Summer Financial Support
Award of financial support is separate from admission to the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC) Student Summer Research Program. A student may be admitted to the program with or without funding. Irrespective of the source, Jefferson financial support is typically available only to students conducting summer research at Jefferson and affiliated sites (including the Wills Eye Institute, the Rothman Institute, Methodist Hospital, and Nemours/DuPont Hospital for Children).
The main source of financial support is the Federal Work Study (FWS) program and it requires a separate application. FWS eligibility criteria include being a US citizen or permanent resident, along with specific financial need conditions. In order to be considered for FWS support, a student must submit a FWS application to Jefferson's Financial Aid Office before the SKMC Student Summer Research Program applications are reviewed (typically, beginning of March). FWS eligibility will be evaluated using the federal FAFSA application. Students should file this federal form at www.fafsa.ed.gov prior to contacting the Financial Aid Office. For questions, determination of eligibility, and/or to submit a FWS application, students should contact Atheia Mobley at the Financial Aid Office. In addition, an informational session regarding financial aid for summer research may be held at the end of January.
Additional financial support may be possible through SKMC funds. If such funds are available, a student will be eligible for such an award, irrespective of his/her eligibility for FWS support. No separate application is necessary, but students participating in the College Within The College program receive priority.
Certain departments and programs may also have additional funding opportunities for students' summer research through scholarships or grant funds (e.g., Anesthesiology, Family & Community Medicine, etc.; for details, see Research Programs). Students should discuss such opportunities with the departmental program director and/or their potential advisors.
In the past, a total of about 40-60 program participants have been supported each summer through all available sources combined, but the level of available funds is not guaranteed and varies from year to year. Tentative funding decisions are made in middle to late March, but most of the funding awards are not finalized until late April.
There are also some funding opportunities through external sponsors, including the American Medical Association Seed Grant Research Program and the Alpha Omega Alpha Student Research Fellowship. Application deadlines are often in December.
Student Organization Conference Fund. The SKMC Student Council supports a limited amount of transportation and/or registration expenses for a student to attend a conference that he/she might not otherwise be able to attend. Up to one request per year may be made by any official SKMC student organization.
Medical Student Research Travel Fellowships. A limited amount of funding is available through the Office of the Dean to support medical students who present their research at national or international scientific meetings. Up to $400 for trave reimbursement is available to a student who meets the following criteria:
- the student must be first author on the submitted abstract and must present the research findings (either poster or oral presentation) at the meeting;
- the research must have been completed while the student was at the SKMC and the work must have been conducted on-campus (exceptions must be pre-approved); and
- the faculty advisor or departmental sponsor must provide matching funds and must sign the application.
An application is due at least thirty days before the trip (along with a copy of the abstract, notification of acceptance for presentation, and any other supporting documents) to the Office of the Dean. For more information and to submit an application, please contact Annette Chesson, (215) 955-1629.
The Helen and Gabriel Lavine Scholarship Fund was established at Jefferson in 1981, and one of its directives is the funding of student research. Any Jefferson student who has conducted summer work between the first and second year in medical school is eligible for a Lavine Scholarship ($1,000 tuition rebate, selection/notification in late October). Students are eligible whether they participated in a formal research program (Summer Research Program, College Within The College program, etc.) or not, and irrespective of the location where they conducted their summer work (on-campus or off-campus). However, note that the Lavine scholarship is intended for students who worked on research rather than service projects. Eligibility requirements for the Lavine scholarship are:
- Successful completion of the summer research work.
- Evaluation/attestation of the entire summer work by the student's advisor. This is a standardized form with space for brief comments on the student's summer research activities and accomplishments. Additionally, a brief attestation letter can be attached (optional).
- Presentation of the summer work. For students in the Summer Research Program and in the College Within The College program, an oral or poster presentation that fulfills the requirements of those programs is acceptable. For other students, a pre-approved oral or poster presentation at the Jefferson campus is required.
- Written abstract of the summer work (max 250 words).
- Successful completion of any other program requirements, if participating in a Jefferson formal research program (Summer Research Program, College Within The College program, etc.).
A full written report of the summer work (max 1,500 words, excluding title, abstract, and references, plus up to 6 tables and/or figures) is not required but is strongly recommended.
In the past, about 40-50 scholarships have been awarded annually, but the number depends on available funds and varies from year to year. Selection of students for the Lavine scholarship awards will be based on the strength of their summer work, as reflected in:
- The evaluation of the student's summer work by his/her advisor (advisor evaluation/attestation).
- The evaluation of the presentation by the SKMC Student Summer Research Program director and/or other designated evaluator(s).
- The evaluation of the abstract (and of the written report, if available) by the SKMC Student Summer Research Program director.
- Participation in a Jefferson formal research program (Summer Research Program, College Within The College program, etc.) or other summer research programs outside Jefferson (UPenn, Vanderbilt, etc.).
There is no formal application. Submission of an advisor evaluation/attestation form constitutes such an application.
Students participating in the Summer Research Program should submit the written abstract and report online through the program's Blackboard site. The advisor should submit the evaluation/attestation form directly to the SKMC Student Summer Research Program coordinator (paper copy via campus mail or electronic copy via email).
All other students should submit a single packet (not separate items) to the JMC Student Summer Research Program coordinator (hard copy or electronically) with the following: cover letter indicating the project title, advisor name and affiliation, and date and location of the oral or poster presentation; written abstract; written report (optional); and advisor evaluation/attestation form.
All materials are typically due by the end of September. Submissions and/or material that do not conform to the above guidelines will jeopardize eligibility and may not be considered. For more information, please contact the SKMC Student Summer Research Program coordinator (Annette Chesson, (215) 955-1629).
Student Research Awards
Each student may be eligible for one of the SKMC student research awards at the end of his/her medical school studies:
- the Hyman Menduke Research Award (est. 1980) is awarded at the Class Day ceremony to two graduating students (one MD and one MD/PhD) for excellence in research; and
- the Volunteer Faculty Award is awarded at the Class Day ceremony to one graduating MD student for excellence in clinically oriented research.
For details, please visit the Student Awards page.