Clinical and Translational Research


The Scholarly Concentration in Research offers a longitudinal, in-depth research opportunity for medical students to form new mentors, explore new research areas, reinforce research skills and build new research competencies.

The scholarly concentration requirements are outlined on the Office of Student Professional Enrichment website.  The required application, summer research proposal, reflection paper, and scholarly projects are all completed in the Medical Professional Development (MPD) Blackboard site.

The research scholarly concentration builds upon resources in the Evidence-Based Medicine thread in the curriculum, and uses resources in Himmelfarb Library (including Research Guides: Systematic Reviews, Research Methods and more).

See the Tutorials on different databases, study design 101, poster preparation and more!


Overall Objectives and Timeline:

MS1: Explore and Apply to the Research Track. Information Sessions and Orientations are provided in the Fall to familiarize students with the program.

  • The Scholarly Concentration Application is due in the Fall.

MS1: Identify a Research Mentor for Summer Internship. Students are required to participate in an experiential opportunity for at least 8 weeks in the summer after the first year of medical school. A critical objective is to find a research mentor and begin to consider funding for the summer.

  • Identify possible mentors from among faculty at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (explore the faculty guide and/or GW Expert Finder) or the Children’s National Hospital Annual Report, or programs for medical students at the National Institutes of Health 
  • Email prospective mentors and learn if they can host a medical student and discuss possible projects, and possible funding
  • Some students may prefer to participate in research at another university, perhaps at an institution near a home town. Consider using the Winter intersession to visit and establish this opportunity.
  • Please share the Mentor Expectations with your mentor
  • Summer Internship Proposals are due in May

MS1: Consider winning a fellowship to support your summer research!
• There are numerous fellowships available to support medical students in summer research (see Medical Student Fellowships and explore the Opportunities Database). Most fellowship applications are due in the Spring.
• GW SMHS also offers the Gill and Health Services Scholarships

MS1 and MS2: Lecture/Workshop Series. Students are required to attend the majority of the lecture/workshop series within their area of Scholarly Concentration during their first and second years of medical school

  • Lectures often take place once a month. Remember to sign in.
  • In some cases, approved* lectures from other SC areas or programs may be sufficient to meet this objective. 
  • Second year students are required to participate in the lecture/workshop Series during the Fall semester (not during the Spring semester)

*It is strongly recommended for students receive confirmation from their Scholarly Concentration Directors in advance that an event outside of the Series will count toward this requirement. Students will need to provide documentation of attendance.

MS1/2 Summer: The Research Internship
• A reflection paper on the summer internships are due in August
• Prepare your research poster before the summer ends! Plan to present in Research Days at GW or Children’s National Health Center in the Spring


MS3/4: Scholarly Project. All medical students are required to propose a scholarly project to enhance their research, and complete the project during their fourth year. The following are potential options to meet the requirement:

  • A presentation of a primary research project at a local/regional meeting where the student is an author. Provide the name and date of the meeting. For a primary IRB-approved clinical or translational project, describe the function of the student in the IRB protocol. 
  • A research poster that has been accepted and presented at GWU or CNHS Research Day or at a regional or national meeting along with its one-page abstract as an MS4. This is separate from any poster presented at Research Day as an MS2. No manuscript is required with the poster; a copy of the poster itself is required.
  • A published or publishable systematic review of a specific clinical disorder or research methodology or less commonly, a topic or health policy issue that has current clinical and translational significance. This project must document the involvement of a Himmelfarb librarian and may involve established approaches for systematic review. When writing up the results of a systematic review, you must include detail about the methods you followed and decisions as to studies to include/exclude. The format should be Current Concepts in the New England Journal of Medicine; besides narrative, tables, figures, current detailed citation list is expected.
  • A scholarly report on case series or small group of similar cases including at least 5 patients, with a detailed literature review. Note that 5 patients will require IRB approval. The case series should be written up in JAMA or a disease specific journal format and indicate the journal format. It should demonstrate knowledge of the disease/ disorder, a rationale for why the case series was chosen for analysis, presentation of the cases with figures and tables, statistical analysis if required and a discussion section that highlights new knowledge gained with current, detailed references. A case report on a single patient will not satisfy the requirement.


MS3/4: Scholarly Concentration Elective.  Scholarly Concentration participants must complete a 4-6 week elective in the fourth year related to their chosen concentration. This might include continued or new mentored research, or completion of a related course. 

  • Continued research with your research mentor during your scholarly elective time with the expectation that there will be additional publication and/or skills learned.  If you decide to go this route, it's important that IDIS 363 is listed within your 4th year schedule.
  • IDIS 370: International Translational Research 
  • IDIS 303: Introduction to Systematic Reviews, and others, upon approval

If you encounter difficulties, please feel free to contact the Research Scholarly Concentration Co-Directors, Dr. Naomi Luban, CNHS, and Dr. Alison Hall, GW,