Frequently Asked Questions

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 the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. Therefore, all SRTP projects are either based in London, Windsor, or in a community served by a Distributed Medical Education site.

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 Medicine & Dentistry faculty.

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.

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.

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 medical and dental undergraduate students at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry 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.

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 the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry community.

The Heart & Stroke Foundation supports summer student research. Can I apply to this on my own?

The funds from this program are allocated to the SRTP program for research projects in areas appropriate for Heart and Stroke. This is an effective and long-standing practice at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. Therefore, direct applications from students are not accepted.

Can I get clinical experience through SRTP?

SRTP is strictly a research program. However, SRTP does support clinical research projects.  

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.

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.

Can I accept both an SRTP award and another Schulich Medicine & Dentistry summer student opportunity for Summer 2019?

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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 Medicine & Dentistry Research Office. It is possible that something can be arranged.  

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.

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).

What happens if I decide to participate in SRTP but unforeseen circumstances prevent me from completing the full two-year commitment?

Contact the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry Research Office to discuss your situation.

Can I submit my SRTP application electronically?

Yes, please do.

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.

Is Ethics approval required for SRTP and SROP projects?

All research involving humans and/or animals conducted by faculty, staff or students at Western University 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 Western University Research Ethics Boards (REB), manages the approval and monitoring process for the use of humans in research at Western University and its affiliated hospitals and research institutes. For more information on requirements for ethics approval, see the Research Western website.

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.

Can I submit applications for both SRTP and SROP at the same time?

No, first year medical students cannot submit applications for both SRTP and SROP at the same time.