University of Nebraska Medical Center

Student Opportunities

The College of Medicine provides a variety of research opportunities for both current and prospective UNMC students. Contact the office of Research & Development with any questions.

MD-PhD Scholars Program

Physician-scientists tackle health problems from two fronts: lab research and patient care. The MD-PhD Scholars Program allows students to become trained in both areas. The program strives to provide an excellent, integrated program of medical and research training for physician scientists with a wide variety of biomedical interests. Students are given a balance of direction, advice, and facilitation of ideas that not only provides a solid foundation for their future but also gives them the opportunity to follow the course that really excites them.

Apply as a prospective student  |  Apply as a current student

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The UNMC Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is a collaboration between UNMC departments, institutes, colleges, student success, and graduate specialty areas to provide summer opportunities for undergraduate students to become members of research teams and discover first-hand the broad spectrum of research activities occurring at UNMC. 

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Medical Student Summer Research Program 

This paid program, designed for rising UNMC M2s, provides students within the College of Medicine the opportunity to seek out information and apply it to the solution of a defined problem. Students accepted into the program will spend 8 weeks in their research endeavor and are expected to spend a significant number of hours (40/week) conducting research.

For 2024, there are four MSSRPs. 

  1. COM General MSSRP
  2. Department of Surgery Summer Research Program of Excellence
  3. Department of Surgery Howard R. and Marilyn B. McCollister Memorial Fund Rural Surgery Research Program
  4. Great Plains IDeA-CTR (Institutional Development Award-Clinical and Translational Research) Rural Program

To apply, please use the Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP) Application Form. The application will be available through February 11, 2024.

If you have questions after viewing the links, please contact Dr. Kari Nelson.

UNMC Research Fair

Each Spring, the UNMC Chapter of American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) hosts a student research fair on the UNMC campus. This event is designed for current UNMC students to learn more about the various research opportunities on campus and to get connected with faculty and/or resources. 

MD Honors Thesis

The MD Honors Thesis for medical students is one of the mechanisms that allows students to graduate with Honors. Medical students may submit their proposals anytime up to the first Monday of January of their Junior year. To be eligible to participate in this program, students must rank in the upper 50% of their class. Academic eligibility is determined by the Scholastic Evaluation Committee. After completion of an approved research project, a thesis is written and is due on or before the first Monday of January of the senior year.
A student whose thesis receives an Honors designation will be eligible for graduation with Honors on that basis. Students eligible for Honors based on academic performance may receive higher Honors designations (e.g. Distinction, High Distinction, Highest Distinction) based on the Honors thesis.
Each student must find a faculty sponsor who will closely supervise the research project and oversee the preparation and submission of the thesis proposal and the preparation and submission of the thesis itself. A letter must accompany both the proposal and the thesis from the faculty sponsor indicating that they have read, approve and support the documents. Unlike some student research, the thesis must be the student’s own work and cannot represent solely technical participation in an ongoing research project. The goal of this program is to encourage students to engage in scientific research during medical school. Success of the program relies heavily on the critical oversight and guidance by the faculty sponsor.