Student Research

Image: Harvard Medical School, Dylan Neel

HMS students will find hundreds of opportunities to carry out research, from hypothesis-based research in the basic and clinical sciences to research in the social sciences, arts, and medical humanities. Faculty at Harvard-based labs and affiliated hospitals all offer opportunities for HMS students. Students also find research opportunities across the US and abroad. While some students locate research opportunities in their first year, most students will carry out research in their third or fourth year, after they have completed their principal clinical experience in their second year.

Over half of any HMS class chooses to take an extra year for either research or study toward a second degree. Those who elect to take a research year may apply for external or HMS funding.

HMS students have been successful in obtaining fellowships from:

HMS also has a robust faculty advising structure to help students identify cutting-edge projects that fit their interests.

Graduation Requirement

Completing a research project is a graduation requirement for all MD students, whether enrolled in Pathways/New Pathway or HST. (HSDM students can visit the HSDM education page for research requirements.)

Scholarly Project (Pathways/New Pathway)

Pathways/New Pathway students conduct an independent investigation of a scholarly question and write up their findings under close faculty mentorship.

MD Research and Thesis (HST)

HST students submit a thesis based upon original scholarly and creative work done either in the laboratory or in the clinic under the direction of a faculty member.

Student Research Mentoring

HMS Scholars in Medicine Excellence in Student Mentoring Award

Image, Harvard Medical SchoolImage: Harvard Medical School

The HMS Scholars in Medicine Excellence in Student Mentoring Award was established to recognize the value of quality mentoring relationships and the impact they have on student research and professional development. Graduating HMS students are invited to nominate their mentors and include a narrative of how the faculty member’s mentoring has affected their progress as a successful medical student.

The recipients for 2017-2018 are:

  • Gail Kurr Adler, PhD, MD; Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Jennifer Kasper, MD, MPH; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital; Chair, Faculty Advisory Committee on Global Health, HMS Scholars in Medicine Program
  • Louise Catherine Ivers, MD; Executive Director for Massachusetts General Hospital Global Health; Associate Physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine; and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.