Long School of Medicine

Research Elective

Goal of the Elective

The goal of this elective is to immerse students in a rich, mentored research environment and provide an opportunity to fully engage in the research process, from writing the proposal to collecting the data to disseminating research results. We recognize that students cannot begin, implement and complete a research project in four weeks. We anticipate that students may enter this rotation at three possible stages in the research process: (1) developing a new project, (2) continuing work for an ongoing project, or (3) completing data analysis and write-up of a completed project.


Students must submit their completed application for this elective rotation no later than four weeks prior to the start of the rotation. Make sure to submit your online application before the deadline.

Research Mentors

Must be UT Health San Antonio or UT School of Public Health faculty. Students seeking mentors can review the searchable Faculty Mentor List page, Faculty Profiles, or Research Connect. Special circumstances may be considered to allow for an off-campus mentor. To request this option, please contact somresearch@uthscsa.edu.


Applications must be submitted via SurveyMonkey Apply and must include (1) a plan for conducting research by the student and (2) a mentoring plan endorsed by the mentor. The completed form is due four weeks prior to beginning the rotation, failure to submit the form within this timeframe may result in rejection of the application.

  • Research Plan: The Research Plan will cite the project's specific aims, significance, innovation, approach, and timeline. The timeline must be specific.
  • Mentoring Plan: The Mentoring Plan will cite the mentor's expectations for the student's work, the resources to be made available to the student during the rotation, a supervision plan, and a signed agreement to serve as the student's mentor during this rotation. NOTE: The faculty mentor is responsible for ensuring that students working on projects are in compliance with regulatory requirements and UT Health San Antonio policies (i.e., training in human subjects protection, clinical research training, IRB and IACUC policies and procedures, etc.).

Additional Forms

Progress Report and Hours Log Template (MUST be signed by mentor!) Final Report: At the end of the research elective, students must submit a final written report and hours log to the SOM Research Office. These are due no later than two weeks following the end of the elective, or prior to your last official class day if the research elective is completed within two weeks of your graduation. These documents MUST be uploaded via Canvas.

Students developing a new project, one of the following are appropriate to document your activities during the elective:

  • A complete IRB proposal
  • A complete IACUC proposal
  • A detailed research proposal
  • A research progress report

Students already engaged in an ongoing project, you must submit a research progress report.

For students completing a project, you must submit one of the following:

  • A research poster
  • A brief report of findings
  • A full manuscript draft
  • A completed manuscript
  • A research progress report

Research with Humans and Animals

All research involving animal or human subjects, specimens, or records is governed by federal regulations to protect subjects and their privacy. These regulations apply to medical students and their projects. Students must have specific training in relevant research ethics (available online, see below) and must submit applications for IRB or IACUC approval in advance of collecting data. There are no exceptions. Turnaround time for IRB or IACUC approval can be six weeks or longer, depending on the risk to the subject for participating in the study. Faculty mentors are responsible for ensuring student compliance on these any other regulatory or university policies appropriate to their research activities.

Note: Any research done with human subjects in non-UT Health San Antonio institutions (such as University Hospital or clinics, VA Hospital or clinics, or other hospitals, community programs or agencies) will require approval by that institution in addition to UT Health San Antonio approval. This step requires additional preparation and wait time. Discuss the approval process with your mentor early in the collaboration to ensure realistic timelines for completing project milestones.

Questions regarding the Medical Student Research Elective can be directed to somresearch@uthscsa.edu or 210-450-8392.