independent investigation through the different phases of medical education, and to provide students an opportunity to define themselves through a portfolio of investigative experiences. The choice of a Scholarly Activity research project is to be selected based on each individual student's interests.
To find and follow a passion that helps distinguish you throughout medical school and beyond.
Develop the curiosity to seek out research and advancements which impact the field of medicine.
To individually develop expertise in one or more areas of medicine.
Actively engage in self-directed learning activities that promote lifelong learning.
To perform inquiry-based research and develop your ability to ask research questions.
Find, analyze, and apply multiple sources of information, including clinical trials, review articles, and practice guidelines, to patient care/research. Analyze the basic science issues presented by a clinical problem.
To effectively communicate the rationale for and results of your scholarly activity.
Communicate information effectively in oral and written professional documentation
- Define one or more questions that guide your research.
- Work on a health care related project that includes a research component and leads to creation of new or markedly improved knowledge (scientific, clinical or educational) or innovation (clinical device, computer program, therapy or treatment approach).
- Present the rationale and results of your research to others.
- Effectively answer questions about your research.
Areas in which Scholarly Activity projects may be conducted
- Clinical Device
- Computer Program
- Public Health
- Quality Improvement
- Therapy or treatment approach
Identify a focus for your research; consider which areas of medicine most interest you
2. Identify a project mentor; your mentor can be anyone who has the expertise and skills to guide you in completing your project; your mentor does not have to be a UU Health Sciences faculty member.
The following information is available in the resources section of your class’s scholarly activity course in Canvas:
- Summer, academic year and year-long programs that provide research opportunities
- Resources for identifying potential faculty mentors
- Questions to discuss with potential mentors
Your project needs to include:
- Identifying a research question
- Reading background information related to your project
- Gathering data; for example, conducting experiments or surveys, or extracting data from databases
- Analyzing and interpreting the data you have collected
See the Proposal assignment in Canvas for the template to use for your proposal.
3. Submit a Scholarly Activity Proposal, which must be approved by the chair of the Scholarly Activity Subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee
This should be done before beginning your project so that you are assured that your project will be approved for meeting the Scholarly Activity requirement.
*Your project must be approved by September 1 of your 4th year at the latest.
4. Complete your project with your mentor.
5. Submit an abstract about your research project; you may submit either an abstract you submitted for a presentation at a scholarly venue or an abstract that follows the template in the abstract assignment in Canvas.
6. Present your project in one of the following ways. The objective is for you to prepare your research for presentation to others and to respond to questions about your research.
- Give an oral or poster presentation at a scholarly venue (you must be the presenter); all students are welcome to present a poster at the Medical Student Scholarly Activity Symposium, held each year in April.
- Be the first or second author listed on a published paper or manuscript accepted for publication.
- See the presentation assignment in Canvas for instructions for documenting your presentation.
7. Submit a draft of a short paragraph summarizing your research for the Scholarly Activity section of your MSPE letter. See the MSPE Paragraph assignment in Canvas for the template to use for this paragraph.
Earning Elective Credit for the Scholarly Activity Requirement
Students may register for and receive elective credit for their Scholarly Activity research. Some departments or divisions offer research credit. This credit may be available to students in any year of medical school or only for MSIV students. Check with your faculty mentor’s department or division to find out if research credit is offered.
Assessment and Grading
You will receive a grade of pass (P), or fail (F). You must receive a grade of “pass” in order to graduate. The Scholarly Activity assignments will be evaluated
Scholarly Activity Proposal
Your proposal will be evaluated based on the following questions:
- To what extent have you stated a clear research question that can conceivably be answered or partly answered through your work?
- To what extent have you provided a clear description of why your research project is important or interesting?
- To what extent have you outlined a reasonable plan for conducting your research project?
- To what extent have you described a reasonable plan for analyzing the data you will collect?
- Does it appear that you will be meaningfully involved in conducting the project, including collecting and analyzing the research data?
- Has IRB or IACUC approval been obtained or will it likely be obtained within the time frame you have for conducting the project?
Scholarly Activity Abstract
Your Abstract will be evaluated based on the following questions:
- To what extent have you described the rationale for your research and how it fits into the broader context of scholarly activity in the field?
- To what extent have you stated your research question and/or hypothesis?
- To what extent have you described your research methods?
- To what extent have you clearly described your key research results, including any appropriate measures for evaluating their significance?
- To what extent have you drawn supportable conclusions from your research?
Scholarly Activity Presentation
You must document your “presentation” in the Presentation assignment on Canvas by providing information on the venue (for an oral or poster presentation) and by uploading your poster, presentation slides or published paper.
Scholarly Activity MSPE Paragraph
You must submit a draft of a brief paragraph summarizing your Scholarly Activity research project, using the template in the MSPE Paragraph assignment on Canvas. The Chair of the Scholarly Activity Subcommittee will use this draft in writing a paragraph about your Scholarly Activity project that will be included in your MSPE letter.
Programs That Support Student Research and Innovation
The following programs provide opportunities that can be used to fulfill the Scholarly Activity requirement.
Programs at the University of Utah
Thie program is a 10-week summer research program between MS1 and MS2 that provides a stipend for participating students. It is funded by NIH T35 grants; supports projects related to:
- Heart, lung and blood (NHLBI)
- Diabetes, metabolism, digestive and kidney diseases (NIDDK)
- Eye health and disease (NEI)
- Application information
- Approved mentors
American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Summer Research Scholarship; contact Dr. David Renner
Medical Student Training in Aging Research; contact Dr. Mark Supiano
Public Health; contact Dr. Jessica Greenwood
Programs at Other Institutions