Virginia Tech® home

Research Mentors

Research Mentors

What does it mean to be a mentor?

By agreeing to be a research mentor for a medical student, faculty are committing to 3 years of research supervision. As mentors, faculty will help identify an original ‘hypothesis-driven’ project that is expected to significantly improve, delineate or expand our knowledge and understanding of a relevant, health-related issue.

We anticipate that the research project proposed will have been vetted by the mentor to ensure a balance between scientific rigor and realistic expectations of a medical student with variable levels of time allotted over the course of a 3-year program.

Projects, may come from a variety of settings (wet labs, computational labs, clinics, community settings, schools, etc.). Importantly, the scope of the project defined by the medical student and the mentor will serve as the backdrop for us to achieve our instructional objective – developing physicians with enhanced research skills (scientist physicians).

Mentors will assist the student in

  • understanding the scope and nature of the work to be performed
  • establishing testable hypotheses related to the work as well as suitable specific aims and study designs to test them
  • obtaining the skills and methodologies necessary to perform the investigational components of the studies 
  • performing experimental studies
  • interpreting the experimental results obtained
  • preparing, editing and submitting a summary document of publishable quality, preparing a formal oral presentation of the student’s work and preparing an abstract for submission for consideration at an appropriate meeting

Research Mentor Handbook

To learn more about the mentoring experience and what is expected of a mentor, please consult the Research Mentor Handbook.