​Research and Exploration

The UC San Diego School of medicine

consistently ranks near the top in the nation as a public research-intensive medical school. Our medical students are mentored by a world-class faculty, and have access to myriad research experiences. In addition to what is provided on an individual level by the faculty, the School of Medicine provides structured support specifically dedicated to our medical students for research and exploration.


The Summer Research Training program

First-year students seeking financial support to do research in the summer between their first and second years with a UC San Diego School of Medicine faculty member can apply for and receive a stipend to do so in our Summer Research Training Program. The program also coordinates preparatory activity before the summer starts, and then hosts a Summer Research Symposium here at the School of Medicine the following Winter of each year so the research achievements of our students can be showcased.


SanFord Scholars Program, T. Denny SanFord Institute for Empathy and Compassion

UC San Diego Health Sciences is privileged to have a unique institute dedicated to the study of empathy and compassion. The Sanford Scholars Award program offered by the institute provides our medical students support to develop and implement mentored basic science, translational, clinical, or health services research projects related to empathy and compassion, in a summer program that also includes workshops and training. The summer experience is typically just the start of an engaged, longitudinal experience as a scholar in the institute. 

Institute Website


Hispanic Center of excellence (Hcoe) Schloars program

UC San Diego has been funded by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) to create the UCSD Hispanic Center of Excellence (HCOE). Our UCSD HCOE provides training to new URM faculty physicians and scientists to succeed in academic medicine as well as increase medical student diversity, and support clinical training for culturally competent healthcare delivery. Our medical students have the opportunity to become HCOE Scholars in this program, and receive support for research activity and academic portfolio development. 

HCOE Website



UC San Diego Department of Surgery Research Education

Our UC San Diego Department of Surgery has a renowned research portfolio. The Department is committed to supporting the research efforts of medical students with an interest in surgical research, and provides stipend support to our medical students so that they can engage in summer research projects relevant to understanding or improving the treatment of surgical problems and diseases.

research portfolio


The Medical Student Training in aging Research (MSTAR) program

Our UC San Deigo MSTAR Program provides medical students with experience in aging-related research and geriatrics, with mentorship of top experts in the field. In this National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded program, our medical students receive a stipend and participate structured research, clinical, didactic program in geriatrics over the summer. Research projects are offered in basic, translational, clinical, or health services research relevant to older people.




UCSd Child and adolescent psychiatry summer inclusive excellence program

Our UCSD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Summer Inclusive Excellence program is designed for medical students interested in exploring a career in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Medical students receive a stipend to support themselves for the summer, and engage in experience with didactics, individual mentorship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, community outreach, and support for scholarly work


Medical Student Support for research in kidney disease and diabetes

Our medical students who seek to do research in kidney and diabetes-related disease here at UCSD can receive stipend support from our institution to do so in the summer, through two collaborative National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research training programs.


The Medgap program

Third-year medical students seeking to take a year away from the curriculum to do a substantive, in-depth exploration of a research topic are able to apply for and receive funding to do this through our MedGap Program. In this program, students perform research with a UCSD faculty mentor over the year, and receive training coursework in biostatistics, with the option to further their research education with supplemental courses within UCSD.