Research and Scholarship Opportunities
Alpert Medical School encourages scholarly activity throughout the four years of medical training. Rather than imposing a graduation requirement, the School facilitates scholarship by providing curricular opportunities and resources, supporting a culture of scholarly achievement, encouraging students' development as a critical thinker, and fostering creativity and engagement.
The Scholarly Concentrations Program, the establishment of self-study days (Wednesdays) throughout Year 2, the broad basic and translational research opportunities at Brown, the ample independent study time during the clinical years—all are intended to encourage and enable students to complete scholarly work.
Scholarly Concentrations Program
One of Alpert Medical School’s innovative offerings is the Scholarly Concentrations Program. Students who elect
to participate in the program pursue a course of study beyond the conventional medical education curriculum and complete a scholarly product.
Introduced during the first year, the program offers the chance to translate personal interests into intensive, longitudinal, cross-disciplinary study. Rigorous independent scholarship is offered in more than a dozen areas, including global health, aging, and informatics.
Once students declare an area of concentration at the end of their first year, they complete a summer immersion experience. Then, over the next three years, they work with a concentration mentor -- an expert in the chosen field -- to complete a final academic product that makes a significant contribution to scholarship in that field.
Students receive guidance throughout the process: the School provides robust advising services to help students identify and pursue the right opportunity.
Opportunities to gain research experience abound at Alpert Medical School.
Each year, the School and its affiliates receive more than $213 million in external research funding that represents the full spectrum of scientific and clinical disciplines.
Alpert Medical School students are an active part of this research. Eighty-one percent of the MD Class of 2010 participated in community-based research projects during their four years, for example—that’s 56 percent higher than the national average. Research typically results in published papers and conference presentations, and can take the form of a brief independent study, a longitudinal experience, an additional year of study, a summer experience, or a second degree program.
At Brown, laboratories in both clinical and basic science research welcome medical students. Medical students choose from a variety of research settings available in the seven Alpert Medical School-affiliated hospitals, in the laboratories located on or adjacent to the main campus, and in the University’s 10 public health research centers.
The Brown Institute for Brain Science
Brown is a leader in brain-related research. Efforts are centered at the Brown Institute for Brain Science (BIBS), which includes more than 100 Brown faculty and is headed by Brown parent John Donoghue, a world-renowned neuroscientist who developed BrainGate—the most sophisticated brain-computer interface yet tested in humans. The Institute’s 11 research areas—including neurobiology of disease and behavior and motor control—offer exceptional research opportunities for medical students.
COBRE Grant Programs
The University and affiliated hospitals have received a number of substantial grants from the NIH’s Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). These awards—designed to strengthen institutional biomedical research capability and enhance research infrastructure—have helped launch several critical centers for faculty and student research, including the Brown University Center for Genomics and Proteomics and its Center for Cancer Signaling Networks, the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for Skeletal Health and Repair, and a COBRE stem cell research center.