Scholarly Opportunities

Research opportunities abound at the University of Chicago, and Pritzker consistently ranks as one of the top five institutions for NIH research grants per faculty member. Students pursue scholarly work through one of our three MD/PhD programs or our Scholarship & Discovery curriculum for MD students.

MD Scholarly Opportunities

Through Scholarship & Discovery (S&D), all MD students complete a mentored scholarly project by the time of graduation. The S&D curriculum—undertaken in years one, two, and four—provides enhanced training in fundamental concepts and skills to ensure student success in one of these five fields of study.

MD/PhD Programs

  • 80

    percent or more of our students participate in the NIH-funded Summer research program

  • 100

    percent of our students participate in a mentored research project

  • 77

    percent of our students have authored a research paper submitted for publication

SRP 2022

Summer Research Program

The Summer Research Program (SRP) is an 11-week medical research opportunity available to first year medical students. Students develop a well-defined project and work with faculty mentors throughout the summer to conduct research. In addition to their research, students are required to attend weekly cluster meetings and seminars.

At the end of the 11 weeks, participants present their research at the Summer Research Forum. There students are judged and are eligible to receive cash prizes.

It is the goal of the Pritzker and NorthShore Fellowship Program to support the development of future leaders in medicine across the spectrum of research, scholarship, and service. The Pritzker School of Medicine will provide financial support to select students ("Fellows") who choose to pursue a one-year research project, international experience, or a community service opportunity.

During the process of renewing our partnership with NorthShore University HealthSystem, the team at NorthShore presented us with a generous gift in recognition of our shared educational mission. This gift is being used to fund an annual NorthShore Fellowship on the same cycle as the Pritzker Fellowships. Preference will be given to students conducting research at NorthShore or under the guidance of NorthShore faculty members, though it is not a requirement.

Requirements of the Fellowship include...

  • A commitment to take a year off from medical school studies to work on the intended project during the period of funding.
  • Provision of a progress report at six months.
  • Final report submitted within one month of completing the fellowship year.
  • Presentation of work at one or more forum (Medical Education Day, Research in Progress [RIP], regional or national conference) following completion of the fellowship year.
  • Please note: In order to accommodate the needs of all students who wish to take a year off for scholarly opportunities, students who apply for the Pritzker and NorthShore Fellowship and receive support from an external funding source must notify the Pritzker and NorthShore Fellowship Review Committee ASAP (via If the external funding level is similar to the amount offered through the Pritzker and NorthShore Fellowship Program, the Pritzker and NorthShore Fellowship funds will be redistributed accordingly.

Things to know before you apply

Students selected as Pritzker and NorthShore Fellows will receive $20,000 beginning in July and continuing throughout the academic year. Eligible students must have completed at least two years of study at the Pritzker School of Medicine (please note: PhD students are not eligible for the Pritzker/NorthShore Fellowship Program). All applicants must have a faculty sponsor who will provide mentorship and support during this year and ensure the completion of the proposed project. The faculty sponsor does not have to be on the faculty at the University of Chicago or NorthShore University HealthSystem, but must demonstrate the qualifications to mentor the student in a scholarly project. Pritzker and NorthShore Fellows will ultimately present their work in at least one forum, such as the Medical Education Day, Research in Progress (RIP), or a regional or national conference.

Application details

Applications are due to no later than March 3, 2023. The Pritzker and NorthShore Fellowship application consists of the following:

  • Application (Word document)
  • Project Statement
  • Budget
  • Personal Statement
  • Mentor Statement
  • CVs of the Faculty Sponsor and the student

Q. Why is the application limited to second- and third-years?

A. The application is limited to those who have completed two years at the Pritzker School of Medicine. The purpose is to give students ample time to develop their interests in research, community service, or international experiences. Because of the size of the award, this level of investment should be provided to an individual who has already demonstrated significant interest in one of these areas and a capacity to bring projects to fruition.

Q. How are fellows selected?

A. Fellows will be selected by a faculty committee.

Q. What is the committee looking for in the applications?

A. The committee is looking for a well thought through program of study or research project, and a strong relationship with an appropriate faculty mentor who is invested in the student.

Q. How detailed should the budget be?

A. The budget can contain a general overview of broad categories. However, enough detail about the program and the budget should be provided so that the committee can evaluate whether the budget is realistic.

Q. Are there stipulations on what funds should be used for (research, travel, living expenses, expenses for self or for family)?

A. There are no stipulations on how the funds should be used. If the student wants to use the money to support living expenses for the year, that is acceptable. However, students will be called upon to report how they used the money by providing information in general categories.

Q. How do I select an advisor for the fellowship?

A. Students should select an advisor whose career/track record is closely matched to their own research and future career interests. The advisor should also be able to provide sufficient time to mentor and support the student during the year.

Q. Is there a word limit for application and for faculty sponsor letter?

The application should not exceed 5 pages. The faculty sponsor letter should be 1-2 pages.

Q. If selected, what should the interim report contain?

If selected for the fellowship, students will be required to provide an interim report at six months. The interim report should include a description of activities undertaken over the transpired period and a description of plans for the remaining period of support. The student’s research advisor should also provide information about his or her work with the student.

The Calvin Fentress Fellowship Awards were created to encourage research activities by students during their fourth elective year. Named in honor of a grateful patient, the Fentress Fellows receive a $2,000 stipend for completing a research project. The research may be either a continuation of prior research work or a new research project. PhD medical students and PhD candidates may not apply. Fentress fellows present their work at the annual Senior Scientific Session.

To be eligible for the $2,000 stipend, a student must be registered for research credits during the academic year. It is recommended that three months of research be full-time; however research throughout the year may be considered.

The John D. Arnold Scientific Research Prize is a facet of the Fentress Research Fellowship; Arnold Prize recipients are chosen from the subset of Fentress applicants for their demonstrated sustained relationship with their mentor. This award was established by a grateful alumnus, Dr. Charles Pak, in recognition of the impact his mentor had on his education and future research career. The Arnold Scientific Research Prize recognizes students whose research accomplishments as medical students are based on ongoing, sustained work with a faculty mentor. The goal of the Arnold Scientific Research Prize, much like the Fentress, is to provide support for the continuation of this research during the fourth year of medical school.

Each student will receive $2,000 to pursue a scholarly project and will present their findings during the annual Senior Scientific Session. At the time of the event, we will also recognize each mentor by presenting the John D. Arnold, MD Mentor Award for sustained excellence in mentoring medical students.

There are many national opportunities for medical students to pursue research, international experiences, community service and other training. If you are interested in taking a year off, please contact the Scholarship and Discovery Team.

Explore a complete list of opportunities for external funding, conference support, and travel funding.


Senior Scientific Session

The annual Senior Scientific Session was founded in 1946 by Dr. Leon Jacobson to provide fourth year medical students with a forum to present their research. Each year, nearly one-third of the graduating class participates in this event. Student presentations and posters are judged by a panel of faculty members. Cash prizes for excellence in science and presentation will be awarded.

2024 Senior Scientific Session
May 15, 2024


Global Health

The Pritzker School of Medicine offers students the opportunity to take part in a variety of global health programs through the Scholarship and Discovery Global Health Scholarship Track and the Global Health Scholarships as well as through student organizations such as REMEDY (Recovered Medical Supplies for the Developing World) and IMIG (International Medicine Interest Group). To learn more about Global Health programs taking place throughout campus, visit the University of Chicago Center for Global Health website.

Learn more about global health opportunities at Pritzker.