Schulich-UWindsor Opportunities for Research Excellence Program (SWORP)

Windsor Campus student

Deadline: The 2016 application deadline is Friday, February 10, 2017 at 4pm

Purpose: The aim of the Schulich - UWindsor Opportunities for Research Excellence Program (SWORP) is to enrich undergraduate medical education by enabling students from the Windsor program of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (“Schulich-Windsor students”) to conduct research under the supervision of a University of Windsor faculty member.

The program is intended to foster an appreciation for and proficiency with the research process. It will complement other existing programs to foster student research, including Schulich's Summer Research Training Program (SRTP); Schulich Research Opportunities Program (SROP) and student research opportunities in Dentistry. It is hoped that this program will provide an opportunity for students to learn how research is conducted and will encourage medical students to incorporate research activities into their future career plans.

Program Scope: SWORP will provide funding for Schulich-Windsor medical undergraduate students to undertake a research project under the supervision of a University of Windsor faculty member. Projects may be in any area of biomedical, medical, or health-related research including basic, clinical, health services or education research. Requests may be for new projects, or for projects which build on prior research activities. The project must be located at the University of Windsor, Schulich-Windsor, or at a Distributed Medical Education site.

Projects that are primarily public service in nature, while worthwhile, are not eligible for this student research support. Funding will also not be provided for projects required for existing courses.

Eligibility: Undergraduate medical students currently enrolled in their 1st or 2nd year within the Windsor Program of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, are eligible to apply. Undergraduate medical students based in London, BSc or BMSc students, postgraduate trainees, graduate students in Schulich departments , and University of Windsor students, are not eligible for this program. Undergraduate medical students who hold a M.Sc. and wish to apply may not work in the same laboratory where they received their graduate training. Faculty members are not eligible to submit applications by themselves.

Award Amount: Ten awards in the amount of $5,000 will be available.

Award Duration: In most cases, awards will be 18 months in duration. 

NOTE: Students should be realistic when estimating the amount of time they will be able to devote to SWORP projects during their academic year, especially if they plan to conduct SWORP work in their clerkship year.

Applications:
A complete application package will include:
1. Application cover sheet. Click here for application .
2. Project summary (1 paragraph)
3. Project description (2 pages maximum)
4. Budget justification (1 page maximum)
5. Project Time Line (1 page maximum, describe in detail how the project will be accomplished within the specified period, given the student's academic workload)
6. Student CV (2 pages maximum)
7. Supervisor mini-CV (5 pages maximum, NIH or CIHR biosketch format recommended)
8. Letter of support from supervisor specifically indicating his/her role and commitment

Acceptable Format: Applications must conform to the following specifications:

  • Font: Times New Roman or Arial
  • Font Size: 12
  • Line Spacing: Single
  • Minimum Page Margin in Top, Bottom, Right and Left: 1"

Each applicant must work with their identified supervisor to develop a research project which may be accomplished within the timeframe of no more than 18 months. The project description should include the following components: background, rationale, hypothesis, methodology and data analysis, and student's role. The project description should describe any anticipated problems and the extent of faculty supervision.

The role of the student in the project should be clearly described. Students should be involved in a literature search, the formulation and understanding of the methodology, collection of data, and in the interpretation, writing, and presentation of findings. The project description should include a paragraph describing the student's background, particularly in relation to experience or course work that will be useful for this project, and how the project relates to or builds on any prior experience the student has had with research, for example through undergraduate work. The project description should also include possible venues for presenting this research (for example, department research days).

Note: If for unforeseen circumstances the research project cannot be completed within 18 months, an opportunity will be provided for the student and the faculty member to submit a request to the Schulich Research Office for an extension providing satisfactory reasons and a revised budget.

Application Submission: To apply, please submit one electronic PDF copy of your complete application via email to the Schulich Research Office at  srop-srtp@schulich.uwo.ca by 4:00 pm on February 10, 2017.

Please ensure your submission is in ONE PDF file.

Adjudication Process: Applications will be adjudicated by Schulich's SRTP /SROP Committee, with assistance from additional Schulich Medicine and/or University of Windsor faculty members provided ad hoc as appropriate.

Criteria for Adjudication: Applications will be reviewed based on:

  • Description and feasibility of the project
  • Strength of the student, including the commitment to the project
  • Strength of the faculty member, including the commitment to the project

Mechanism of Support: For each project funded through SWORP, a research account will be established at the University of Windsor under the name of the supervisor. Half (50%) of the funding will be provided by the Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and will be available from the Schulich Research Office. The remaining 50% of the funding will be provided by the University of Windsor: the Office of the Vice President, Research will provide 25%; the other 25% will be provided by either the Faculty Dean or the Supervisor, depending on the agreement between the Dean and the Supervisor. Standard requirements, procedures and policies for University of Windsor research accounts will apply.

Eligible Costs: Funding may be requested to cover the costs of research. Examples of items that may be requested include, but are not limited to: supplies, computing costs, statistical consulting costs, costs of pulling charts, postage, and travel to present the research at a conference, poster costs, or survey costs. All award funding must be applied directly to the Schulich-Windsor student stipend or to expenses directly related to the project.

Funds may not be used to cover expenses incurred prior to June 1, 2017.

A portion of the requested funds may be used as a stipend for the student (Note: some money may be withheld to satisfy Canada Review Agency requirementst). While it is assumed that the student works on the project full-time for at least six weeks during the summer, precise scheduling of work on the project must be determined by agreement between the student and the supervisor. Research-related activities during the academic year which overlap with scheduled curricular commitments must be approved by the UME office according to established Schulich policy.

NOTE: Students may not receive other stipend/payment from Schulich/Western for the same period that they are receiving the SWORP stipend for full-time work.

A maximum of $1,000 may be requested for travel to meetings to present this research. This amount is to meet travel, accommodation and food expenses. The registration fee for conference/meeting can be requested separately.

SWORP will not fund the costs of capital items (i.e. permanent equipment).

Approvals: All projects will be required to meet the University of Windsor Research Ethics Board (REB) or Animal Care Committee (ACC) review requirements, as applicable, prior to commencement of the student’s work. Schulich medical students are covered for liability while conducting biomedical research projects at Schulich or alternate academic locations.

Number of Awards a Student may hold: A student will be limited to one SWORP award over her/his career at Schulich.

Additional Program Requirements: Students will be expected to submit a brief report to the Schulich Research Office on their project within one month following the end of the award period.

Students will also be expected to take advantage of opportunities to present their research at poster sessions or venues such as:

  • London Health Research Day
  • University of Windsor department- or faculty-based research days
  • institutional research days
  • regional meetings
  • national or international meetings

This activity is highly encouraged as a critical part of the research project, but may not conflict with curricular sessions unless specific permission is obtained.

Finally, students will also be expected to complete a brief evaluation form at the end of their project. The form will be available through the Schulich Research Office.

Expected Number of Awards: It is expected that up to 10 awards will be made in each competition.

Schedule:

  • February 10, 2017 - Complete applications due
  • March 2017 - Applicants/supervisors notified of results. Students are strongly encouraged to initiate any/all ethics approval/review process(es) as soon as possible once they have been notified of funding
  • March 31, 2017 - Formal announcement at the UWill Discover Research Conference, University of Windsor
  • June 9, 2017 - Start date for new SWORP awards