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Student Education and Research Fellowship (SERF) Program 

The SERF program is a structured to provide graduate and medical students with research skills and practical experience in conducting research independently. Research methods and data analysis strategies are emphasized. Students gain valuable experience assessing the validity of current clinical practice standards as well as determining the significance of their own findings.

Several IU School of Medicine students choose to participate in this program during the summer between their first and second years to gain scientific and clinical research experience. Opportunities are available to do research in various clinical specialties through this nine-week program. Scholarships are available for participants in the program.

Program Requirements

Graduate and Medical student participants must be in good standing to participate in the program.  All participants are required to successfully complete CITI training modules and student requirements of the research sites. Sponsors/preceptors are encouraged to participate in the recruitment of students and to provide students with guidance and work space. As part of the practical component of the program, students are expected to work independently on data collection, analysis and report preparation for research projects developed by the preceptors.

Apply to Participate

To be considered for the 2021 Student Education and Research Fellowship (SERF) Program, applicants must complete and submit the program application by 5 pm on January 29, 2021. For details about the Student Research Fellowship Program, call the IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne office at 260-481-6730 or contact Gina Bailey at


Program Structure

  • Program Structure

    Graduate and medical students will work independently on their research topics under the advisement and direction of preceptors and research staff.  Additionally, SERF administrators will provide additional support for students.

    Opportunities will be available for students to mentor undergraduate students through a six-week program designed for undergraduate students interested in research.

  • Student Eligibility

    Review criteria for selection of student participants include strong academic records, personal achievement and integrity, research skills and experience, and/or recommendations from scholastic advisers.

    • First- and second-year medical students enrolled in an accredited program (DO or MD) are eligible to apply to this program. These students will be expected to work independently and should expect to spend approximately 40 hours per week committed to the research project.
    • Graduate students: Students who are enrolled in NP, PharmD, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy or PA programs and are in good academic standing are invited to apply to the program. These students may be expected to spend approximately 40 hours on their research projects.
  • Progress Milestones

    Each student is expected to attend a series of meetings, held to provide research fellows with additional information on the preparation of abstracts, manuscripts and data analysis. The meetings serve as a forum to present preliminary data and to become acquainted with other students and mentors. In order to receive a completion certificate, students must prepare and submit a project abstract, poster and a research paper evaluated and approved by his/her preceptor.

  • Preceptor Requirements

    Researchers in clinical or academic settings are welcome to participate as preceptors in this program. All researchers are expected to submit a study proposal form for their study to be considered for the program to SERF  by December 31, 2020. Upon acceptance into the program, the preceptor will complete CITI training and seek approval for the proposal of the study by the Institutional Review Board by May 1.

  • Application Instructions

    To apply for Student Education and Research Fellowship Program, applicants must complete and submit the SERF application by 5 pm on January 31, 2020. Two (2) letters of recommendation are required. One letter must be from a faculty member at the school in which the applicant is attending. The application form should be completed online and each letter of recommendation must be submitted directly to SERF. For more details about the Student Research Fellowship Program, call the IUSM-Fort Wayne office at 260-481-6730. Students will be notified of acceptance into the program by March 12, 2021.

Schedule of Student Meetings and Deadlines

Application Available December 3, 2020
Application Deadline January 29, 2021
Student Notification of Acceptance March 12, 2021
Student Notification of Assigned Project May 17, 2021
CITI Training Completion May 27, 2021
IMPRS Orientation May 27, 2021
SERF Orientation May 28, 2021
Preceptor Meeting Week of June 1 2021
 IMPRS Lecture June 3, 2021
Didactic Lecture- Introduction / Project check in June 7, 2021
IMPRS Lecture June 10, 2021
Scientific Writing Workshop June 14, 2021
 IMPRS Lecture June 17, 2021
Midpoint Meeting/ Student Presentations June 23, 2021 at 3:00 pm
 IMPRS Lecture June 24, 2021
Statistical Analysis Workshop June 28, 2021
 IMPRS Lecture July 1, 2021
Didactic Lecture- Presentations- Poster and Oral Presentation Guidelines and Tips July 12, 2021
Draft of Abstract, Poster and Paper due for review/revisions July 12, 2021
Revision Meetings July 13-15, 2021
 IMPRS Lecture July 15, 2021
Student Presentation #2 July 21, 2021 3:00 pm
 IMPRS Lecture July 22, 2021
Final Draft of Abstracts and Posters due for printing July 23, 2021 12:00 Noon
 IMPRS Poster Presentations July 28 - 29, 2021
Final Reception and Final Project Requirements due- copies of data collection forms, abstracts, papers and posters due to program, preceptors and institutions July 28, 2021
IMPRS Oral Presentations Aug 2 -3, 2021