PLME Summer Research Assistantship in Social/Behavioral Sciences, Clinical Medicine, or Biomedical Sciences

DEADLINE: Feb 1, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
Overview

Summer Research Assistantships (SRAs) are made available to Brown University's Program in Liberal Medical Education PLME students annually on a competitive basis. SRAs provide PLME students with opportunities to become engaged in a research project under the supervision and mentorship of a Brown faculty member.

Students who are awarded an SRA receive $3,500. Other employment is not usually authorized during the time period of the assistantship (June – August), and academic credit cannot be obtained for work performed under this form of support. Assistantships are typically awarded to students for research conducted on campus or at a Brown-affiliated hospital. Applications for a student and a faculty member to work abroad together will be considered only when both the faculty and the student will be on site together. 

While academic credit cannot be obtained for work performed with an SRA, it is permissible to use the research done during an assistantship as an element of a thesis to be presented toward a degree, and to obtain academic credit if the student decides to develop and continue the project as independent research during the academic year. 

A student who is awarded an SRA and also receives another fellowship from the University (i.e., UTRA, Royce, Mellon Mays) or from another source (i.e., Pfizer) will be asked to choose one source of funding. PLME students should discuss all funding opportunities with their advising dean.

How are SRAs Awarded?
  • Students must submit an application for a specific research project.
  • Student proposals/applications are reviewed by a committee comprised of PLME Advising Deans and Brown faculty.
  • The SRA Committee gives favorable consideration to proposals with a well-delineated research program involving experimental methods and hypotheses that are appropriate to the student's educational and research background. 
Student Information

PLME students identify research projects in one of the following ways:

  1. From a list of research opportunities identified by the PLME office each year,
  2. by identifying a Brown faculty member who would be willing to sponsor your own research project or,
  3. by identifying a Brown faculty member conducting research in an area that is of interest to you and who would be willing to sponsor your SRA.
What you will need for your SRA application:
  1. A faculty sponsor who is a Brown faculty member in the BioMed or Public Health Department or any member of the Brown Clinical faculty. Note: A faculty sponsor may support only one SRA per year.
  2. A project title.
  3. Where the research will be conducted.
  4. A statement describing your background and research experience (note pertinent courses and if applicable, prior research experience)
  5. A letter from the faculty sponsor/mentor(s) containing: a brief evaluation of the project, a formal statement that the necessary space, equipment and supplies will be available, and arrangements have been made to provide the student with faculty guidance and supervision. Notes: If there is a second faculty sponsor/mentor involved in supervising your SRA, a letter should be submitted by that faculty member in addition to the letter from the primary faculty sponsor/mentor.  
  6. A project description that indicates the following:
  • A clearly formulated hypothesis.
  • Specific experimental methods that will be used to test the hypothesis and explain  your approach to the research problem, clearly delineating the research design, methodology, types of controls necessary, methods of analysis, endpoints, etc.
  • State specific aims, methods of procedure, significance of the research, and results obtained by others.
  • Demonstrates methods of data analysis used to reach conclusions.
  • Clearly describes your role in the research project.
What a Student Should Expect from an SRA Faculty Sponsor
  • Expect to meet with your Faculty Sponsor at least once a week.
  • Expect to have clear guidelines from your Faculty Sponsor for their expectations of your work and the timeline for the completion of your work.
  • A Faculty Sponsor is expected to provide a final review of the work you conducted for your SRA.
Faculty Sponsor Information

Brown University campus or hospital-based faculty in the BioMed or Public Health Departments or any member of the Brown Clinical faculty interested in sponsoring a PLME undergraduate student for a Summer Research Assistantship (SRA) in behavioral science, clinical medicine or biomedical science should complete this Google Form by Fri, Oct 14, 2016. 

  • SRAs are fulfilled during a 10 week period from June–Aug, 2017.
  • A faculty sponsor may support only one SRA per year.
  • SRA Faculty Sponsors must be a Brown faculty member in the BioMed or Public Health Departments or any member of the Brown Clinical faculty.
  • It is expected that the student and faculty mentor will meet a minimum of once a week so that there are structured opportunities to discuss the ongoing work.
  • If the faculty mentor anticipates being away for an extended period during the 10 week research period, the faculty letter should indicate how the student will be supported in the faculty's absence.
  • Refer to student application guidelines above.
For Students and Faculty

Faculty proposals for SRA research opportunities are reviewed by the SRA Committee. All SRA applications are submitted by the student to the SRA Committee for review and final award determinations.

The SRA Committee is chaired by the SRA Program Director, Judy Jang, MD and several Brown faculty members. Dr. Jang is also a PLME advising dean.

When reviewing student applications/proposals, the SRA Committee reviews student applications/proposals using the NIH scoring guidelines .

The SRA Committee gives favorable consideration to proposals with a well-delineated research program involving experimental methods and hypotheses that are appropriate to the student's educational and research background

If your project involves human subjects or animal subjects, please provide documentation of Brown University IRB or IACUC approval with your application. (For human subjects, this includes data collection from living individuals through interaction or intervention, or data collection of identifiable, private information through secondary data analysis.) Please provide documentation that verifies approval by the respective IRB of the institution where the research will be carried out, if other than Brown University. For guidelines on use of human subjects, visit http://research.brown.edu/rschadmin/hrpo.php

Please do not hesitate to contact Susan Toppin, Sr. IRB Manager (863-9206) or Susan Carton-Lopez, IRB Manager (863-9639).  

 

SRA Timeline
October
PLME Office accepts faculty proposals for PLME SRA research opportunities/projects
PLME Office publishes list of approved campus or hospital-based research opportunities/projects
November
PLME Research Information Panel. An annual information session, open to all PLME students, with robust, detailed information about undergraduate research opportunities and application protocols at Brown in general as well as specific research opportunities for the PLME student.
February

Feb 1, 2017, 5:00 pm: Student applications are due.

Mid February 2017: Student applications are reviewed by the SRA Committee.

Notifications sent to student applicants.
September
PLME SRA Final reports are due to the SRA Program Director
SRA Faculty Sponsor student evaluations letters are due to the SRA Program Director

 

 

SRA Program Director

Judy Jang, MD, PLME Advising Dean

Tel: 401 863 9790