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Opportunities

Developing Physician-Scientists

Programs help train researchers

Stritch School of Medicine has two, signature research training programs for students: the Student Training in Approaches to Research (STAR) and the Community and Global Health Honors Program.

STAR Program

This eight-week Student Training in Approaches to Research (STAR) Program pairs students with a research mentor. Most STAR participants continue their research through the Research Honors program. Participation in STAR is a prerequisite to enrollment in the Research Honors Program.

The 2023 STAR program will begin Tuesday, May 23, 2023; it concludes July 14.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Who is eligible to participate in STAR?

First year medical students who will complete their first year the summer after they matriculate, are eligible to apply.

Who is eligible for STAR funding?

STAR scholars (who have Loyola research mentors) and their projects (selected through a competitive review), will receive a $4220 program scholarship. Each faculty member can mentor up to two STAR students.

Who is ineligible to participate in STAR?

Students participating in the Ignatian Service Immersion (ISI) program are not eligible because of the programs' conflicting demands. However, there may be an ISI trip that would accommodate STAR participation.

Can I audit the STAR seminars?

Yes. Students can and are encouraged to audit the weekly STAR seminars.

What is the application process?

December 5, 2022: Students must submit their letter of intent via InfoReady by 5:00 p.m. Central time.

January 23, 2023: Students must submit their STAR Program applications by 5:00 p.m. Central time.

March 2023: Individuals selected to participate will be notified early in the month.

What are the program requirements?

All students must successfully complete:

  1. In-person attendance at all eight STAR seminars; typically, the seminars are held on Monday (or) Wednesday mornings from 8:00-10:00 a.m.
  2. In-person, full-time research engagement (40 hours per week) for the entire program.
  3. Present their work at St. Albert’s Day, the campus-wide celebration of research, held each fall.
  4. To proceed with the STAR program, students must be in good academic standing throughout their M1 year.
  5. To complete Research Honors, students must present their research at a St. Albert's Day Research Forum as an M3 or M4. A national or regional conference is not a substitute.

Plan your STAR application

Plan your STAR participation early. Consider three steps to completing your application:

  1. Potential applicants should attend at least one STAR informational session during their first semester. Sessions are announced and posted in the LUMEN weekly calendar.
  2. Review the list of research mentors; there may be others who are available yet unlisted. Follow up with faculty individually via email or via their assistant.
  3. While the mentor and student(s) collaborate to form the research project, the student is responsible for writing the application.

What questions should I ask a potential mentor?

1. What can I expect to learn from this experience?

    • An understanding of scientific method/approach
      • Knowledge of specific experimental techniques and/or methods of collecting clinical data
        • Knowledge regarding methods of data entry and basic statistical analysis
          • An understanding of how to interpret and possibly apply experimental results
            • Experience preparing abstracts, poster presentations and/or manuscripts

            2. Team Science: Will I work with other researchers directly or indirectly? Who else works in your lab or clinical area?

            3. Flexibility: How flexible is your time commitment? (days off, time away, routine hours expected)

            4. Opportunities: After completing a day of lab work, what other learning options are available?

            Where can I find a sample application?

            What is the application review process?

            A STAR Review Committee evaluates applications against two primary metrics: scientific merit and the quality of the educational opportunity for the student. There is no preference for a particular type of research (basic vs. clinical). However, clinical retrospective chart reviews are often poorly prepared and applicants are encouraged to consider prospective studies whenever possible. The application should clearly demonstrate the student’s research role and activities, as well as what can be accomplished during eight weeks.

            What is a STAR Equivalent student?

            Students involved in full-time research education programs beyond Loyola may qualify as STAR-equivalent students, qualifying them to apply for the Research Honors Program. The STAR-equivalent designation requires a full description of the program for pre-approval by Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald and a letter of verification from the research mentor that clarifies the student meets the STAR-equivalent criteria. STAR-equivalent students are ineligible to apply for the STAR scholarship award. View a sample STAR Equivalent Letter of Intent.

            What if I don’t get funded?

            Because summer research programs are competitive, students should consider submitting applications to research programs beyond Stritch. Contact Student Affairs for a list of those programs.

            What are the STAR program's NIH-funded T35 Institutional Training Grants to support medical student research?

            The STAR program has two, NIH-funded T35 Institutional Training Grants to support medical student research through the STAR program:

            Funder: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

            Grant number: T35 HL120835
            Principal Investigator: Nancy Zeleznik-Le, PhD
            Number of participants: 12

            Funder: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

            Grant number: T35 AI25220
            Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Mueller, MD
            Number of participants: 12

            Please note that that your application/project does not have to fall into one of these two categories to be selected for STAR Scholar funding.

            Contact Kim Foreman, PhD with any T35 questions.

            Community and Global Health Honors Program

            The Community and Global Health (CGH) Honors Program provides a four-year curricular foundation for service learning at Stritch. Building on the success of the Ignatian Service Immersion (ISI) Program and the expansion of Public Health programming within the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, the CGH Honors Program supports field experience and scholarly investigation for students who aspire to improve the health of local, national, and global populations that are vulnerable.

            LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM

            What is the application process?

            First year students should attend an interest meeting during the fall.

            When is the application deadline?

            Applications are due in early January of M1 year.

            Who can participate in the CGH Honors Program?

