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Program for Research Initiated by Students and Mentors (PRISM) for UM Medical Students

Program Summary

The Program for Research Initiated by Students and Mentors (PRISM) provides supervised full-time research experiences for University of Maryland medical students. The purpose of the program is: 1) to encourage students to consider the possibility of careers that include biomedical or clinical research and/or academic medicine; and 2) to provide students with a realistic understanding of the medical research environment.

See below for Program Details

Supported by: The University of Maryland School of Medicine/Office of Student Research

Administered by: The University of Maryland School of Medicine/Office of Student Research

Program Director:

Gregory B. Carey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Director of Student Summer Research and Community Outreach, OSR
Director, PRISM Program for Medical Students
Director UM Scholars Program


Contact Information

Qi Cao, JD
Research Coordinator
E-mail: QCao@som.umaryland.edu
Phone: (410) 706-3026

PRISM Program
Office of Student Research
University of Maryland School of Medicine
655 West Baltimore Street
Bressler Research Building (M-019)
Baltimore, MD 21201

Questions

Please use the Ask PRISM Form to submit your questions.


Program Details

  • Research Mentor
    University of Maryland School of Medicine faculty member. See Research Mentors. Applicants will identify a research mentor and work with the mentor to develop a research project prior to applying.
  • Research Project
    Hypothesis-driven project in basic, translational, and clinical research in biomedical or health topics.
  • Location
    University of Maryland Baltimore campus. Research that takes place primarily away from campus is not eligible.
  • Time and Duration

Summer Research - 10 weeks of full time commitment
At least 40 hours per week in the summer after the end of spring semester and before the start of fall semester.
Standard 10-week research period begins on May 29 and ends on August 3, 2018. If permitted by research mentor, student may take days off and make up missed days prior to the fall semester, provided that attendance requirements for summer programming are satisfied.  Some students may need to begin one or two week earlier or end later to make up for missed time due to other commitments.

Summer Programming - May 29 to July 27, 2018.
See Program Activities for specific dates of required major events and general seminar schedule. More details are provided under Program Requirements.

  • Selection
    Considerations will be made based on the quality of the proposed research, the strength of the research mentor, the strength of the applicant, and the quality and potential impact of the experience for the applicant.
  • Stipend
    Varying stipend levels based on merit, approximate range of $2,500 to $4,500.
    Mentor contributions are encouraged and do not exclude the student's participation. Supplement stipend funding from external fellowships or scholarship awards will be considered on a case-by-case basis. PRISM program funding will be adjusted based on all other stipend funding received by the applicant. Total stipends for the applicant cannot exceed the amount designated by the program.
    See Mentor Contribution toward Stipends and External Stipend Award for details and examples.
  • Number of Positions
    Approximately 30 to 40 positions based on available funding.
  • Program Activities
    Students are required to participate in the full range of summer research training activities sponsored by the Office of Student Research (OSR) of UM SOM, including research-related training, the three major events:
    1. Orientation (May 29 & May 30)
    2. Mid-Summer Research Retreat (June 28)
    3. Student Research Forum (July 27), and the Summer Seminar Series on biomedical research (weekly 1-hour seminars on both Tuesday and Thursday mornings).

Students are also required to submit a final paper on their research after the end of the program. More details are provided under Program Requirements. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in Medical Student Research Day in the fall. High quality, PRISM-funded student research is often selected to be presented at national and international scientific meetings and have been recognized for prestigious awards.


Research Mentor

Any faculty member of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) who holds at minimum an Assistant Professorship position and has suitable research support to mentor a medical student can be a PRISM research mentor. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the Office of Student Research prior to and during the choice of a mentor. A listing of many faculty members and their research at the School of Medicine is available online via the UM SOM departmental websites and the Faculty Profiles website. Please also refer to the listing of faculty provided through the FRCT course and OSR that includes UMB faculty available to mentor students.


Eligibility

First year medical students currently enrolled at the University of Maryland School of Medicine


Program Requirements

Please see detailed information regarding Program Requirements.


Application Documents

Application Deadline: March 26, 2018, 11:59 p.m.

Letter of Intent Deadline: January 31, 2018, 11:59 p.m.
(Letter of Intent is strongly encouraged, not required)

Please review the‌ Program Requirements prior to applying.

Please see summary list below of the required items for the application to the program.

Letter of Intent

Submit letter of intent prior to submitting complete application packet.  Include the following:

  • Student name.
  • Mentor(s) name and department (and institution if not faculty at UM SOM).
  • Tentative project title or topic.
  • Whether human participants/data are involved (IRB protocol) or animal subjects are involved (IACUC protocol).
  • Whether the applicable IRB or IACUC protocol currently exists (approval dates current for the research period) or will be renewed through continuing review with minor modifications OR approval is pending for a new protocol or for modified protocol. (Indicate "unsure" if you do not know.)
  • Whether the VA medical center or VA patient data is involved. 

