The FSU College of Medicine encourages medical students at all levels to seek research opportunities that will enhance their experiences and help them develop and refine their scientific and clinical interests. Summer Research Fellowships, a highly competitive program during which students are mentored by our best scientists and clinicians, are one way the college fosters student interest in discovery.
Students and their faculty mentors work together to design research projects, which students then write up as proposals to conduct their research. Upon review and scoring by a committee, the students who write the top scoring proposals are awarded a $4000 fellowship to complete their proposed work over the summer and present their work at a poster session in the fall semester. For these students, the experience is priceless.
“No matter how much planning you do, even though it’s important, things don’t always go your way,” said Ryan Earwood (M.D. '20). “So what I really learned from my Summer Research Fellowship was to continue working, and to have patience, to wait for those results to come. Because they always do come.”
The Summer Research Fellowships program has funded 194 student projects since 2005. The program provides benefits to our students and the broader research community. As they contribute to solving problems ranging from the molecular level in labs to the patient level in clinical sites, students gain new skills and enhance their critical thinking abilities. Research experiences not only bolster students’ residency applications but also inspire them to take advantage of opportunities after medical school. Undoubtedly, the lessons learned and students’ contributions to science through this program extend far beyond the summer.
“Given new technological advancements and even newer medical challenges to solve, medical students are becoming more and more likely to want research experiences,” said Suzanne Baker, assistant dean for graduate programs and medical student research. “We are lucky to have faculty members across all of our departments conducting a wide range of research.” But those costs are not easily covered, and we want to be able to support even more students.