Student Research Resources
Resources and forms to help you navigate student research opportunities!
- Apply for Short-term Research Funding
- Required Formatting and Components of the MD Thesis
- Examples for Reference Section Formatting
- Instructions for submitting a thesis to the Yale Medicine Thesis Digital Library
- Thesis Depositors Declaration Form
- MHS Application Instructions
- Completing a Travel Application Form
- Evaluations of Advisor
Apply for Short-term Research Funding
There is a two-step process for applying for short-term research funding.
You must download the signature page, carefully review and complete it, and then obtain signatures from your research mentor and the Department Thesis Chair.
Download Signature Page. Please contact OSR with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-785-6633.
The student then uploads the pdf signature page, as well as provide the following information, to the application form linked below.
Listed below are the fields students will be required to complete in the on-line application form. All items in bold must be provided, in order to submit the electronic application.
- Student name
- Student contact information
- Student unique identifiers (NetID, NIH eRA Commons ID, ORCID ID, if known)
- Previous research funding at YSM (for each award received)
Period of full-time research
- Funding cycle requested
- Current academic year
- Exact dates of research funding you are requesting (within pre-set cycle dates)
- Research protocol information (if known at the time of application. Note that this will be due within one month of funding.)
- Research protocol exemption number
- Other information (ex. pending dates)
Faculty sponsor’s information
- Faculty sponsor’s department
- Faculty sponsor’s NIH biosketch or CV
- Department Thesis Chair’s name
Title of research proposal
- Is the research proposal new?
- Is the research proposal a continuation of previous research?
- Is the research other than ‘new’ or a ‘continuation’?
- If ‘other,’ then please explain.
Upload a completed, signed PDF of the signature page.
- Students must follow the naming convention: LNAME_FName_STF_Cycle(ex.Winter2023)_signaturepage.pdf
Upload a PDF description of your project using the following guidelines:
Description of Project: Upload a PDF not exceeding four (4) pages or 2,000 words, stating briefly the following items using exactly these headings:
- background of problem you will investigate.
- goals of the project, including hypothesis you will examine or new knowledge you will generate.
- the specific aims of the study.
- the methods you will use.
- address potential limitations and problems and how they will be dealt with.
- selected references from mentor.
- selected references from others.
IF THE PROJECT IS A CONTINUATION OF PREVIOUS WORK, then indicate i) through vii) above, then i) and ii) below.
- details of specific studies/experiments completed.
- details on studies/experiments to be done.
- Students must follow the naming convention: LNAME_FName_STF_Cycle(ex.Winter2023)_ProjectDescription.pdf
- Description of Project: Upload a PDF not exceeding four (4) pages or 2,000 words, stating briefly the following items using exactly these headings:
Required Formatting and Components of the MD Thesis
In general, one topic is appropriate for the thesis, but it is recognized that some students may have performed several projects in parallel under the supervision of their mentor. If the student elects to include more than one study in the thesis, it is recommended that an attempt be made to integrate the topics into one coherent presentation. In rare cases where this goal cannot be achieved, it may be acceptable to divide the results section into different portions (or “chapters”). However, to be consistent with Yale formatting requirements, a thesis may not contain more than one abstract, introduction, statement of purpose, methods, results, and discussion section.
It is not acceptable to submit a published or submitted manuscript in lieu of the thesis requirement. The formal thesis is presented as a digital document (PDF) during the graduation year. It must adhere to the following formatting and content requirements. These aspects of research are critical in making the work sound, error-free, and impactful for communities of interest. Recognizing that students may have uncertainty regarding how these guidelines relate to their thesis, OSR will be happy to answer any questions that may arise. Additionally, students may find it useful to consult the Equator reporting guidelines to enhance the quality and transparency of their theses. The Yale MD thesis is a doctoral thesis that serves as the basis for the conferring of a doctoral degree. Therefore, a minimum requirement of 30 pages (exclusive of title page, abstract, acknowledgements, table of contents, figure legends, references) is considered the minimum acceptable length.
