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.

The primary goal of the program is to provide a hands-on, mentored research experience in surgery for medical students. 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 from July 22 – August 30, 2024.
  • • 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 February 15, 2024.
  • Please complete the Application no later than 11:59PM (MST) on February 28, 2024. Please direct any questions to the Medical Student Program Coordinator via e-mail at

We look forward to reviewing your applications for the 2024 program!


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 a date in mid-April (TBD). 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 December 2024.

Clinical Experience

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

Dates, times, and topics are subject to change pending presenter availability. Due to the limited time for this course, we will ask students to do some pre-work to include the below. Specific dates for this pre-work is to be announced.

  • 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 with Faculty Group Leaders
(Date/Time TBD)
Weekly Lab Meeting
(Date/Time TBD)
Weekly Lecture Topic
(Thursday, 4:00 PM)
Week 1
7/22 - 7/26
 Literature Search Results

"Basic Statistics"
Christopher Quinn, PhD

Week 2
7/29 - 8/2
GME Quality and Safety
Project Plan

“How to Write an Abstract”
Steven Ahrendt, MD

Week 3
8/5 - 8/9
Core Curriculum
Progress Report

“Manuscript Writing 101”
Martin McCarter, MD

Week 4
08/12 - 08/16
SOAR Meeting
Statistical Plan

“How to Give an Effective Presentation”
Ethan Cumbler, PhD

Week 5
08/19 - 08/23
M & M
Review Results, Tables, Figures

Resume Writing & Support Letters
Nicole Christian, MD

Week 6
08/26 - 08/30
GI Conference
Abstracts and Feedback

Career/Resident Panel
Mark Nehler, MD

DecemberMSRP Symposium

Eirin CoxProgram Manager: 
Eirin Cox
Medical Student Program Coordinator
Department of Surgery
University of Colorado School of Medicine
12631 East 17th Avenue, MS-291, Room 5402
Aurora, CO 80045


CU Anschutz

Academic Office One

12631 East 17th Avenue

Room: 6111

Aurora, CO 80045


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