Summer Research Training Program (SRTP)
A Program for Medical Students in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
The goal of the Summer Research Training Program (SRTP) is to encourage medical students to pursue their interests in medical research. SRTP enables first and second year medical students in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University to work under the supervision of a faculty member on a research project during the summer months, for two years.
- To allow medical students to gain exposure to basic and clinical research.
- To encourage students to develop a scholarly approach to the practice of medicine.
- To assist in choosing a career path after graduation.
Duration: Students participate in SRTP for ten weeks in each of the summers following the first and second years of the MD program. SRTP requires a two year commitment from both the student and the supervisor.
Remuneration: The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry provides funds for two summers, in the form of a stipend, to support STRP participants. Participants will be paid at a rate of $4,500 for an entire summer. Participants are expected to work full-time for 10 weeks on their project.
Eligibility: SRTP is open to students enrolled in the first year of the MD program at Western University. This includes students at both the London and Windsor sites. Students enrolled in Schulich's MD/Ph.D. program or students concurrently enrolled in a Masters program are not eligible for SRTP, nor are students who already hold a Ph.D. Students who already hold a Masters degree and wish to participate in SRTP may not work in the same laboratory where they received their graduate training.
Awards: Participants may be eligible for the following awards:
- Dr. L. DeWitt Wilcox Award is given to a student who has demonstrated initiative, drive, awareness of research and the ability to persevere in completing an SRTP project. The award is intended to recognize the student's outstanding performance in research by permitting the student to present this research at the National Student Research Forum in Galveston, Texas.
- Dr. Glen S. Wither Award for Research is given for outstanding participation in SRTP.
- Horace and Clarice Wankel Memorial Award for Cardiovascular Research is awarded to a student demonstrating special interest in some area of research in cardiovascular diseases.
- Dr. Cindy M. Hutnik Award is awarded to a student who has demonstrated excellence in SRTP and is deemed to show promise in research.
Conditions: Each year, approximately 10-20 students enter the first year of the program. If the number of applications exceeds the available funds, the SRTP Committee reserves the right to take into account the balance of disciplines and of types of projects in selecting participants.
Participants are required to:
- Complete a research project, over two summers, under the supervision of a faculty member in Schulich Medicine & Dentistry.
- Attend seminars held in approximately five of the ten weeks during the summer.
- Submit an interim report at the end of the first summer.
- Present their project at the SRTP Student Symposium at the end of the second summer.
- Submit a final report at the end of the second summer in competition for one of the five available prizes.
- Depending on the source of funds, participants may be required to provide additional information to a funding agency.
December 9, 2013
Project proposals due into Research Office from potential supervisors
December 16, 2013
List of proposed SRTP projects made available to Meds2017 students
December 2013 / January 2014
Interested students review the available projects submitted by faculty members and contact potential supervisors.
January 24, 2014
Deadline for submission of completed application from students and supervisors.
Students and supervisors are informed of the funding decisions.
Application Form: An Application Form is to be completed by student and supervisor. Consideration will be given to only one application per student and supervisor.
Program Funding: The Summer Research Training Program is supported with funds from sources including:
- Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
- Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
- Lawson Health Research Institute
- Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada
- Dora Wilensky Medical Research Scholarship
- Margaret A. McCullough Heart Research Fund
- Underwood Scholarship in Diabetes
The 2014 match period
for the SRTP Program is now closed.
Thank you to all who submitted applications.
Applicants will be notified in March 2014 regarding the status of their application.
1. I'm interested in research but don't want to spend the summer in London or Windsor. Can I still particpate in SRTP?
SRTP is an interaction between medical students and faculty at Schulich. Therefore, all SRTP projects are either based in London, Windsor, or in a community served by a Distributed Medical Education site.
2. Is SRTP funding available if I want to work on a research project outside of London or Windsor?
SRTP funding only supports projects in the London area, Windsor, and in communities served through Distributed Medical Education sites, for students to work under the supervision of Schulich faculty.
3. Can I apply to SRTP if I am a medical student at a school other than Western?
No, participation in SRTP is limited to medical students enrolled in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. This includes medical students at both the London and Windsor sites.
4. Can I apply to SRTP if I am an undergraduate student in Western's Bachelor of Medical Sciences program, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, elsewhere at Western, or an undergraduate student at the University of Windsor?
No, participation in SRTP is limited to medical students enrolled in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.
5. I'm not interested in SRTP but still want to get research experience. What other options do I have?
Some support for undergraduate research experiences is available via targeted competitions in specific areas of interest (for example, the Canadian Liver Foundation studentship, Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, etc.). If you are interested in applying for funding on your own, you will need to explore your options as early as possible. Many programs have early deadlines. A good starting point for finding information on funding opportunities is the Community of Science database.
You may wish to consider applying to the Schulich Research Opportunities Program (SROP). SROP will provide funding for Schulich medical and dental undergraduate students to undertake a research project of up to one year in duration under the supervision of a Schulich faculty member.
You may also wish to contact a potential supervisor directly. Some researchers may have some funding for summer students through their grants.
6. Other universities provide funding for medical students to undertake summer research projects at remote sites. Why doesn't Western?