- Font: 10-12-point font should be used.
- Line spacing: Body paragraphs and tables should consist of double spaced text. Single spaced text may be used within block quotations, footnotes, and bibliography.
- Margins: 1.5-inch margins on the left with one-inch margins on the remaining three sides. These margins apply to text, full-page images and illustrations, and tables.
- Figures: Illustrative information, schematics, and representative data should be included as figures. Each panel in a figure should be labeled. Legends should describe each panel in detail in a 9-point font or greater and positioned below the figure to which they refer. Figure legends do not count towards the 30 page minimum.
- Page Numbers: Each page in the thesis should be numbered except the title page, abstract, acknowledgements, and table of contents. The numbering should start at page 1 of the first page of the instruction and be placed either at the top or bottom center, or at the top or bottom right-hand corner, at least 1/2 inches from any edge.
- Minimal page requirement: Most Yale MD theses average 40-80 pages of text. A minimum of 30 pages of text excluding title page, abstract, acknowledgements, table of contents, figures, legends, and references is required. Tables may count towards the minimum page requirement.
- Title page: Title should not exceed 100 characters including spaces between words as shown in Appendix C of the Research Guide. The title page is not included in the 30 page minimum.
- Abstract page: As described on page 41 and Appendix D of the Research Guide. The abstract is not included in the 30 page minimum.
- Acknowledgements: Personal and faculty acknowledgements, grant support, departmental support, etc. The acknowledgements page is not included in the 30 page minimum.
- Table of Contents: Include page numbers for each section. The table of contents is not included in the 30 page minimum.
- Introduction: A thorough, complete, detailed, critical review of the literature that contextualizes and cites the work of previous investigators. This section should describe the state of the existing knowledge, provide rationale for the study, identify knowledge gaps, and frame the contribution of the thesis to medicine. The introduction is included in the 30 page minimum.
- Statement of purpose: Specific hypothesis if appropriate, and specific aims of the thesis. The statement of purpose is included in the towards the 30 page minimum.
Methods: Thorough description of valid and rigorous study design. The methods are included in the 30 page minimum.
- Student Contributions: Describe in detail exactly which procedures, methods and experiments were conducted by you and which procedures, methods and experiments, generation of data, or production of reagents, were performed by other members of the study team. It is not sufficient to state that this information may be mentioned elsewhere. It must be summarized here. It is recognized that students may often be completing a portion of a larger work. A statement detailing precisely what was done by the student and what was done by others does not detract from the thesis but is necessary for academic honesty.
- Ethics Statement: Include information regarding the ethical conduct of research.
- Human Subjects Research: If relevant, include explicit information regarding Institutional Review Board approval and informed consent. If the study had a waiver of consent, this exception must be clearly stated. Information regarding inclusion of historically vulnerable populations as research participants should be included here.
- Laboratory Animals: For studies involving laboratory animals, include an explicit statement regarding study approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Include information regarding the species, strain, sex, and age of laboratory animals in this section as well.
- Methods Description: Provide information regarding the materials and methods used in the study. Each method should consist of its subheading and paragraph and be described in detail that is sufficient to allow its replication by an investigator who did not participate in the study.
- Statistical Methods: The last paragraph in this section should present the methods used to derive results. As needed, describe any data preprocessing such as transformation and normalization. Describe how outliers were defined and handled and present descriptive statistics as appropriate. The number of sampled units (i.e., “n”) and significance (i.e., “P”) should be reported for each statistical comparison. Continuous variables that are normally distributed may be presented as mean + standard deviation. Continuous variables that are asymmetrically distributed should be presented as median + interquartile range. All statistical tests should be clearly described and include information regarding testing level (alpha) and one- or two-sided comparisons. Corrections for multiple testing should be addressed and reported. Any novel or complex data algorithms should be clearly described and appropriately referenced.
