Scholarly Concentration Program

In-Depth Scholarly Pursuits

This is an elective program through which Alpert medical students may pursue a course of study beyond the scope of their conventional curriculum and to translate personal interests and activities into scholarship. Students who participate in a Scholarly Concentration undertake rigorous independent scholarship in a cross-disciplinary field of interest related to medicine, public health, engineering, or a biomedically relevant topic in the sciences, arts, or humanities. Currently there are thirteen scholarly concentration areas:

Program Goals and Benefits

The Scholarly Concentration Program was developed to promote scholarly excellence at Alpert Medical School; to produce scholarly leaders in medicine, research, education, and advocacy; and to enrich the student experience, the Medical School community, and the greater society.

Essential elements of the Scholarly Concentrations experience include:

  • Rigorous independent scholarship
  • Cross-disciplinary study
  • Mentored relationships
  • Group seminars/courses
  • Scholarly work across Years I-IV of medical school
  • Submission of a scholarly product

Participating students benefit from the faculty mentor relationship that is central to the Concentrations Program.  Students may have the opportunity to publish their work and/or present at national conferences.  Additional Faculty mentoring is a key component of the Scholarly Concentration Program.Faculty mentoring is a key component of the Scholarly Concentration Program.benefits to students include discussion of their concentration work in students’ Dean’s Letters, a certificate upon completion of the program, and recognition of their accomplishments at graduation.

Program Timeline

Students pursue a Concentration during the summer between Years I & II, during the self-directed learning time in Year II, and during elective and clerkship time in Years III and IV.

Year I

Students identify an area of interest and a faculty mentor.  Together, they develop a summer project, investigate summer funding opportunities, and outline a four-year plan to complete the concentration requirements.  Completed applications are due to the Scholarly Concentrations Office in February. Visit the funding page for examples of high quality funded applications.


During the summer months between Years I and II, students engage in an in-depth summer experience (~8-10 weeks).  This summer work will provide the scaffolding upon which the four-year Concentration, and the final scholarly product, will be built. The primary source of funding for summer work is through Summer Assistantships.  At the end of the summer students submit a Progress Report form to the Scholarly Concentrations Office.

Year II

Students continue their participation in the Concentration through the utilization of self-directed learning time (Wednesdays) and through attendance of courses/seminars as required by the Concentration.  At the end of Year II, students submit a second Progress Report to the Scholarly Concentrations Office.

Year III

Students continue their participation in the Concentration through independent work during clerkship rotations and through the choice of electives related to their concentration area. Students will be asked to submit a final Progress Report to the Scholarly Concentrations Office.

Tips on how to integrate concentration work into a clinical schedule.

Year IV

Students will continue their participation in the Concentration through independent work during clerkship rotations and through the choice of electives related to their concentration area.  Students will present their scholarly project for approval in February/March of Year IV as required by their Concentration area Directors. Students are required to post their work electronically to the AMS Scholarly Concentration Program Gallery, an online collection of students' digital scholarship archived in the Brown Digital Repository (BDR).

Application Process

Interested students should:

  • Explore the different concentration areas and choose one that is of interest.
  • Meet with the concentration area Director(s) prior to winter break to discuss potential summer projects and final scholarly products.
  • Develop a proposal for participation in the concentration area and apply for funding as needed.
    As you begin to work on your academic product, librarians are available for one-on-one research consultation, to help you with all aspects of the research process, including:
    • Figuring out research topic ideas
    • Finding background information on your topic
    • Identifying high quality, scholarly resources for your topic or project
    • Strategizing on how to manage citations
  • Contact to set up a research session.
  • As you develop your proposal and progress through the completion of your academic product, research methodology, evaluation design, and statistical analysis consulting is available by the Assistant Director of Assessment and Evaluation in the Office of Medical Education.  Please contact Kristina Monteiro ( to set up an appointment. 

Program Participation

  • There is no penalty for students who elect not to participate in the Scholarly Concentrations Program.  Many students will continue to focus on the core preclinical and clinical curriculum, and to pursue their extra-curricular interests outside of the SC Program structure. 
  • Any change from good academic standing may result in a student being required to withdraw from the Program. These situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the SC Program Steering Committee.
  • Acceptance in a particular concentration area will be determined by the Concentration Director(s) based on the merit of the proposed project and the number of student spots available in that particular Concentration.

Program Contact Information

Thais Mather, PhD

Administrative Coordinator
Jennifer Brear