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Gaining Research Experience

If you are seeking a medical education with a strong research component, proving that you are able and interested in research will be critical to your success. There are hundreds of opportunities across the US, but at the same time, competition for a research spot, particularly a paid one is intense. Being proactive here is vital. Don’t leave it until the last minute.

Admissions - Gaining Experience
Student sharing her research during VTCSOM's annual Research Symposium

Tips for Finding Research Opportunities

Start local

Your academic advisor should be able to help you to identify courses that have strong research components within them. These research components might naturally lead into a more fully developed research opportunity. Even if you are not able to take additional courses, the easiest place to start looking for opportunities is within your own college or university by talking with academics.

Financial considerations

Creating your own research opportunity as outlined above could mean that it is unpaid. So look for help through your college or university, local benevolent funds, grants, sponsorship or charitable donations to help support you.

Journal your research experiences

We recommend that you journal your research experiences so that you can easily recall the highlights for your AMCAS application. Also remember that your fellow researchers and professors could hold the key to your future success. Show up with your highest degree of professionalism to create a great impression and ensure that you are able to gain a strong letter of recommendation on completion of your research.

Two researchers wearing hair nets and masks in the lab reviewing data on a laptop.

Virginia Tech Opportunities

Virginia Tech has a range of opportunities to pursue and a good place to start looking is the office of undergraduate research.

Two programs to highlight are Virginia Tech's MAOP and FBRI's NeuroSURF. 

Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program (MAOP) Undergraduate Summer Research Internship (SRI)

Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC's Translational Neurobiology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowsup (NeuroSURF)

Other Published Research Opportunities

Check Association of American Medical Colleges, for research opportunities and especially the summer health professions education program.