University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Scholarly Research Project (SRP)

The SRP is a longitudinal experience 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 will follow their progress throughout the entire longitudinal SRP 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 SRP.

The goals of the SRP are to:

  1. Foster analytical thinking skills and the development of tools for rational decision making for our students;
  2. Provide training in the scientific method that will translate into future careers involving research and/or clinical practice;
  3. Provide role models, mentorship, and guidance for students regarding careers that integrate research, teaching, and clinical service;
  4. Present research and scholarly biomedical pursuits to students as endeavors that involve collegial interaction;
  5. Enhance the medical school culture of self-directed and peer group-fostered learning;
  6. Enhance the oral and written communication skills of graduating medical students.

Students may complete summer research between the first and second year that can count towards a SRP; however, this summer work is not a requirement, and is not sufficient for completion of the SRP as this is expected to be a longitudinal experience.  Progress Reports are required in MS1 and in the beginning of MS2, as they are the starting facets of choosing a research project. SRP initial proposals are due in mid-December of MS2. Between July of the MS3 year and October of the MS4 year students are required to report SRP activity in the form of quarterly reports (QRs). The SRP proposal and QRs help assure satisfactory progress in the longitudinal SRP experience. Approval of the “SRP Final Report”, which describes student accomplishments on their SRP in manuscript form, is a graduation requirement and due in mid-February of the MS4 year.


Donald B. Defranco, Ph.D. (
Professor & Vice Chair of Medical Education
Associate Dean for Medical Student Research
Director, Dean’s Summer Research Program
Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases
7041 Biomedical Science Tower 3
3501 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15260
fax: 412-648-7029


Peter Veldkamp, M.D., M.S. (
Associate Dean for Medical Student Research
Co-Director, Dean’s Summer Research Project
Director of Education, Division of Infectious Diseases
3520 Fifth Avenue
Suite 510 Keystone Building
Pittsburgh, PA  15213


Judy Chang, M.D., MPH (
Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research
Director, Clinical Scientist Training Program (CSTP)
Associate Professor
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and Internal Medicine
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Magee-Womens Hosptial of UPMC
3380 Boulevard of the Allies
Suite 309
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Brad DiCianno, M.D. (
Assistant Dean for Student Research Associate Professor
Medical Director, UPMC Center for Assistive Technology
Director, UPMC Adult Spina Bifida Clinic
Medical Director and COO, Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Director of Medical Student Education, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
202 Kaufmann Building


John Fowler, M.D. (
Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research
Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
Director of Research, Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship
Department of Orthopedics
911 Kaufmann Building


Janel Hanmer, M.D., Ph.D. (
Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Department of Medicine
MUH, Suite W933


Rebecca P. Hughey, Ph.D. (
Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research
Professor of Medicine, Renal-Electrolyte Division
Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Professor of Cell Biology
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
S-933 Scaife Hall


Suzann Beardsley (
Medical Student Research Administrator
Student Affairs
589 Scaife Hall


Pamela Harlow (
Medical Student Research Support
Student Affairs
593 Scaife Hall