Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Summer Research Program
Components & Requirements


The Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC) Student Summer Research Program consists of a seminar series, mentored research work, and a short oral presentation and written abstract at the end of the project. A written report at the end of the project is optional. Additional presentations at student research days or scientific meetings are also optional but encouraged.

Program Requirements

Orientation Required
Seminars: attendance (~12 sessions) Required
Seminars: group assignments (2-3) Required
Research work (7-10 weeks, ~30 hrs/wk) Required
Oral presentation (10-12 minutes) Required
Abstract (250 words) Required
Written report (1500 words) Recommended
Program evaluation Required
Evaluation/attestation by advisor (1 page) Required
Poster presentation (Alpha Omega Alpha, Sigma Xi) Recommended


Orientation Session (end of April or beginning of May)

Attendance is required. Program participation and funding will be seriously jeopardized if a student does not attend the orientation session. Only very serious reasons for an absence will be considered, such as illness, unanticipated family issues, etc. If planning to be absent, a student should discuss this in advance with the SKMC Student Summer Research Program director.

Seminars (~12 sessions, June-July) and Assignments (2)

Attendance at seminars (max three absences allowed) and completion of assignments (there is no provision for making up of missed assignments) are required. Attendance will be taken at each seminar, and each student is responsible for signing in during the first 15 minutes of the seminar. Reasonable modifications to these requirements will be made for students conducting their research off-campus. Arrangements must be made in advance with the SKMC Student Summer Research Program director.

Research Project (7-10 weeks, 30-35 hrs/week, June-August)

Successful completion of the research work is required. A student may work on multiple projects, although one of them must be designated as the primary summer project by the middle June. If a change of focus/project becomes necessary later, the student must inform the SKMC Student Summer Research Program director by the middle of July. The primary project should have sufficient breadth and complexity to provide the student with a range of research-related experiences. Therefore, case-studies, literature reviews, study/protocol design, data collection, or creation/expansion of a database by themselves do not qualify—the project must include a hypothesis-driven component beyond logistical or administrative tasks. The oral presentation, as well as the written abstract and report, must focus on what the student specified as his/her primary research project.

The exact start date, end date, and duration of the research work may vary slightly for particular departmental programs, but the program typically lasts nine eeks (including one vacation week). Work schedule and vacation should be arranged with the research advisor, but should take into account all other program components and activities (e.g., vacation should normally not be taken during the last week of the program during which the oral presentations take place).

Oral Presentation (10-12 minutes, middle/end of August)

A brief presentation of the summer research work is required. The presentation may be given to either the summer research program or the host department (Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, Ophthalmology and others). It should normally focus on the work designated as the student's primary research project, unless arrangements are made by mid-July with the SKMC Student Summer Research Program director. Since the research work may not be quite completed by the presentation date, the presentation may be based on limited data and analyses. This is perfectly acceptable. The presentation is meant more as a practice run, rather than as a full-blown talk on completed research.

Written Abstract (250 words, by end of August) &
Written Report (1,500 words, by end of September)

The abstract is required for all students. The report is optional, but strongly recommended for the Lavine scholarship. Both are submitted onlie. The written abstract and report should summarize the student's own summer research work, rather than reflect a broader study of which the student's work might have been part. Since the research work may not be quite completed by the submission deadlines, the abstract and/or report may be based on limited data and analyses. This is perfectly acceptable, since the product is envisioned to be a preliminary draft and not quite ready for rigorous scientific review.

Evaluation of Summer Work by the Advisor
(standardized form, by end of September)

A one-page evaluation of the student's work by his/her advisor is required as confirmation of the student's successful completion of the summer program. An optional brief attestation letter may be attached by the advisor. The advisor should submit the evaluation directly to the SKMC Student Summer Research Program coordinator (electronic copy via email, or paper copy via campus mail).

Program Evaluations (by end of August)

Online evaluations of the program (including seminars and speakers, research project and advisor, and overall experience) are a required component of the program.

Poster Presentation at Alpha Omega Alpha or Sigma Xi Student Research Days
(Fall & Spring, respectively)

Optional, but recommended for everyone. Advisor approval is required. All presenters are eligible for awards.

Additional Requirements

Individual departmental programs may have additional requirements specific to each program (e.g., journal clubs, seminars, shadowing). Details should be discussed with the research advisor and/or the departmental program director.