- Transparent reporting of results: All primary data related to the thesis topic should be presented. Important data should be enumerated in figures or tables. For ease of review, it is preferred that figures and tables be included in proximity to their callout in the text. Alternately, tables and figures can be presented separately after the discussion but, if possible, it is advantageous to the reader to include these components in the body of the results section, as occurs in research publications. The results section is included in the 30 page minimum.
- Discussion: This section presents thorough and detailed interpretation and analysis of data, conclusions drawn, and framing of observations with the larger scientific literature. Limitations should be addressed, as should alternate interpretations and how the thesis may inform future studies in the field. Whenever relevant, a discussion of how the thesis may or already has meaningfully impact(ed) communities of interest should be included here. The discussion section is included in the 30 page minimum.
- Challenges & Limitations: A brief discussion of methodologic, operational, and other challenges relevant to the research presented in the thesis. Please also include a brief discussion of how these challenges were addressed. Recognizing that all research projects have important limitations that readers should consider in interpreting the results, please include a brief discussion of the limitations relevant for your research.
- Dissemination: Please include efforts made to share findings with the scientific community (through oral presentation, peer-reviewed publications, and other venues) and the larger community including patients.
- Figure References and Legends: Figures must be cited sequentially in the text using Arabic numerals (for example, “Fig. 7”). Provide a short title (in the legend, not on the figure itself), explanation in sufficient detail to make the figure intelligible without reference to the text, and a key to any symbols used. Figures and legends are not included in the 30 page minimum.
- Tables: All tables should be double-spaced, self-contained and self-explanatory. Provide brief titles and use superscript capital letters starting from A and continuing in alphabetical order for footnotes. Tables and their legends are included in the 30 page minimum.
- References: We strongly recommend the use of bibliography software such as Endnote for managing the references. References should be formatted according to New England Journal of Medicine Style. References are not included in the 30 page minimum.
Examples for Reference Section Formatting
1. Yalow, R.S., and Berson, S.A. 1960. Immunoassay of endogenous plasma insulin in man. J. Clin. Invest. 39:1157-1175.
2. Gardner, W., and Schultz, H.D. 1990. Prostaglandins regulate the synthesis and secretion of the atrial natriuretic peptide. J. Clin. Invest. In press.
3. Myant, N.B. 1981. The Biology of Cholesterol and Related Steroids. London: Heinemann Medical Books. 882 pp.
Articles in Books
4. Innerarity, T.L., Hui, D.Y., and Mahley, R.W. 1982. Hepatic apoprotein E (remnant) receptor. In Lipoproteins and Coronary Atherosclerosis. G. Noseda, S. Fragiacomo, R. Fumagalli, and R. Paoletti, editors. Amsterdam: Elsevier/North Holland. 173-181.
5. Packman, C.H., Rosenfeld, S.I., and Leddy, J.P. 1981. Inhibition of the C8/C9 steps of complement lysis by a high density lipoprotein (HDL) of human serum. Fed. Proc. 40:967a. (Abstr.)
Instructions for submitting a thesis to the Yale Medicine Thesis Digital Library
Instructions for Uploading a PDF Version of Your Thesis
Upon receiving notification that the MD thesis has been approved as meeting graduation requirements, students should upload the thesis to ProQuest. This submission should be accompanied by a completed “Yale School of Medicine Digital Thesis Depositor’s Declaration Form.” Instructions on the submission of the digital thesis are as follows.
Submitting a thesis via the ProQuest website:
Logging In: http://www.etdadmin.com/cgi-bin/student/etd?siteId=323
The electronic thesis submission process in ProQuest is organized into three major categories: Publishing information, About my dissertation/thesis, and Submission & payment. The system will walk you through the submission process step-by-step.
