Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSRP)

The primary goal of the Medical Student Summer Research Program is to provide a hands-on, mentored research experience in surgery for medical students.

The Department of Surgery offers an annual 6-week summer research internship opportunity. The University of Colorado School of Medicine has recently approved this course as a 12-credit elective.

Each student will be paired with a surgeon-scientist to independently conduct a study and prepare a first author abstract for submission to a national surgical meeting.  Students will also participate in a structured curriculum to learn how to ask scientific questions, plan projects, and produce abstracts, oral presentations, and manuscripts. Students will also be invited to participate in Grand Rounds, multi-disciplinary clinics, and will have the opportunity to observe in the operating room.

The MSRP is open to:

  • CU SOM students currently in good academic standing.
  • Preference will be given to 1st year (rising 2nd year) medical students without current clinical obligations.

What to know about the MSRP:

  • Program duration is approximately 6 weeks during the summer of 2022.
  • Participants must commit to completing program requirements, including attending orientation and weekly lectures and conferences, outlining a project plan, and providing a final oral presentation on program completion. Participants who cannot attend the final presentation are required to submit a poster.
  • A list of mentors, projects, and the application will be sent by the end of January 2022.
  • Please complete the Application no later than 11:59PM (MST) on February 18, 2022. Please direct any questions to the Director of Education via email at


Participants should reach out and schedule a meeting with their mentor to discuss potential project ideas prior to start of the program. Orientation will be held in April. We will provide introductions, review program requirements, and share project ideas.

Goals and Objectives

You will work with your mentor and a work-in-progress group leader to progress through a research project and develop an abstract for submission to a national surgical meeting.

Lectures and Meetings

Participants must attend all lectures and meetings. The MSRP curriculum has been designed to build and complement the completion of an independent research project, with the introduction of basic research concepts during weekly lectures reinforced at subsequent lab meetings. Conferences offer opportunity for early clinical exposure.

Podium Presentation

All participants will be expected to prepare a summary of the project and may be invited to give an oral presentation at the Summer Student Research Symposium. The Symposium will be held on Monday, December 5, 2022.

Clinical Experience

Depending on the state of COVID, we will offer in-person clinical or operative encounters this year if possible.

Program Pre-Work

  • March — Students meet with assigned mentors
  • April — Orientation and Presentation “Planning a Research Project” (K. Rove, MD)
  • May — Literature Search/PubMed Class
  • June — Work-in- Progress Group Meetings

  Weekly Lecture Topic Weekly Lab Meeting Conferences
Week 1
07/25 - 7/29
Orientation & Basic Statistics (TBA) Literature Search Results  
Week 2
08/01 - 08/05
How to Write an Abstract
(S. Ahrendt, MD)
Project Plan SOAR Meeting
Week 3
08/08 - 08/12
Manuscript Writing
(M. McCarter, MD)
Progress Report GI Conference
Week 4
08/13 - 08/21
How to Give an Effective Presentation (E. Cumbler, MD)Statistical Plan(No Conference)
Week 5
08/22 - 08/26
Resume Writing & Support Letters (N. Christian, MD) Statistical Plan M&M Conference
Week 6
08/29 - 09/01
Career/Resident Panel
(M. Nehler, MD)
Abstracts and Feedback
Breast Tumor Board
12/05MSRP Research Symposium   


We look forward to reviewing  your applications for the 2022 program!

Program Contact Information

Kathleen TuthillProgram Manager: 
Kathleen N. Tuthill
Director of Education
Department of Surgery
University of Colorado School of Medicine
12631 East 17th Avenue, MS-291, Room 5404
Aurora, CO 80045