Student Research

Research experience for students, particularly at the undergraduate level, has been demonstrated to enhance key skills, such as inquiry, analysis, communication and teamwork. Georgetown University Medical Center provides opportunities for students to conduct research at all levels of their education, from high school to undergraduate and graduate to postdoctoral. Faculty mentorship is a critical component of the experience.


The Summer Research Volunteer Program provides high school and undergraduate college students the opportunity to volunteer at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center during their summer break. Students work full-time with an investigator in their area of interest and attend weekly cancer biology seminars, gaining valuable insights about scientific discovery and cancer biology from top researchers in the field.

The Georgetown University Undergraduate Research Conference, founded within the Department of Human Science at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, offers undergraduate students from all health- and science-related disciplines the opportunity to present their research efforts. All undergraduate participants present posters during a poster-viewing session. Some students are selected from the pool of submitted posters to also deliver oral presentations.

Guided research is a major component of the School of Medicine’s Academy for Research, Clinical, and Health Equity Scholarship (ARCHES), which aims to prepare promising undergraduate students for successful matriculation into medical school. Students selected for the program spend 70 to 90 hours of the six-week program engaged in clinical research with senior research mentors. ARCHES also includes clinical shadowing experiences and community based learning with local organizations addressing health disparities.

Many of the master’s level programs at the medical center include research experiences as a component of the degree. Programs such as the MS in Integrative Neuroscience and the MS Program in Pharmacology have an option to include a laboratory research concentration as a part of the degree. Students working toward an MS in Biostatistics must complete a research practicum concurrently with their other classwork. A mandatory capstone research practicum is a requirement of the MD/MS and MS programs in Systems Medicine.

Original research forms the foundation of PhD programs at Georgetown. Each fall for more than 25 years, PhD students at the medical center have showcased their research through oral presentations and poster sessions at Student Research Day. This event offers students the opportunity to develop their presentation skills, receive feedback on their work and share research with the medical center community.

Independent scholarly projects are a graduation requirement for School of Medicine students. Each student pursues a scholarly project that seeks to answer a research question under the supervision of a mentor. Students present their projects each spring at the George M. Kober Research Day.

To encourage early participation in research among School of Medicine students, both the Office of the Dean at the School of Medicine and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital provide summer scholarships to selected first-year students. Among these opportunities is the Frank S. Pellegrini, MD Scholarship, an endowed research funding opportunity for medical students that honors the 1943 Georgetown medical graduate for which it is named. Through participation in the program, students have the opportunity to work with faculty mentors throughout the medical center and affiliates within the MedStar system.

The Medstar Health-Georgetown University Research Symposium, hosted by the MedStar Health Research Institute, MedStar Health Academic Affairs, and Georgetown University Medical Center, is open to all members of the research and education community interested in learning more about scholarship at MedStar. The symposium offers the opportunity to connect with researchers, educators, residents, executive leaders and collaborative partners from across the region and the MedStar system.


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