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Senior Scholars Program


The goals of the Senior Scholars Program are: 1) to provide an opportunity for fourth year/advanced studies medical students to have a structured research experience; 2) to develop hypothesis-generating skills; 3) to provide an opportunity for students considering academic careers; and 4) to foster student-mentor relationships. The program affords students an introduction to the philosophy of research that is based on answering scholarly questions through hypothesis generation, information gathering, experimentation and critical interpretation. The research project is a tool for growth in an evidence-based health care environment.

The Senior Scholars Program has broadened its definition of scholarly work beyond typical basic science and population-based epidemiologic research studies. In the past, students have also completed projects in a variety of venues, including quality improvement, health policy, medical education, program evaluation, and community-based/public health needs assessments. Many students have published their work in peer- reviewed journals and/or presented their findings at regional or national meetings, serving as a platform for subsequent academic endeavors.

Senior Scholars are required to devote a minimum of two months to their scholarly research project under the guidance of a faculty member. The months do not have to be contiguous and projects may even be done at a site outside of UMass Chan, including international settings.

Senior Scholars are asked to meet with their mentor at least weekly/bi-weekly and convene as a group at one of the Senior Scholars Program Committee quarterly meetings to discuss the progress of their work.

Senior Scholars are required to submit a 1-2 page Abstract of their work by the end of March of their graduation year. Lastly, each student participates in “Senior Scholars Presentation Day” preparing a scientific poster and sharing ideas with medical school peers and faculty members. The presentation of all Senior Scholars posters is typically held in late April/early May.

This content is current to the 2021-2022 Student Handbook.