A few things to note: the ETD Administrator software is a 3rd party product that YSM licenses from ProQuest. Because this vendor is unaffiliated with Yale, OSR and Yale University Libraries do not have control over its policies or processes. The ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global database is a subscription resource that collects dissertations and theses from multiple countries and a range of academic specialties. This collection is then made available to subscribers. When students choose to make their thesis publicly available, the full-text will appear in this database and users will be able to read, save, and download the text. EliScholar is a digital platform for scholarly publishing provided by the Yale University Library. While it is supported by third party software, EliScholar is maintained by YUL and offers more flexibility in uploading and managing theses. The option selected for thesis release in the ETD Administrator system will apply to both ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global and EliScholar. All theses are available to the Yale community (individuals with a NetID and password and users physically present at a library facility on campus) upon publication. A limited release of approved theses to the awarding institution’s user community is common practice.
Yale Medicine Digital Thesis Library
Starting with the YSM class of 2002, the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library and OSR have collaborated on the Yale Medicine Thesis Digital Library (YMTDL) project, publishing the digitized full text of medical student theses as a durable product of Yale student research efforts. Digital publication of theses ensures access for all scientists to a summary of such work, provides students with a formal citation for their thesis, and demonstrates the exceptional quality of student research and student-faculty cooperation at Yale. In 2006, the digital copy became a graduation requirement. Starting in 2012, alumni of the Yale School of Medicine were invited to participate in the YMTDL project by granting scanning and hosting permission to the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, which digitized the Library’s print copy of their thesis or dissertation.
Thesis Depositors Declaration Form
YSM requires a completed and signed Thesis Depositors Declaration form to be uploaded with your final thesis to ProQuest.
MHS Application Instructions
Prior to accessing the application form, you should review the instructions provided below. This will help you compile the information and documents required to complete the online application.
You will need the following documents and information:
- The title of your proposed research project.
- A description of your proposed research project following the format detailed in the Research Project Information section provided below. (PDF)
- Your CV (PDF)
Four letters of approval/support (4 PDFs) that will be uploaded directly into the application (see below). These may be statements of support in email correspondence.
- Approval by your Departmental MHS Director* including statement of approval of the time commitment required to participate (35% time each year).
- *If you are applying to the Medical Informatics pathway, you must obtain written approval of your MHS research project from Dr. Edward Melnick as the Departmental MHS Director for Medical Informatics.
- A letter of support from your MHS Advisor, a full-time Yale School of Medicine (YSM) faculty member, stating that they endorse your MHS application and will participate in the 2-3 required meetings each year.
- Letters of support from each of your other two MHS Thesis Committee Members stating that they endorse your MHS application and will participate in the 2-3 required meetings each year.
- Name of Departmental MHS Director.
- Contact information for all three members of your MHS Thesis Committee (including full professional title, degrees, department, email address, and an uploaded approval letter or email correspondence).
- Information regarding prior course completion, if relevant.
- Information regarding tuition payment. (How you plan to pay, i.e. personal funds, departmental, training or career development grant, or combination of).
- Name of departmental administrator responsible for coordinating tuition payment.
Reminder: It is your responsibility to provide your full application to the Departmental MHS Director for review prior to submission.
At least one MHS Thesis Committee member must be from a department or section external to that of the MHS Advisor (MHS Thesis Committee member #1). This committee will meet 2 - 3 times/year with you and will be responsible for approving the Master's thesis project (See section on Additional Requirements).
Research Project Information
Please include a copy of the research project using the following outline:
- Project title.
- How the MHS Degree will aid your career goals.
- Specific aims of the research project, including hypotheses. (1/2 page)
- Previous work in the field, including work by your MHS Advisor, to establish scientific premise of the work proposed. (1-2 pages)
- Methods, including description of research design, study participants (with eligibility criteria), methods, and procedures. Include a clear statistical analysis plan with power calculations as relevant. Please also include details of any collaborative arrangements. (3 pages)
- Describe challenges and experimental problems that may arise, including a plan to overcome these challenges to successfully accomplish the goals of the research project. (1/2 page)
- Scientific impact of the research. (1/2 page)
- Ethical aspects of the proposed research. (1/2 page)
- Literature cited.
