Student Research

Physician teaching student about clinical research methods

Our goal is to facilitate student engagement in research and other scholarly activity in both the preclinical and clinical years.  Visit this page regularly for the latest news and opportunities.  

Peer-reviewer opportunity

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association is seeking student peer-reviewers.  Click here for more information.

Congratulate our student authors on their publications!  You may link to the articles below.

Phenibut addiction in a patient with substance use disorder

MedManage: The development of a tool to assist medication reconciliation in a rural primary care clinic.

Point-of-Care Ultrasonography Integration in Undergraduate Medical Education: A Student-Driven Approach

Just Say Know to Drugs! A High School Pharmacology Enrichment Program for a Rural Population


Procedures and Forms

Students who would like to participate in research or other scholarly activity are encouraged to contact us for help getting started.  Additional information can also be found at the links below.

Conducting Research or Other Scholarly Activity While on Rotation

Information on WVSOM Research Policies and Procedures

For more information regarding student funding, see the accordion below, "Does WVSOM have funding for me to present my work...?"  Please be sure to ask for reimbursement procedures from the ORSP, and review these procedures for funding, prior to submitting an abstract, so you know what to expect.  Funding for conferences is through reimbursement.

FAQ about WVSOM Affiliated Research Projects

What is a WVSOM Affiliated Research Project?

A WVSOM affiliated research project means a project, for which WVSOM resources are being utilized. This could mean personnel time, funding, space, etc. WVSOM affiliated projects must be approved in advance of starting the project. These WVSOM affiliated research projects may include work at another institution, for which WVSOM is providing personnel time or funds.

All full-time WVSOM employees working with other institutions on research projects are generally considered to be engaged in WVSOM affiliated projects. There are some exceptions (e.g. conducted during vacation time, leave without pay, etc.). You MUST talk with your supervisor and get approval about these exceptions in advance.

Students are not always considered engaged in WVSOM affiliated projects when doing work on their own time with a different institution or non-WVSOM faculty or employee.  See below for more information.

Does WVSOM have funding for me to present my work locally or through travel?

Yes, WVSOM has (limited) funding to support student travel to present at a conference and to have posters printed?  To be eligible to request funding, you must: 

  • Be approved by WVSOM as personnel on a WVSOM affiliated research project IN ADVANCE of participating as personnel, or
  • Be approved by WVSOM to undertake the scholarly activity IN ADVANCE of undertaking the activity (e.g. get approval to write up the case report before you write it up).
  • For more information on how to procure approval IN ADVANCE, see this FAQ on research and scholarly activity processes
  • Approval for eligibility to request funds for either research or scholarly activity is provided in an email from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.  Hang on to it for your records.  The email will include a phrase, such as "you MAY be eligible to request funding for presentation of this project...".  If you do not have this email IN ADVANCE of starting on the project, you will not be approved for funding.
  • Additional approvals must be in place prior to reimbursement by the ORSP, including 1) approval to travel from your academic Associate Dean and 2) acceptance of the abstract by the conference.

If I am working at another institution, is the project considered WVSOM affiliated?

Possibly. The answer depends on whether you are a student or an employee.

  • If you are an employee and you are doing work for WVSOM, either for professional development, or as part of your WVSOM duties, with funding through WVSOM or a grant to WVSOM, or on professional leave through WVSOM to do the work, then yes. All WVSOM approvals must be in place prior to undertaking the work at another institution.
  • Students engaging in research projects as part of their academic requirements (e.g. a research rotation) or on WVSOM’s campus are considered to be engaged in WVSOM affiliated research. All WVSOM approvals must be in place prior to undertaking the research project.
  • Students are not considered WVSOM personnel for the purposes of research during their summer break between year 1 and 2, or during non-curricular time. Thus, if you are working at another institution during these time periods, your project is not considered a WVSOM affiliated project, unless you get specific approval for the project through WVSOM’s procedures.

As a student, what are the pros and cons of being involved in a WVSOM affiliated research project vs. doing research unaffiliated with WVSOM?

Student feedback indicates that the cons of being involved in WVSOM affiliated research are 3-fold:

  • The additional/duplicate paperwork required, especially if the project is collaborative with another institution (though the paperwork is often quick),
  • The research project will not be discussed in the Dean’s M letter (though students can put the work on their CV and discuss in their cover letter), and
  • WVSOM resources, like poster printing, travel funds, personnel time, and space, will not be provided by WVSOM for non-affiliated research projects (though the external PI may have funds).

Student feedback indicates that the benefits of being involved in WVSOM affiliated research are as follows:

  • The Dean(s) may comment on the WVSOM affiliated research project in the MSPE letter for residency application,
  • Students involved in a WVSOM affiliated research project may be eligible to request funds for presenting the work, like travel funds or poster printing, and
  • Other resources like WVSOM mentorship and statistical advice are available.

