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 8-week summer research internship opportunity. 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 8 weeks during the summer from June 11 – August 2, 2021.
  • 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 2021.
  • Please complete the Application no later than 11:59PM (MST) on February 19th, 2021. 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 on the Tuesday, June 15th. We will provide introductions, review program requirements, and share project ideas.

Goals and Objectives

With the help of your mentor, you will write a one-page report detailing the research project plan. This will include a brief introduction into the topic, gaps in the current literature, specific aims of your project, and an outline of your research design. 

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, scheduled for August 2, 2021.  

Clinical Experience

Due to COVID restrictions, we are not sure at this time if we can offer in-person clinical or operative encounters this year, but we will, if permitted.

Dates, times, and topics are subject to change pending presenter availability.



Weekly Lab Meeting
Tuesday (3 pm)

Weekly Lecture Topic
Thursday (4 pm)

Week 1
6/14 - 6/18


6/17 Planning a Research Project
4 - 5 pm
Kyle Rove, MD

Week 2
6/21 - 6/25

GME Quality & Safety Literature Search Results

6/24 Basic Statistics
Speaker TBA

Week 3
6/28 - 7/2

Core Curriculum SOAR Meeting Project Plan

7/1 How to Write an Abstract
Catherine Velopulos, MD

Week 4
7/6 - 7/9

No Conference Progress Report

7/8 How to Give an Effective Presentation
Ethan Cumbler, PhD

Week 5
7/12 - 7/16

GI Conference Statistical Plan

7/15 Manuscript Writing 101
Martin McCarter, MD

Week 6
7/19 - 7/23

M&M Review Results, Tables, Figures

7/22 Resume, Writing & Support Letters
Nicole Christian, MD

Week 7
7/26 - 7/30

Breast Tumor Board  Abstracts & Feedback 

7/29 Career/Resident Panel
Mark Nehler, MD (Moderator)

Week 8
8/2 - 8/6

MSRP Symposium
Monday, August 2


We look forward to reviewing  your applications for the 2021 program!  More specific information will be emailed you by the end of January 2021.

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