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MedGap Program

Cultivating the next generation of translational physician researchers requires time dedicated to hands on experience in clinical or basic science research. Medical students often have a strong interest in conducting research in more depth than time allows during the busy four-year curriculum of medical school. As a research-intense institution, UCSD has a commitment towards producing graduates who have the training and experience to successfully continue down the educational pipeline towards careers in academic medicine. The MedGap program seeks to meet the goal of developing the next generation of physician researchers through providing support for UCSD medical students participating in a yearlong research program.

Clinical and translational research training program:  

The program draws support from the UCSD School of Medicine and the Altman Clinical Translational Research Institute. UCSD medical students will participate in this 12-month program between their 3rd and 4th years of medical school. Students in the program will identify a UCSD faculty research mentor, and will work in their mentor's lab or research group over the year. Students will receive training in biostatistics (2 courses), and will have the option to further their research education with supplemental courses within UCSD. The seminar series will incorporate high-yield presentations on research skills, and will incorporate a works-in-progress series where students present their ongoing research.

Application and review process:  

Students apply to the program through a structured application.  Clinical, translational, health services, outcomes, and basic science research proposals (the latter with a translational focus) will all be considered for support.  The application will include a personal statement, mentor biosketch, and a research proposal. The research proposal (4-6 pages in length), consists of specific aims, background and significance of the work, training goals, and the research approach.  Applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee which includes members of the ACTRI Education Committee, and leadership from the Division of Medical Education within the School of Medicine.

Financial support:  

Support will be provided at the current NIH predoctoral stipend levels ($25,320/year, divided into every other month allocations), and will include a health insurance supplement of $4680, equivalent to SHIP (Student Health Insurance Plan) for three quarters.


Application deadlines will be posted in the fall each year, though typically the application due date will fall in February. Please feel free to contact program director Dr. James Murphy with questions about the program.

James D. Murphy, MD, MS  
MedGap Program Director
Director of Medical Student Research Training, Altman Clinical Translational Research Institute
Academic Community Director, School of Medicine
Associate Professor, Radiation Medicine and Applied Science