Research Opportunities for Students

Microscope eyepiece and display monitor

The research community is thriving at Rush, and you can jump in as soon as you arrive on campus as first-year student. We conduct basic science, translational, clinical and community-based research that spans the entire health care field. Our research aims to understand how diseases work and how to best treat them, which can improve care for patients at Rush and around the globe.

There are several research opportunities designed specifically for Rush Medical College students:

M1 Elective

The Basic Biomedical Research first-year elective introduces you to the theory and practice of biomedical research. You will engage in a mentored research experience to develop a research proposal, complete the proposed project and prepare a final research report.

Summer Research Fellowship

The Summer Research Fellowship is a paid summer research opportunity, offered on a competitive basis, between the first and second preclerkship years. To apply for the fellowship, you must identify a faculty mentor and prepare a written application modeled after a National Institutes of Health training grant. Each year, approximately 65 percent of applications are funded, and accepted students are provided with a summer stipend and funds to conduct their research.

M4 Research Elective

During your fourth-year year, you have the option to take a research elective in a specialty of your choice. You will work with a faculty mentor to investigate a specific research question and develop a research plan that includes a hypothesis, study design, timeline and outline of your specific role in the project.

Finding the Right Opportunity

Students at Rush have ample opportunities to explore questions that address some of the biggest health challenges facing our world today. The Medical Student Affairs team will work with you to identify and apply for research opportunities that will help you in your career and professional development.

I’ve been humbled with robust research experiences since my first day on Rush’s campus. I’ve presented the impact of adverse childhood experiences on health outcomes, synthesized global COVID-19 literature, and conducted tailored needs assessments to improve health care  delivery for local homeless shelters. Research has been one of the pillars of my Rush education that has allowed me to grow in and out of the hospital setting.

Morgan Sturgis, Class of 2022