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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 2020 Student Education and Research Fellowship (SERF) Program, applicants must complete and submit the program application by 5 pm on January 31, 2020. For details about the Student Research Fellowship Program, call the IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne office at 260-481-6730.


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 18, 2019. 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 or Luna Wahab, IU School of Medicine, at 260-481-6735. Students will be notified of acceptance into the program by March 6, 2020.

Schedule of Student Meetings and Deadlines

Application Available December 1, 2019
Application Deadline January 31, 2020
Student Notification of Acceptance March 6, 2020
Student Notification of Assigned Project April 30, 2020
CITI Training Completion May 18, 2020
Orientation May 21, 2020 9:00 am
Preceptor Meeting Week of May 26, 2020
Didactic Lecture- Introduction / Project check in June 1, 2020
Didactic Lecture- Methods and Materials / Introduction draft due June 8, 2020
Didactic Lecture/ Methods and Materials draft due June 15, 2020
Midpoint Meeting/ Student Presentations June 24, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Didactic Lecture – Statistical Analysis June 29, 2020
Didactic Lecture- Presentations- Poster and Oral Presentation Guidelines and Tips July 6, 2020
Draft of Abstract, Poster and Paper due for review/revisions July 10, 2020
Revision Meetings July 13-14, 2020
Student Presentation #2 July 15, 2020 3:00 pm
Final Draft of Abstracts and Posters due for printing July 20, 2020 12:00 Noon
Final Reception and Final Project Requirements due- copies of data collection forms, abstracts, papers and posters due to program, preceptors and institutions July 28, 2020