The Student Research Program (SRP) includes as its principle component a longitudinal research project (LRP) that extends throughout the four years of the medical school curriculum in which students engage in a research project under the mentorship of a faculty member. Each student is assigned a SRP Director, who follows their progress throughout the entire longitudinal research experience. SRP Directors are Assistant or Associate Deans of Medical Student Research and also have the responsibility of establishing and executing policies and procedures of the entire SRP. Other components of the SRP are the Dean’s Summer Research Project (DSRP) for students between MS1 and MS2 years and the Pitt Med Research Experience for Prematriculants (PREP).
The goals of the LRP are to:
- Foster analytical thinking skills and the development of tools for rational decision making for our students;
- Provide training in the scientific method that will translate into future careers involving research and/or clinical practice;
- Provide role models, mentorship, and guidance for students regarding careers that integrate research, teaching, and clinical service;
- Present research and scholarly biomedical pursuits to students as endeavors that involve collegial interaction;
- Enhance the medical school culture of self-directed and peer group-fostered learning;
- Enhance the oral and written communication skills of graduating medical students.
Students may complete a DSRP between the first and second year that can count towards their LRP; however, this summer work is not a requirement, and is not sufficient for completion of the LRP as the latter is expected to be a longitudinal experience.
Progress Reports (PR) are required in MS1 and in the beginning of MS2, as they are the starting facets of choosing a research project. LRP initial proposals are due in mid-December of MS2.
Quarterly reports (QRs) are required to report LRP activity starting in July of the MS3 year throughout the MS4 year. The LRP proposal and QRs help assure satisfactory progress in the LRP experience. Approval of the LRP Final Report, which describes student accomplishments on their LRP in manuscript form, is a graduation requirement and due in mid-February of the MS4 year.