The Medical Student Research Program

The Medical Student Research Program at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus focuses on providing a venue in which first-year medical students can get research experience between their first and second years of Medical School. Students are able to choose an area(s) of interest and through our program are paired with investigators in those fields. Research mentors are Medical School faculty and/or clinicians from the Duluth campus, Essentia Health, or St. Luke’s. Areas of research are typically clinical in nature and range from basic science to extraction of data from electronic medical records. Research mentors guide project design and students are encouraged to help write study protocols and participate in completing documentation for the Institutional Review Board when necessary. Stipends for student support and lab supplies may be available.

In recent years about one-third of the first-year class (20+ students) have participated in the Medical Student Research Program. Since 2015, the program has culminated with a Medical Student Research Symposium held each spring semester of the students’ second-year of Medical School. During the program, students are given the opportunity to present an oral presentation and participate in a poster session.

In addition to providing a venue to gain valuable research experience during training, medical students also gain access to an extended network of professionals with whom they can connect throughout their careers. Students and investigators who have questions, or are interested in participating in this program are encouraged to contact Dr. Clara Smoniewski (