            Students in good academic standing who demonstrate a commitment to improving the health of underserved communities may apply.

             

            What are the M1 requirements for students enrolled in the CGH Honors Program?

            M1 students must participate in the Seminar Series lectures and curricular events. Students are required to complete a minimum of four weeks of field experience during their M1 summer to work towards meeting this requirement.

             

            Does participation in the CGH Honors Program preclude participation in Bioethics Honors?

            No. Students may participate in the CGH Honors Program and the Bioethics Honors Program concurrently. However, students must complete the individual requirements for both programs, including the completion of a separate scholarly project for each program.

            What if I cannot complete the CGH Honors Program?

            Students who withdraw from or become ineligible to complete the program will not have a record on their transcript. All students are invited to participate in elements of the program, including the Seminar Series and Global Health Equity Dinners. All M4 students are eligible to complete a local or international underserved elective.

            Are domestic opportunities eligible for field experience?

            Yes. Domestic opportunities in low-resourced or culturally diverse environments are accepted and encouraged. Students must request approval prior to completing a field experience that may fulfill program requirements.

            Do students receive funding to support their field experience during the program?

            Yes. Students are eligible to apply for the annual Global Field Experience Grant during their M2, M3, or M4 year to help fund their non-credit field experience. All M4 students enrolled in a Center for Community and Global Health (CCGH) underserved local or international elective may apply for funding, too.

            Does volunteer work count toward the program's field experience requirement?

            Possibly. Field experience requires an immersive commitment at a local or international organization working with populations who are underserved. Drop-in volunteering or community activities that do not demonstrate a consistent commitment are not approved for field experience. Students who request prior approval may be eligible for one week of field experience per each 20 hours completed at one volunteer agency. Multiple, shorter experiences cannot be combined.

            Will the CCGH connect me with a research project and faculty mentor?

            Sometimes. CCGH will provide students with a list of Loyola faculty mentors and scholarly project opportunities. Some projects are structured so that students may “plug in.” Faculty members are open to mentoring students’ independent projects based on mutual interests.

            I participated in research at my previous institution. Can I continue it as my scholarly project?

            It may be possible to continue your work focused on populations that are underserved and apply this research toward your scholarly project. All projects, including those focused at another institution, must include a Loyola faculty mentor and Loyola IRB approval.

            Curriculum

            The CGH Honors Program begins in late January of M1 year. It builds on lectures in the general curriculum, covering essential topics through seminars, discussion sessions, additional online modules, and other educational resources. Individual learning activities and events may vary from year to year, but the program follows this outline:

            • Year 1: Introduction to Global Health Challenges
            • Year 2: Case Studies in Global Health Challenges
            • Year 3: Integration of Clinical Experience and Global Health
            • Year 4: Culmination of Field Experience and Scholarly Project

            What is the CGH seminar series?

            • The seminar series highlights fundamental concepts in Global Health and is open to all Health Sciences Campus students, faculty, and staff. The series is composed of Essential Topics Seminars and CCGH Supported Events. Essential topics focus on specific concerns in Global Health practice. Attendees prepare through the completion of online modules and/or journal articles for a discussion-based review of specific topics, led by Global Health practitioners. CCGH Supported Events invite professionals from multiple disciplines with Global Health experience to share their journey to the discipline as well as their ongoing projects.

            Register and receive the email weekly "CCGH Calendar and Announcements;" seminar series events are also posted to the LUMEN calendar.

            Students in the CGH Honors Program must attend a total of 16 Essential Topics Seminars and CCGH Supported Events by graduation, of which a minimum of six must be Essential Topics Seminars.

            Requirements

            Graduating with CGH Honors requires completion of the following componeents by April of M4 year:

            • 16 Seminar Series events
            • 12 weeks of field experience
            • scholarly project

            Field experience

            Students fulfill this requirement through CCGH-approved local and/or international community service immersion. Local immersion experience may include:

            • Full-time service with a local community organization during the summer of M1 year
            • Local, underserved CCGH elective courses
            • Other qualifying, part-time service with a local community organization throughout the program

            International immersion experience may include:

             

            Scholarly project

            CGH Honors students are required to complete a scholarly project during the Program with a faculty mentor. It should focus on addressing local or global populations who are underserved – through community engagement. Students typically identify a Project by M1 or M2 year and then present a scientific poster at the CGH Honors graduation celebration.

            CGH Honors students are also encouraged and supported to present their work at national conferences. Former students have presented their projects at national conferences such as the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, Latino Medical Student Association regional conferences, and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Conference.

            CGH Honors Poster Examples

            STAR Program

            This eight-week Student Training in Approaches to Research (STAR) Program pairs students with a research mentor. Most STAR participants continue their research through the Research Honors program. Participation in STAR is a prerequisite to enrollment in the Research Honors Program.

            The 2023 STAR program will begin Tuesday, May 23, 2023; it concludes July 14.

            LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM

            Community and Global Health Honors Program

            The Community and Global Health (CGH) Honors Program provides a four-year curricular foundation for service learning at Stritch. Building on the success of the Ignatian Service Immersion (ISI) Program and the expansion of Public Health programming within the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, the CGH Honors Program supports field experience and scholarly investigation for students who aspire to improve the health of local, national, and global populations that are vulnerable.

            LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM