Skip to main content

Application Process


Letter of Intent Deadline: January 25, 2021, 11:59 p.m.
(Letter of Intent is strongly encouraged, not required)

Application Deadline: March 22, 2021, 11:59 p.m.

Application Overview

  • Please see summary of the application process and the required items for the application to the program below in the "Application Packet" section.
  • See Additional Guidelines for more information and advice regarding the proposal/research plan.
  • See presentatioin slides from Information Session II that includes the topics of what makes a good project and proposal and covers the application process and components.

If you have any questions, please submit your questions through the Ask PRISM form.

Letter of Intent

Submit letter of intent (LOI) prior to submitting complete application packet. Please use the following online form to submit the LOI.

LOI should include the following (asked in the form):

  • 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.

Proposal Draft Review

If you wish to have your proposal draft reviewed by an OSR faculty advisor, you can use this online form to submit your request.  Plan to submit your draft review request as early as possible to allow the facutlty advisors the time to review and provide feedback and allow yourself and your research team the time to address the feedback and adjust the proposal as need. It is recommended that you submit your draft by early to mid February.

Requests submitted after February 22 might be considered but not guarantteed for review, depending on the availability of reviwers, volume of requests, and date of request.

Application Materials Submission

Application materials can be submitted using the following submission options.  They do not have to be submitted all at the same time.

Application Packet

A complete application packet must be received by the application deadline.  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.

Quick List:

  1. Application Form
  2. Student Biosketch CV
  3. Personal Statement
  4. Research Plan
  5. Applicable IRB or IACUC Documents
  6. Mentor Declaration Form
  7. Mentor Biosketch
  8. Recommendation Form from 2 Recommenders
  9. Transcript
  10. Dean's Letter of Good Academic Standing

See details below on the packet components.

Component A: Student Documents

(Items 1-3 are items that are easy to consider and can be completed months in advance by the applicant.)

  1. Application Form
  2. Student Biosketch CV
  3. Personal Statement. Expresses why the student wishes to pursue the program and how the program may benefit the student.

These items can be submitted using the Applicant Submission Form.


Component B: Research Project

(Items 4-5 are items that involve research considerations and may need more time to develop or obtain.)

  1. Research Plan
    • Please see Research Plan Instructions.
    • Can be submitted through the Applicant Submission Form.
    • If the project involves pending IRB or IACUC approval, applicants should consider also planning for a backup project in case IRB or IACUC approval cannot be obtained in time to meet applicable deadline.
    • If the project involves in-person lab or clinical access, applicants should consider also planning for a backup project or an alternate version of the project that is remote-friendly in case lab and clincal access becomes further restricted during the summer.
  2. Applicable IRB or IACUC Documents
    • Choosing projects with existing IRB or IACUC approvals or projects that do not involve human participant/data or animal subjects is highly recommended.
    • For existing IRB or IACUC protocols, current approval letter is due by the application deadline.
    • If the protocol is new or in the process of being modified or renewed, proof of IRB or IACUC submission for the pending protocol is due by the application deadline, and the new approval letter is due by noon on April 23. The protocol should be submitted to IRB or IACUC for approval as early as possible. IRB or IACUC review process can take months.
    • If the protocol will expire in the summer after the start of the program, proof of IRB or IACUC submission for renewal is due by noon on April 23, and the new approval letter is due before the expiration date.
    • If required IRB or IACUC documentation is not received by the applicable deadline, the student will not be considered for the program or will be removed from 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 very unlikely to receive IRB approval in time for the program deadline.

Component C: Mentor Documents

(Items 6-7 are items the research mentor and any co-mentor need to submit.)

Mentor documents can be submitted through the following online form. If your mentor is submitting the documents by email, this form does not need to be used. 

The form can be submitted by your mentor directly (preferred) or by the mentor's assistant, lab manager, or research team coordinator on behalf of the mentor. The form will ask for your mentor's email address and your email address, both of whom will receive a confirmation email of the submission. This form also allows your mentor to submit the applicable IRB and IACUC documents and status along with mentor documents. 

If your mentor will be mentoring more than one student applicant, documents can be submitted in one entry (up to 4 students) or in separate entries one for each student applicant.

  1. Mentor Declaration Form
    • Mentor Declaration Form
    • This form should be submitted by the research mentor or co-mentor or can be submitted by the applicant if signed by the research mentor or co-mentor.
    • This form must be completed by each faculty mentor or co-mentor.
  2. Mentor Biosketch

Component D: Recommendations

(Item 8 include items recommenders need to submit.)

  1. Recommendation Form from Two Recommenders.
    • Recommendation Form
    • Request recommendations from at least two recommenders (two required recommendations, up to two additional optional recommendations)
      • Provide recommenders with the link to the online Recommendation Form.
      • Recommenders will be asked to follow the two step process: 1) register the entry and then 2) continue to the provided unique link to complete the entry (the unique link will allow the completion of the form in more than one sitting).  Registered entry will expire after 90 days if not submitted.
      • You will receive an automatic notification email after a recommender has submitted a recommendation for you. Please make sure your recommenders have your correct email address.
    • Recommenders should be faculty members or advisors, or past research mentors or supervisors.  Choose recommenders who know you well and could speak to your character, strengths, and abilities. Recommenders who have interacted with you within the past two years are preferred.
    • Recommendation from the research mentor (or co-mentor) for the proposed research project is welcome and encouraged but will not count toward the required two recommendations.

Component E: Academic Documents

(Items 9-10 are academic documents that can be obtained and submitted by the applicant that would complete the full application packet)

  1. Transcript for Medical School (unofficial transcript from SURFS or MedScope is sufficient)
  2. Dean's Letter of Good Academic Standing (requested from OSA)

These items can be submitted using the Applicant Submission Form.

More Information

Program Details

Program Activities

PRISM Program Main