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The Carolina Medical Student Research Program

The Carolina Medical Student Research Program (CMSRP) is a combination of five main funding sources:

  • NIDDK Short- Term Research Training Grant
  • Medical Alumni Association
  • Office of Research

Together, these sources grant stipends for about 40 students to engage in research each year. Projects are short-term (eight weeks) and are conducted in the summer after the first year of medical school. Occasionally, one-year or short-term school year projects are funded, as money is available.

Each student finds their own mentor and develops a research project to submit with their application. The application process has been intentionally designed to mimic the grant funding process of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For students planning to apply for grants in the future, this program will provide an insight into the granting process.

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Medical students who have completed one semester at UNC Chapel Hill and are in good standing are eligible to apply. Most students (80%) participate in the CMSRP the summer after their first year. Students are expected to work full-time on their projects. Different funding sources have different eligibility requirements. The Office of Medical Student Research will work with students to confirm their eligibility before funds are awarded. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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Students are required to participate in a series of courses and informal meetings if these are held while they are doing their research. Your specific program may stipulate other alternative training sessions if research is being conducted from September to May. All students must have IRB/IACUC approvals before the start of the project, with no exceptions. At the end of the research experience, students must submit a short report (2-3 pages) and abstract (250 words) describing their findings.

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The stipend amount awarded depends on the funding source and the length of the proposed research project. The current average stipend amount for the NIDDK STRT grant and other funding sources for 2023 is $4.392 for an eight-week project. Each stipend will be administered in two payments, the first being a month after you start your research and the second after you have fulfilled the requirements at the end of your project. Funds will be distributed via direct deposit.

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Application Process

The deadline for applying for funding for the summer (May through August) of 2024 is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 23, 2024. Students interested in funding for one-year projects must also submit their applications before this deadline.

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