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Medical Student Research Opportunities

Wayne State University School of Medicine is nationally recognized for its biomedical research. Areas of particular research excellence within the School of Medicine include the neurosciences and advanced imaging, women’s and child health, cancer, and urban African-American health studies.

There are a number of ways that medical students can get involved with research at the School of Medicine. The Office of Graduate Scholars runs an extensive Summer Research Program, formal and informal positions are available in laboratories and research projects on campus, and there is a wealth of extramural opportunities for medical students. Students can explore these opportunities through our programs and listings on this site.

Some specialties recommend research experience while others do not. Talk to your faculty advisor about whether the specialty you are seeking requires research experience. All programs look at research favorably but it may not enhance your residency application if you plan to join a community residency program in primary care.

If you are interested in pursuing research, consider participating in a research externship between year 1 and 2. A list of those faculty interested in research mentoring has been compiled and is available in the Research Mentor List.


Most of these experiences are unpaid and volunteer so please clarify this when you speak to the faculty research mentor. Many labs offer longitudinal research experiences, some offer 1 or 2 month research electives in years 3 and 4.

For students who are invited to travel to present their research. Please see the travel award policy and application (PDF).

For funding opportunities, please see the Funding Opportunities for Medical Students. Students who are interested in applying to any of these opportunities, can request assistance from the Research Administrative Services (RAS) office.