Research Affairs

Timothy Broderick, M.D., Associate Dean

SMD 617: Research Learning Community 2

DEPARTMENT: Research Affairs

COURSE DIRECTORS & FACULTY: Amber McCurdy. Other faculty to be determined

TIME & LOCATION: October-April; monthly seminars and workshops in White Hall

PREREQUISITES: MS 2 in good academic standing

The research elective for M2 students builds on the concepts and activities established in SMD 616 (Research Learning Community 1). The M2 elective provides a supportive environment for continuation or completion of research projects begun in SMD 616, but SMD 616 is not a prerequisite.* The M2 elective also supports students who continue to participate in extracurricular or SIE (student initiated elective) research projects.

Admission to SMD 617 is based on the following options:

Option 1 – Ongoing participation in a faculty mentored research project during the second year of medical school. Students will document this work with a research plan, quarterly activity reports, and a final report including future research directions. Student work leading to presentation/publication of research findings is strongly encouraged.

Option 2 – Ongoing leadership in the Research Learning Community during the second year of medical school. In addition to taking leadership roles in the Medical Student Research Club and Journal Club, students will plan and complete a faculty-mentored project based on organizing research meetings and publications. Students will document this work with a project plan, quarterly activity reports, and a final report including future directions for the learning community.   

SMD 617 will have monthly meetings including class seminars and workshops, Research Learning Community seminars, the BSOM Central Research Forum (held in October), and the annual Medical Student Research Symposium (held in April). Students are required to make an oral presentation and lead a discussion at one of these RLC venues.

* Students who have not taken the CITI course on the protection of human subjects included in SMD 616) will need to acquire this certification to be enrolled in SMD 617.


  1. Participate in a faculty-mentored research or leadership project. (50%)
  2. Participate in a research-focused learning community organized around monthly seminars, lectures, and other meetings. (30%)
  3. Prepare and lead a seminar or Journal Club discussion on  recent research. (10%)
  4. Write timely project management reports. (10%)    


  1. Gain further experience with research project management.
  2. Learn collaboration strategies and skills through engagement with a research-focused learning community.
  3. Develop skills in effective oral presentation and discussion.
  4. Develop skills in writing project plans and reports.


  1. Students will receive a grade of Pass/Fail.
  2. Students will be evaluated by the faculty mentor related to ongoing research or leadership projects.
  3. Students will be evaluated by the course director related to level of engagement with the Research Learning Community.
  4. Final evaluations for the BSOM records management system will be submitted by the course director.

ELECTIVE CREDIT: 1 elective (80 hours)

Enrollment in SMD 617 is by permission of the course director. Please contact Amber McCurdy,, to schedule an interview. The enrollment deadline is September 30.