In researching other universities' summer programs, we haven't come across any formal programs with such opportunities. Nevertheless, SRTP is specifically designed to be an interaction between students and researchers within Schulich community.
7. The Heart & Stroke Foundation and CIHR have programs to support summer student research. Can I apply to this on my own?
The funds from thes programs are allocated to the SRTP program for research projects in areas appropriate for Heart and Stroke and CIHR. This is an effective and long-standing practice at Schulich. Therefore, direct applications from students are not accepted.
8. Can I get clinical experience through SRTP?
SRTP is strictly a research program. However, SRTP does support clinical research projects.
9. I'm interested in SRTP but want to take a week off in the middle of July.
SRTP is a 10-week program, followed by a final symposium. You may negotiate with your supervisor regarding your start date and time off during the summer. However, you will be expected to work on this project for a full 10 weeks during the summer. This is a program requirement, and not negotiable. Your hours of work are also to be determined between you and your supervisor.
10. I'm interested in SRTP but also want to do an elective over the summer and travel for a month. Can I combine these?
You will be expected to work on your SRTP project for a full 10 weeks in each of the two summers. Please consider carefully whether this fits in with your other interests. It may not be feasible to fit everything into a summer.
11. Can I accept both an SRTP award and another Schulich summer student opportunity for Summer 2014?
No, you will not be paid for two full-time positions held for the same period. SRTP requires a student to work on a project for 10 weeks full-time during the summer. You can only be paid for one full-time summer position at any given time through the university.
12. I'm interested in research but don't want to commit to a two-summer program.
SRTP is a two-summer program. This greatly increases the likelihood that you will have a meaningful research experience. You may wish to consider research opportunities outside of SRTP.
13. Can I do SRTP on a part-time basis?
SRTP is not available on a part-time basis. SRTP is intended as a full-time commitment for the summer. You will be expected to work on your SRTP for a full 10 weeks in each of the two summers. This is not negotiable.
14. I'm a second year student - can I still apply to SRTP?
Because this is a two-summer program, only first year medical students are eligible to apply.
15. I'm interested in participating in SRTP but really want to work with a Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry researcher who doesn't currently have a project on the list of SRTP projects.
Talk to the professor, and then contact the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry Research Office. It is possible that something can be arranged.
16. What types of projects will SRTP support?
SRTP supports a broad range of research activities including basic, clinical, population and health services research, and educational research.
17. I think I'm interested in SRTP, but not sure yet whether I want to make the commitment.
Go ahead and apply - you can decide not to participate before the summer starts (although the earlier you let us know, the happier we are, and the easier it is to reallocate the funds for another student).
18. What happens if I decide to participate in SRTP but unforeseen circumstances prevent me from completing the full two-year commitment?
Contact the Schulich Research Office to discuss your situation.
19. Can I submit my SRTP application electronically?
Yes, please do.
20. How can I be sure of choosing a good project?
As you read the SRTP project summaries and meet with potential supervisors, you should consider:
- Does the project have a clear hypothesis to test;
- Is the student's role in the project clear;
- What skills will the student acquire by working on this project;
- Is the project feasible to complete over two summers;
- Are the necessary preliminary steps are in place - e.g. ethics approvals for clinical projects, major methodologies established for bench projects, etc.; and
- How accessible is the supervisor.
- Projects that depend upon patient recruitment for results may run into a number of challenges secondary to unintended poor recruitment. If the project depends on patient recruitment, what is the likelihood that sufficient patients will be available during the specified time period? Does the supervisor have "contingency" objectives for the student in case patient recruitment does not proceed as planned.
You will also want to consider:
- Your personal and career interests and preferences;
- Your motivation to do a project;
- The personality fit between you and the supervisor, and with the other students and personnel in the lab; and
- The general research environment of the lab and collaborating labs.
- Will you be one of a large team, or will you be working in a smaller lab.
- Other considerations such as lab location might seem more trivial but need to be considered.
21. Is Ethics approval required for SRTP and SROP projects?
All research involving humans and/or animals conducted by faculty, staff or students at UWO or its affiliated hospitals or research institutes must be approved by a UWO-sanctioned review board. This includes SRTP projects.
The Office of Research Ethics, on behalf of the UWO Research Ethics Boards (REB), manages the approval and monitoring process for the use of humans in research at UWO and its affiliated hospitals and research institutes. For more information on requirements for ethics approval, see http://www.uwo.ca/research/ethics/
In discussing projects with prospective supervisors, students should inquire about the status of REB approval, and confirm that it will be in place prior to the start of your summer research experience. If REB approval has not been obtained, projects can be held up or cancelled, leading to an unsatisfactory SRTP experience.
Although the SRTP Committee acknowledges the potential value of writing an REB application for the student, the short time frame usually does not allow the student to accomplish any significant research when REB approvals are pending. The committee therefore has an expectation that REB approval will be obtained prior to the start of the project.
22. Can I submit applications for both SRTP and SROP at the same time?
Yes, first year medical students can submit applications for both SRTP and SROP at the same time. If you are awarded with both SRTP and SROP, you will be allowed to accept one award only.
For further information contact:
Mariel Angus, Administrative Assistant
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Clinical Skills Building, Second Floor, 2720
London, Ontario N6A 5C1
Telephone: (519) 661-2111 x87908