University of California, Riverside

UCR School of Medicine Student Affairs

Research Opportunities for Medical Students

Students presenting research

Research Opportunities for Medical Students

While the mission of the School of Medicine is, in large part, tied to improving access and standards of care, it is also compatible with the research mission of the University of California.

Our faculty members are conducting world-class research in a broad variety of areas, which provides our medical students with exciting opportunities throughout their educational experience.


Does your research project require approval of a Human Subjects Protocol?
Resources to Help You with Your Protocols and Data Analysis
  • Writing Human Subject Protocols - Jo Gerrard
  • Research Design and Biomedical Statistics - Shaokui Ge
Survey-Based Research Projects

Dean's Research Innovation Fund

Designed to promote clinically-relevant research by medical students, residents, fellows, and junior clinical faculty in the School of Medicine, the Dean’s Research Innovation Fund will award up to five grants per year for up to $10,000 per award. Eligible projects include those designed to produce preliminary data to support larger extramurally funded research pursuits, to stimulate collaborations between learners and faculty “sponsors,” and to advance research projects by junior investigators.

Years 1 Through 3: Practice Improvement Projects (PIP)

During years 1 through 3, students are expected to participate in Practice Improvement Projects (PIP) as part of the Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience. In this required component of the undergraduate medical curriculum, students can propose and test experimental approaches to improving clinical practice and care in an actual clinical ambulatory care setting. In the third year, students are also encouraged to write up these research studies for publication.

Summer Between Years 1 and 2: Summer Research Fellowship

In the summer between the 1st and 2nd year, medical students can apply for a ten-week summer research fellowship, which also comes with a modest stipend for the fellow. In the spring of the first year, faculty research projects are identified for summer medical research fellowships.

Most participating faculty are in the Division of Biomedical Sciences, but many others are also doing health-related research in political science, economics, psychology, bioengineering, and anthropology from departments across the UCR campus. There are also participating faculty in the Division of Clinical Sciences doing clinical research and population health research.    

Year 3: Ongoing Clinical Research

As part of the clinical clerkship experience students will have opportunities to participate in ongoing clinical research projects.

Year 4: MS4 Research Rotations

During the fourth year, students have the opportunity to receive academic credit for up to two separate four-week research electives. The research project is approved in advance by the senior associate dean for research, and the requirements for satisfactory completion of this elective include prior agreement with a UCR SOM faculty mentor who will also provide a written evaluation at the end of the elective, and a written report from the student, which can be in the form of a brief scientific report, a draft manuscript, or poster.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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