Medical Student Research Achievements

MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine places an emphasis on research and scholarly activity for medical students, and our Medical Student Research Program provides an ecosystem where they are given the knowledge, skills, opportunities, mentorship, and funding to conduct research. The program consists of courses, structured research opportunities under faculty mentorship, research funding, presentations at conferences, and co-authored publications.

The college also has the largest DO-PhD program in the country, with 46 students currently training to become physician-scientists.

Research advisors from both within and outside of MSU supervise and present research opportunities to our students.

Medical Student Research Program


Evidence-based Medicine (OST 598) is a foundational 1-credit pre-clerkship course in the first semester that imparts the basics of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Research Methods.

Biomedical Research Structure and Methods (OST 597) is a 2-credit elective course offered in the third semester that provides the students with exposure to a wide spectrum of research via research case studies by various faculty; basic science and molecular research, translational and clinical research, health services research and epidemiological research. Students that successfully complete the course will receive assistance to find a research mentor and carry out a Capstone research project.

Scholarly Activity Seminar (OST 593) is a 1-credit elective course offered in the fourth semester that will develop the student’s ability to design and implement a scholarly project (e.g. case reports and case presentations, quality improvement projects, and Osteopathic manipulative treatment guides)

Mentored Research / Scholarly Activity Opportunities

Capstone Research projects are structured faculty mentored long-term projects (under the rubric of consecutive OST-599) over two or more semesters in the second year of medical school following completion of the Biomedical Research Structure and Methods (OST 597) elective course. In 2021, there were 27 faculty that have provided mentorship and Capstone research opportunities to medical students that have completed the course.

Biomedical Research pre-clerkship elective (OST 599) is an experiential 2-3 credit course that provides pre-clerkship students with research experience under supervision of a faculty mentor

Biomedical Research clerkship elective (OST 615) is an experiential 2-3 credit course that provides clerkship students with research experience under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Quality Improvement (QI) projects are experiential non-credit bearing projects in which medical students work with clinical teams on improving safety, effectiveness, and experience of patient care. In 2020, there were 17 medical students involved in QI projects.

Medical Student Research Funding (SpartanDO Research Accelerator)

The medical student research funding mechanism termed “SpartanDO Research Accelerator” provides a funding incentive ($1000 per student for a maximum of $3000 in an academic year) for mentors/faculty to cover research costs incurred by medical students working under their supervision on research projects.

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

The KPIs for the Medical Student Research Program include peer-reviewed publications, presentations, awards and participation in research and scholarly activity.

College of Osteopathic Medicine students have produced continuous achievements in research and scholarly activity, with peer-reviewed publications in journals that are indexed in MEDLINE®/PubMed® with PMID numbers. They have given both oral and poster presentations, and have received numerous awards at regional and national competitions and conferences.