Basic and Translational Research

Program Overview

The Basic and Translational Research (BTR) Program at the Alpert Medical School links medical students with faculty and their research projects on the molecular basis and pathobiology of cardiovascular, blood, and pulmonary diseases and related conditions, and/or the outcomes of prevention and treatment of these diseases. Funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the BTR Program is a longitudinal experience that includes didactic training and a mentored research experience, with a goal of promoting the career development of potential physician researchers.

We encourage students participating in the BTR Program to also participate in the Scholarly Concentrations (SC) Program. For example, a student conducting research on the molecular aspects of atherogenesis may want to join the scholarly concentration in Aging. A student conducting research on the efficacy of a new drug-impregnated cardiac stent may want to join the scholarly concentration in Medical Technology and Innovation. However, participation in the SC Program is not required to participate in the BTR Program.

Thirty-two faculty members have agreed to serve as summer research preceptors for this program. Their project descriptions are appended to this announcement. These trainers offer research opportunities in a broad range of disciplines that span the spectrum from basic to translational to epidemiological research.

BTR Program Summer Stipend

First year medical students who are accepted into the BTR Program will receive a summer stipend of $4,214. The stipend will be distributed in one lump sum at the end of June. The contact for this program is Kathleen Chien at 863-2731.  The summer stipend is not reportable by the University to the IRS, and students will not receive a W2 for these payments. According to the IRS, these funds are not taxable as long as they are used for "qualified tuition and related expenses" (tuition, books, fees, required supplies and equipment) associated with enrollment for degree seeking candidates. The student is expected to report any taxable income from the stipend support directly to the IRS.

Students participating in the BTR Program are not eligible to receive any other concomitant summer funding.

Program Timeline

Year I

Students review approved BTR project descriptions and contact the appropriate faculty member(s). Together, the student and faculty mentor develop a summer research project and construct a proposal to be submitted by the February deadline. Visit the funding page for examples of high quality funded applications.

Summer

During the summer months between Years I and II, students engage in a 9-week research project and participate in a seminar series on core research topics, including the ethical conduct of research. (These didactic sessions will be open to all medical students, but required for BTR Program participants.)

Year II

Student participants will present a poster at the annual Summer Showcase in December. Students are encouraged to continue their research projects during the year, utilizing the Wednesdays that are set aside for self-directed learning. Students who are also participating in the SC Program will continue to attend concentration area meetings and events throughout the year.

Year III

Students are encouraged to continue their research project. Students should work with their faculty mentor to develop plans for continued research and/or manuscript preparation.

Year IV

Students are encouraged to continue their research project. Students will submit a final scholarly work (likely in the form of a scholarly manuscript) for evaluation.

Application Process

If you would like to apply to the BTR Program AND are also interested in participating in the SC Program, simply fill out the SC Program Application form and indicate that you are interested in BTR Program funding. Please follow all SC Program Application guidelines in terms of project descriptions, faculty letters of support, etc.

If you would like to apply to the BTR Program ONLY, please fill out the Summer Funding Application form and indicate that you are interested in BTR Program funding. Please follow all Summer Funding Application guidelines in terms of project descriptions, faculty letters of support, etc.