Application Packet

A complete application packet must include all of the following required documents (items 1-10).
For all PDF forms, please download the form onto your computer prior to completing the form.

(Items 1-4 are items that are easy to consider and can be completed months in advance.)

1. Application Form

2. Student Biosketch CV.  Please use Biosketch CV Template.

3. Personal Statement. Expresses why the student wishes to pursue the program and how the program may benefit the student.

4. Recommendation Form from Two Recommenders (recommenders should be faculty members or advisors, or past research mentors or supervisors)

Recommendation from the research mentor (or co-mentor) for the proposed research project is permitted and welcome but will not count toward the required two recommendations.

(Items 5-8 are items that involve research considerations and may need a little more time to develop or obtain.)

5. Research Plan Instructions

6. Applicable IRB or IACUC Approval Letter (See Research Plan Instructions‌ under "Human Research and Animal Subjects" section for details.

  • Choosing projects with existing IRB or IACUC approvals or exemptions or does not involve human participant/data or animal subjects is highly recommended.  Required documentation for existing IRB or IACUC protocols (including current approval letter and proof of addition onto protocol) are due by the application deadline.
  • If new or modified IRB or IACUC protocol, protocol must be submitted to IRB or IACUC for approval as early as possible. IRB or IACUC review process can take months. Required documentation for new or modified IRB or IACUC protocol (including current approval letter and proof of addition onto protocol) are due by noon on April 27, 2018.  
  • If required IRB or IACUC documentation is not received by the applicable deadline, the student will not be considered for the program.
  • Note on timing: As soon as you begin discussing projects with potential mentors, you should include IRB and IACUC as part of your discussion. Start your discussions early, especially for novel projects. Optimal time frame for solidifying your project, including addressing IRB and IACUC protocol concerns would be November to early January (protocol review submissions to IRB no later than early January). IRB submissions in the spring for new protocols are highly unlikely to be approved by IRB in time for the PRISM deadline.

7. Mentor Declaration Form (submitted by the research mentor or co-mentor or the hard copy must be signed by the research mentor or co-mentor).
This form must be completed by each faculty mentor or co-mentor.

8. Mentor Biosketch. See Mentor Biosketch Sample.  A biosketch must be submitted for each faculty mentor or co-mentor. 

(Items 9-10 are final items that would complete the full application packet)

9. Transcript for Medical School (unofficial transcript may be used)

10. Dean's Letter of Good Academic Standing (sent directly from OSA to the program)


Mentor Contribution toward Stipend

In addition to mentoring students, faculty mentors are welcome to provide mentor contribution toward their student's stipend. The program greatly appreciates the generosity of faculty mentors who are able to provide funding for a portion of their student's PRISM stipend. Mentor contributions allow the program to extend the reach of its limited funding to a greater number of students. If a research mentor is willing to contribute toward the student's stipend, he or she would indicate the committed amount on the Mentor Declaration Form during application and provide the administrative contact to transfer mentor contribution funds to OSR to be distributed to the student. Student will receive stipend checks for the total stipend amount, including mentor contribution, from OSR.

Mentor contribution will not affect the total stipend amount the student will receive. The student's PRISM funding will be decreased by the amount of mentor contribution. The following is an example of how PRISM funding will be adjusted by mentor contribution.

  • An applicant is awarded PRISM stipend level of $2,500 based on the merit of the full application. The faculty mentor has agreed through the Mentor Declaration Form to contribute $1,000 toward the student's stipend. PRISM funding toward total stipends will be decreased by the $1,000 mentor contribution while the total stipend level remains at $2,500.

PRISM funding will be similarly adjusted by any external fellowships and scholarship awards. See .


External Stipend Awards

Many PRISM applicants will have applied to external fellowship and scholarship funding opportunities in addition to PRISM application. Students are highly encouraged to accept the national fellowship and scholarship if awarded.

PRISM applicants must disclose to the program all stipend funding the applicant is awarded and those for which the applicant has applied and that are still pending. Concurrent acceptance of external funding award and PRISM award stipend will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Some external fellowship and scholarships will not permit concurrent acceptance of another funding award.

External funding will not affect the total stipend amount the student will receive. The student's PRISM funding will be decreased by the amount of the external funding. The following is an example of how PRISM funding will be adjusted by external funding

  • An applicant is awarded PRISM stipend level of $2,500 based on the merit of the full application. The student also received an external fellowship award of $1,000. PRISM funding toward total stipends will be decreased by the $1,000 fellowship award while the total stipend level remains at $2,500.

Final PRISM funding will be adjusted in light of any mentor contribution and any external stipend funding in order that the total stipends for the applicant does not exceed the amount designated by the program. See also Mentor Contribution toward Stipends.