MD with Special Training in Research

Research Requirements

In order to successfully complete the MD STIR Program, a particular set of research requirements must be completed.

  1. Time requirement
  2. Seminar participation
  3. Final written report
  4. Oral Presentation
  5. Demonstrate practical understanding
  6. Maintain acceptable academic standing

  1. Time Requirement

    A minimum of 24 weeks must be spent conducting research in a laboratory or other appropriate setting, and/or engaged in a basic science or clinical research project. Students must be under appropriate faculty supervision. This research experience will be gained during two consecutive summers. Students enrol in the program after completing the first summer of research.

    Up to 16 weeks of research (excluding vacations) conducted in the summer prior to entering medical school will be considered towards the total of 24 weeks, if the supervisor of that research provides a letter of evaluation certifying the participation in a research project. Alternatively, the 24 weeks of research can be completed during the summers between Years 1 and 2 and Years 2 and 3 of medical school.

    This program is intended for first-year medical students, as the MD Program does not generally allow enough time during clinical years to meet the required number of weeks over two consecutive summers. Second-year students can still apply and complete this program if they have a minimum of 14 weeks of research, though 16 is strongly recommended, already completed during the summer between Years 1 and 2. The summer between Years 2 and 3 leaves a maximum of 10 weeks available to complete the research requirements if the applicant does not take vacations.


  2. Seminar Participation

    Students must participate in the Research Ethics and Integrity seminar and must also make a least one oral presentation of their research during the summer of their acceptance into the program. This presentation to an appropriate audience must be made prior to the submission of the final report. The presentation is to be at least 10 minutes in length and will be followed by a question period of no less than five minutes. This obligatory presentation is usually made to the student’s research group or department. A letter from the PI outlining the details (date, place, audience, length of presentation) is required.


  3. Final Report

    A final written report must be submitted to the MD Research Committee. It will consist of:

    • the original, plus three copies, of the final written report
    • the original, plus three copies, of your report on your contributions to the research
    • a supervisor evaluation form, which is to be mailed and signed over the seal by the supervisor.

    These documents must be submitted before 4 pm on the last Monday in September of the year that the research requirement is completed. This deadline is firm and late reports will not be accepted.

    This report covers only one research topic, that of the second summer of research, which should be the research described in the proposal that was submitted in February.

    The Final Written Report


  4. Oral Presentation

    The final oral presentation to the MD Research Committee will be scheduled in October or November of the year in which the 24 weeks of eligible research are completed. The subject of the oral presentation must be the same research described in the program application proposal and in the written report. Supervisors are invited, and strongly encouraged, to attend their student’s presentation.

    The oral report should be 10 minutes in length and should provide an overview of the research and its significance. Students should be prepared to answer questions on any aspect of the work they have described and demonstrate a good practical understanding of the scientific process in general.

    Final Oral Presentation


  5. Demonstrate Practical Understanding Of The Scientific Research Process

    To successfully complete the STIR Program, the student must be able to demonstrate a good practical understanding of the entire scientific process, including development, formulation and testing of hypotheses, experimental design and validation, presentation, analysis and interpretation of results (in the context of all other available scientific information).


  6. Maintain Acceptable Academic Standing

    Upon graduation, the students who have successfully completed the program will have the MD (With Special Training In Research) notation entered on both the official U of A transcript and diploma. The failure of a student to complete the requirements for the STIR Program will in no way affect their MD degree.