- Human Investigation Committee (HIC) approval of protocol, if available.
Listed below are the required courses for the MHS degree.
- IMED 645: Introduction to Biostatistics in Clinical Investigation (2 week summer course )
- IMED 625: Principles of Clinical Research (2 week summer course)
- Sect Ed501 Responsible Conduct of Research (academic year course, 6 sessions of approximately 2 hours each) OR IMED 630: Ethical Issues in Biomedical Research (Fall semester, weekly sessions of 1.5 hours each).
In addition to the above required courses, you must take at least two elective courses. Please work with your MHS Advisor to determine the most appropriate courses for your thesis project. Courses can be found via the Yale Course Search website.
It is expected that you will work on the research project throughout the two years you are conducting research.
- A full-length original thesis which is 50-60 pages in length, and which is reviewed and approved by a three-person thesis committee.
- Meet with your thesis committee 2-3 times a year to evaluate if adequate progress is being made and to provide suggestions for correction if adequate progress is not being made.
- Prepare at least one manuscript for publication in a peer reviewed journal.
- One research presentation per calendar year in a departmental research seminar such as Department/Section Grand Rounds or Research in Progress.
Tuition: The tuition of the MHS degree is $28,000, to be paid at time of matriculation. Tuition may be paid by the matriculant, a sponsoring department, a federal or non-federal grant (eg. T32), or combination thereof. Partial tuition waivers up to $20,000 may be granted at that time of acceptance upon request to the Office of Student Research – please contact email@example.com. Tuition reimbursements for early withdrawal from the program will be made in accordance with Yale University policy.
Completing a Travel Application Form
Details about the reimbursement guidelines.
- We expect students to plan ahead to get the best airfare.
- We will pay for hotel expenses for a maximum of three days but expect that students will find an economical place to stay.
- Meals covered by conference fees or airline ticket fees are not reimbursed.
- If you need transportation where the conference is held, please take public transportation if possible, rather than costly taxis.
For students applying for support for this travel from the Office of Student Research, please follow the following two-step process:
Step one: Before you travel
- Students must apply for travel money at least thirty days before the trip.
- Carefully follow the instructions on this application form: Medical Student Travel Application Form
- Please submit your complete application to the Office of Student Research to the Box@Yale. Note that you will be asked to enter your NetID and password.
- Students must use the naming convention: LNAME_Fname_MeetingAcronym_AcademicYear (i.e.. SMITH_Robert_SID_2022-2023.pdf)
Step two: Within ten days of your return
- Students must submit their expenses within ten business days following their return from travel.
- Students should complete the Travel Reimbursement request form. Students should be prepared to upload PDF copies of the following documents to the form:
- A signed, PDF copy of the Travel Expense Report Form
- A PDF of the conference schedule. A single page with “at a glance” details is acceptable.
- If the student is receiving partial funds from the mentor or department in which the research was performed, then a statement of support with an administrator’s name should be uploaded with the following naming convention: LNAME_Fname_MeetingAcronym_DeptSupport.
- Please use the following naming convention for all files. Files uploaded without following this naming convention may delay the reimbursement process.
- LNAME_Firstname_AcronymAgenda (ie. SMITH_Robert_SIDAgenda)
- Please contact the Office of Student Research at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Evaluations of Advisor
We urge your participation in evaluating your experience with your thesis advisor at this Qualtrics link. The results will be kept anonymous, and any feedback to the individual faculty member will be made over a three- to four-year interval and will be a summarized statement, not involving reproduction or direct quotes from this form.
We will file these evaluations for future use by first and second year students who are looking for a project and research advisor. These evaluations have been immensely valuable to students initiating thesis projects. Thank you for your cooperation in this effort.