Research Scholar Program




The Research Scholar Program provides first-year medical students the opportunity to participate in the continuum of research — from idea creation to data collection, to a scientific publication, or a presentation at an international conference. It is a consecutive, 20-month longitudinal research project. Please note that the Research Scholar Program is not open to MD/PhD students. If you are an MD/PhD and would like information on what research programs are open to you please contact Kendra Hawke.

The Research Scholar Program consists of a mentored research project, which is supervised by at least one full-time faculty member at the University of Toronto (U of T). The candidate supervisor must also be appointed to a graduate unit at the University of Toronto (e.g. Immunology, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Institute of Medical Science, etc.) and have a proven record of commitment as a student mentor.

The Research Scholar Program provides students with a pathway to develop scholarship and an interest in medical science. The program is also specifically designed for medical students in a way that complements the medical curriculum. It is a great opportunity to explore basic biomedical, clinical, population or health services research as a potential career option. You will also gain valuable knowledge and skills, including:

  • research methodology
  • experiment design
  • statistical analysis
  • biomedical ethics
  • problem solving
  • critical thinking
  • oral presentation of the research findings
  • a reasonable expectation for a first authored publication

All of these skills are essential to becoming competent physicians, whether or not students seek to pursue further research in the future.


Project Catalogue

Check back next year! 2019 project catalogue will be posted in November / December 2018



Student eligibility

The Research Scholar Program is open to all first-year U of T medical students. Only students in good academic standing are eligible.

Supervisor eligibility

Potential supervisors must have Associate or Full member appointments to the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies (SGS) and a demonstration of previous student mentorship, as well as the available funds to supply half of the stipend.

Program length

This program runs for 20 consecutive months, from the start of January of a given year to August 31 of the following year (i.e. from the start of second term of Year 1 medicine until the end of August between Year 2 and Year 3 medicine). The 20-month program includes four weeks of vacation, to be negotiated with the student's supervisor.


Students participating in the program receive a stipend of $15,000 for the entire 20-month period. CREMS program will contribute $7,500 and the research supervisor will be responsible for $7,500.

The supervisor is also responsible for any extraneous study and travel expenses (which include, but are not limited to, conferences, meetings, poster printing, etc.). The stipend will be paid on a per month basis over the 20-month duration.

Application process

  1. Supervisor Project submissions will be accepted until November 3, 2017.
  2. Approved projects will then be posted on our website and a notification will go out to all first-year students (Late December).
  3. Students wishing to work on a project on the list must directly contact the supervisor, who will interview the student(s).
  4. When an agreement between a student and supervisor is reached, the supervisor must complete the Mentor Agreement Form e-mail it to the CREMS Program Office. Please have the Supervisor contact the CREMS office to obtain a copy of the form.

The number of student/mentor pairs accepted into the program is dependent on the available CREMS funding. For 2018,  we expect to be able to fund 8-10 students. Qualified student/mentor pairs will be determined by a CREMS Advisory Committee made up of faculty members from various specialities.

Students accepted into the program will be notified in December before the holidays. Prior to the start of the program, a statement of agreement form will be provided to successful student/mentor pairs, and must be signed by the supervisor and student. This agreement will outline the specific responsibilities for both the student and the mentor during the program.

Final acceptance into the program will be granted at the end of January following a full review of the student's academic standing (i.e. grades achieved in midterm exams). 

Requirements for successful completion

In order to successfully complete the Research Scholar Program, the program requirements must be met, in addition to completing the proposed research project. Failure to complete these requirements may result in the student being terminated from the program.

You will be required to complete three short reports during your time in the program. The due dates are as follows:

Please direct any questions to the CREMS Programs Office.

Related links


  • The CREMS Research Scholar Program is generously supported by the McLaughlin Centre and our visionary donor endowments. Previous projects supported through McLaughlin funds are listed here.
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