Research Curriculum

The breadth of academic research at the Cleveland Clinic gives us the opportunity for unique and personal mentorship.

Aaron Viny
Class of 2009

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An Integrated Research Curriculum

The research curriculum begins on the first day and extends through all five years with research topics integrated into basic science and clinical courses. Students learn about the interaction between basic and clinical research, how basic science discoveries translate into changes in the clinical care of patients and how clinical observations can result in new directions in basic science research.

Students learn the basic principles of research, including:

  • Research design and data analysis
  • Ethical issues such as the use of animals and protection of human subjects in research
  • Critical review of the basic science and clinical research literature

Every student participates actively in a basic research "bench" project (PDF) in the first summer, preparing a mock research proposal and an oral presentation. In the second summer each student writes a clinical research protocol and participates in a clinical research project, while taking courses in applied biostatistics and epidemiology.

Visit the Research Compendium to browse information about research activities available, or visit the Lerner Research Institute.

In the summer of years 1 and 2, students have a journal club aimed at enhancing skills in interpreting and evaluating research literature. Two students each present an article each week while the other students are expected to read the articles carefully and come prepared with questions for the presenters.  Each student presenter is responsible for 1 paper each summer, the student works with a faculty facilitator to review the paper and presentation before journal club.  Using feedback from faculty and other students on their presentations and on the questions they ask of others, students hone their ability to communicate effectively in this setting.

Throughout years 1 and 2, weekly Advanced Research in Medicine (ARM) seminars (PDF) integrated with the content of the basic science curriculum in year 1 and year 2, given by physician investigators and basic science researchers, provide students with exposure to a broad range of research opportunities available to them.


Deans’ Dinners

Deans’ Dinners give students in Years 1 and 2 the opportunity to attend a formal research seminar by a distinguished senior physician investigator, followed by dinner and an informal question and answer period during which students can learn about how that investigator achieved success.  This is an opportunity to discuss different career options and pathways, the challenges of balancing research and clinical work, and approaches to balancing career and family or other interests.  Students gain an early understanding of the various approaches that can lead to successful careers in research and clinical care.


Research Advisors

All students will have a research advisor during years 3-5 overseeing their thesis project. In addition, students will work with a basic science researcher (year 1) and clinical investigator (year 2) on summer research projects. CCLCM has developed a compendium of basic science researchers and a compendium of clinical investigators to facilitate students ability to identify research opportunities of interest.


Ongoing Research Opportunities

Research is one of the four cornerstones of the Cleveland Clinic, and is actively pursued by basic scientists and physicians working in collaboration. The Clinic has been a world leader in medical breakthroughs and innovations largely because of such collaborations.

The Cleveland Clinic offers a broad range of research experiences for students within the CCLCM. The biomedical research effort at the Cleveland Clinic includes:

  • 2,400 active, IRB approved human research protocols
  • Nearly 200 laboratory principal investigators at the Cleveland Clinic with $83 million of National Institute of Health funding support
  • Integrated research curriculum with hands-on research experience.
  • $244 million of total research at the Cleveland Clinic
  • Clinical Science and Technology Award (CTSA) with 84 outstanding clinical investigation projects
  • Unique interdisciplinary disease-oriented research program linking basic scientists and clinical investigators in eight disease categories that include three dozen research programs.

In addition to research opportunities available at the Cleveland Clinic, students in the (College track) can choose from a wealth of research experiences at Case Western Reserve University and its other affiliated teaching hospitals. CWRU School of Medicine ranks among the top 20 research institutions in the United States with $232.1 million in NIH funding. Research programs are available in a broad range of basic science and clinical disciplines.