Instructions for Students

Submit a Shapiro Summer Research Program application here (deadline March 3, 2023)

Who do I contact for individual advising on summer research options?

  • Director of Health Professional Student Research Vera Tsenkova, PhD, tsenkova@wisc.edu.
  • Vera offers virtual office hours in the late winter and as necessary. Click here to join

FAQ’s

What is the Shapiro Summer Research Program?   

  • 8-10 weeks of mentored research conducted in the summer between M1 and M2 years.
  • Any hypothesis-driven project in basic science, clinical, translational, health services, population/public health, or global health is eligible.
  • Primary faculty mentor must be from a SMPH or UW department.
  • Stipend is $400 per weekStudents receive one stipend payment in the beginning of the summer and the payment is based on the number of weeks they will be conducting research. Shapiro students who conduct research at an industry site will receive stipends from outside sources that  will likely be higher than the Shapiro base rate.
  • Flexible start date, but the 8-10 research weeks must be completed during the 13-week summer break.
  • Students are responsible for finding a mentor and project.

How do I find a project and mentor?

  • Frequently check the database of Shapiro projects submitted by faculty at the Projects page.
    • You DON’T have to pick a project from the list!
  • Check SMPH department and center websites.
  • Reach out to past research mentors, house mentors, preceptors, course instructors, guest lecturers, faculty members, department chairs, and other students.

How do I start planning my Shapiro Summer Research experience?

  • Attend the Medical Student Research Forum in the fall before you plan to participate in the program. The next one is on Nov 21, 2023 from 12-5 pm.
  • Email potential mentors in December and January. Decide on a project and mentor early to allow enough time to write the proposal by the deadline (Mar 3).
  • Meet with several faculty members before deciding on a project. When meeting with a potential mentor, prepare by reading their publications. Before choosing a mentor, develop a good understanding of the proposed project: ask what will be expected of you, what you can expect to learn, what can be accomplished during the summer, who will supervise your work, how available the mentor will be, and how much independent work the project requires. Check on IRB approval- if needed, has it been obtained or will it be obtained prior to the summer?

What is included in the application?

  • Applications include a cover sheet, student CV, mentor statement of support, mentor CV, 3-page description of proposed project, and IRB approvals if required. Your mentor should provide considerable help writing the application, but it is your responsibility to submit by the deadline (Mar 3).

May I apply to more than one project or other programs?

  • Students applying to the Shapiro program are limited to one application for one proposed project.
  • If you are applying for a competitive national fellowship (e.g., NIH), a Shapiro application can be submitted as a backup option, but please inform your mentors of your plans.

Can I combine summer research with a clinical externship or international experience?

  • Yes, but you must be able to commit to 8-10 weeks of full time research with minimal interruption. Students can usually combine a research experience with a short-term clinical shadowing experiences (like the summer preceptorship program), or a global health field experience.
  • Most research mentors provide opportunities for clinical shadowing during a Shapiro experience.

Does summer research apply towards the Path of Distinction in Research? 

  • Your summer research can be credited toward the 16 weeks of mentored research required for the Path of Distinction in Research. Summer research and the didactic sessions you attend during the summer can also fulfill other requirements for the Path.

Does SMPH offer other research programs?

  • The Department of Family Medicine offers a Summer Research and Clinical Assistantship Program that provides mentored clinical research and shadowing experiences in the department. The application is separate from Shapiro. Watch for email announcements of the program.

Interested in Global Health?

  • The Shapiro Summer Research Program permits select students to pursue international opportunities. These generally require more advance planning and lead time, and are primarily suited for students with previous international experience. Interested students should consider meeting with Dr. Jim Conway, Director of the SMPH office of Global Health, to discuss possibilities.
  • International opportunities require advanced planning during the fall semester as students who wish to participate in an international research experience are expected to enroll in POP HLTH 640 – Foundations in Global Health Practice, which is offered in the spring semester. This course is a mix of online and in-person activities that prepare students to work independently in international settings. The course meets in-person approximately 6 times during the semester on Wednesdays 5:30-7:30pm, beginning in mid-January. Students need to be enrolled in POP HLTH 640 to be eligible to have an international Shapiro project approved.
  • Contact Betsy Teigland (teigland@wisc.edu, in the SMPH Office of Global Health, 1191F HSLC) to arrange permission to enroll or schedule a meeting with Dr. Conway. More Global Health materials are available in Resources and on the GHI website.

Shapiro Summer Research Program Events and Deadlines

Nov 2022 – Feb 2023 Students view faculty-submitted projects (updated hourly) at  the Projects page
Mar 3, 2023 Deadline for students to submit 2023 Shapiro applications via this link
Apr 15, 2023 Completion of 2023 application reviews and notifications of awards
May 15 – Aug 15, 2023 2023 Shapiro Summer Program
(research must be conducted during this window)
Sep 30, 2023 Deadline for students to submit an abstract for the Annual Medical Student Research Forum.
Nov 21, 2023 21st Annual Medical Student Research Forum.