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Research Didactics

The YSM research requirement ensures that students learn research skills such as how to identify knowledge gaps, formulate questions, design and execute an investigative approach, analyze data, summarize results, and present one’s work to communities of interest. An important feature of the YSM research curriculum is the formal instruction students receive in the first year to successfully launch them on the path of acquiring and practicing these essential skills.

Fall through Spring of first year: Scientific Inquiry

The goal of the Scientific Inquiry curriculum is to initiate students to the four- to five-year journey of learning, observing, and practicing the skills required to conduct research related to health and medicine. Specifically, first-year students will receive instruction regarding the YSM thesis requirement as well as preparation and support for research projects that will take place during the summer between their first and second years. The curriculum is led by physician scientists and clinician investigators with successful research programs who also serve as role models and mentors to students as they begin to envision their future careers. There are 7 sessions within the first year dedicated to formal support of project development, mentor selection, and proposal writing for funded summer studies.

For the full syllabus, please contact the Office of Student Research at

Please note that submission of the research proposal serves as the final assessment for this course and is required to receive credit for this course.

Summer after first year: Applied Principles of Research

The purpose of this intensive course is to expand upon the foundation methods of high-quality research introduced in “Scientific Inquiry” to include practical methods of conducting mentored research and developing as a physician-scientist. Sessions will include talks by senior research faculty, practical topics on developing and disseminating your research and “research-in-progress” sessions to provide student opportunities to receive feedback on their summer projects. Participation is not mandatory but is highly encouraged.

For the full syllabus, please contact the Office of Student Research at