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SCHOLARLY STUDY GUIDELINES GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS
- Scholarly pursuit projects must be focused, mentored and full-time commitments. A key aspect of this activity is that it must revolve around a specific hypothesis and the outcome of the project should involve work that aims to test this hypothesis. This requirement is fulfilled by a 3-month project, a year-long project (post Module 4), or by earning a second degree after matriculation into medical school.
- The steps to register a scholarly pursuit project are:
Students who are accepted for a year-long program with a specific project may use the application as part of the scholarly pursuit paperwork.
Students are expected to devote at least three months to this project with consecutive months preferred. The mentor is responsible for approving the structure of the project and the time commitment per week. If the project period includes residency interviews or non-consecutive months, the mentor and student need to agree that the project's goals will be met. In many cases, the student might be able to continue his/her work by analyzing results, collecting data, independent reading, etc.
If a student selects a bench project which is supervised by a non-Penn mentor, then a Penn Med faculty member must approve the project, including the mentor, and the paper.
If a student selects a non-bench project which is supervised by a non-Penn mentor, special approval is needed from Dr. Goldfarb.
All students must register for their Scholarly Pursuit Project by September 1 before graduation even if the research starts later in the Fall. Papers need to be submitted within 30 days after the project ends with March 31 (before graduation) being the last possible due date. Students who elect to extend their medical education to 5 years need to submit a proposal before starting a project.
To extend a project beyond the original date, submit an email to Maria Hernandez indicating that your mentor has approved the extension. To change project topics, the proposal form must be re-submitted to Maria Hernandez.
A final written report is required and one of the following are acceptable:
- submit logistical details via the on-line form
- print logistical details along with the mentor form
- prepare a three-page proposal which includes the items listed below.
- Project Title
- Hypothesis—A statement of the concept to be tested.
- Specific Aims—describe what the specific research is intended to accomplish.
- Background and Significance
State the fundamental problem motivating this area of research and the importance of the project, i.e., how the specific aims will contribute to the solution of the problem.
- Research Design and Data Analysis
Describe the designed experiments/procedures to be used to accomplish the specific aims. It must include details of analytic methods including.
- Approval process
If the study is subject to IRB approval, please be sure that approval has already been obtained.
Describe the mentorship, which will be received while working on this project. Please include how often meetings will be held with the faculty mentor and please list other individuals, who may play a mentoring role.
Describe the techniques that will be used and how data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted (less than ½ page). Descriptions should be brief, for example: "I will use standard immunoprecipitation techniques, in vitro translation…etc, which are already used routinely in the lab of Dr.____".
- have documents (2 and 3 above) reviewed and signed by the mentor.
- submit completed materials to Maria Hernandez one month before the project starts. Maria will obtain Dr. Goldfarb’s or Dr. Brass’ approval.
- A draft of a manuscript submitted for publication.
- A final report, which should be approximately 15 pages double spaced and include:
- An opening paragraph (approximately 300 words) summarizing the project and results.
- A brief statement of the hypotheses that were tested.
- Background information section – this can be from the proposal submitted before the research started.
- A description of the results that were obtained.
- A description of any unexpected problems that arose – and how they were overcome.
- Your conclusions – tentative or definite – and a discussion of what they mean.
- A description of what you would do next ("future directions") if you were to continue the project.
The manuscript or paper needs to be submitted to the mentor and to Charita Brown. Evaluations (of students and of mentor) will be collected via OASIS.