What is the process to have an external collaborative research project recognized as WVSOM affiliated?

The process is the same as the research project initiation process. Briefly, complete a WVSOM ORSP-1 form and return it to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and define your role on the project.

  • Students may not be the PI on research projects. The PI may be at the external institution, in which case students must also have a WVSOM employee mentor. The PI from the external institution must sign off on the WVSOM ORSP-1 form, the WVSOM employee mentor must sign the ORSP-1 form, and the WVSOM employee mentor’s supervisor should also sign the ORSP-1 form. Student should be sure to clearly describe their role on the external collaborative research project.
  • Employees collaborating externally for WVSOM purposes must still have the research project approved through the above process. Employees may be the PI or a co-PI, or simply research personnel. Make sure your role is clearly described on the ORSP-1 form.

What are the role and responsibilities of a WVSOM mentor for students doing research at an external facility?

As a WVSOM student research mentor, your responsibilities are to help guide the student through the approval process and ensure that the required permissions are in place. The WVSOM mentor may also help the student access WVSOM resources (e.g. statistics consultation, travel/poster funding) or provide professionalism mentoring. The WVSOM mentor may also be monitoring educational aspects of the program (e.g. a research rotation).

For clarity, the WVSOM mentor is not research personnel on the project and the WVSOM mentor should not be funding the research. The student should not be sharing data or specific information regarding the project with the WVSOM mentor, nor should the WVSOM mentor ask for any of those things related to the research project (without permission of the PI).

I will be working with live animals, living humans, or personally identifiable data at the external site. How long will approval for this take?

Research projects working with these types of subjects or data require additional approvals. There are two types of approvals that must be in place for this type of work:

  • The personnel must be added to the research ethics protocol (IACUC or IRB) AND
  • Either both institutions’ ethics boards must review and approve the research project OR both institutions must enter into an agreement to rely on the other institution’s ethics review and approval.

The first bullet point is generally pretty quick. The second bullet point can take several months to ensure appropriate approvals or agreements are in place. Remember that all approvals for such projects must be in place prior to the individual undertaking the work in order for it to be recognized as a WVSOM affiliated research project.

I am a student and I do not want this to be a WVSOM affiliated project, or I do not have time to get all the WVSOM paperwork in place for my summer research experience. Is that ok?

The short answer, YES, but see below.
WVSOM does not consider students as WVSOM personnel for research purposes during your summer off from academics (unless you are on campus working with WVSOM personnel), or when you are not on rotations (e.g. evenings or weekends). If you choose to forego the process of having WVSOM recognize and oversee a research project as WVSOM affiliated that is fine. Understand that you will not be able to have it discussed in your Dean’s letter, be able to request WVSOM funds to present the work, or have access to other WVSOM support. The PI at the other institution, however, may have funds and resources they may devote to the project. The PI at the other institution is responsible for your conduct and ensuring you are undertaking the work ethically and responsibly (as are you).

As with other, WVSOM or non-WVSOM related activities, you are expected to act professionally and ethically as a student physician. If the work is presented, you should indicate your primary affiliation as with the institution, at which you undertook the work. You may also indicate your current affiliation is with WVSOM, but the distinction that the work was done and overseen at/by the other institution should be clear. Here is an example of how to indicate this information:

Doe, Jane1,2, Other, Author1, Additional, Author1
1[Other Institution Name]; 2Current Affiliation-WVSOM


Scholarly Activity How To's

WVSOM Resources

WVCTSI (WV Clinical and Translational Science Institute)

The WVCTSI provides resources for students to develop their research and scholarly activity skills.  At this link, there are a variety of pre-recorded webinars regarding research and scholarly activity.

  • Case study and abstract writing resources here
  • Become a member of the WVCTSI and access additional resources

AOA (American Osteopathic Association)

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) supports student research.  For more information, go to their website:  There are also some video resources regarding research and how to get started.

AACOM (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine)

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) provides a host of scholarly activity resources and webinars regarding research and writing.  Check out the Scholarly Activity Series available on the AACOM website.

Available on demand webinars topics include:

  • Scholar Overview: Demystifying Medical Research Projects (2 parts)  (delivered by 2, yes, 2!!, DO-PhDs)
  • Ask a Biostatistician: Developing Your Data Analysis
  • Conference Abstract Writing: Tips & Tricks  (and see the announcement below regarding an abstract opportunity!)
  • Ask a Biostatistician: Developing your Research Question and Conducting Literature Search
  • Quality Improvement: Why and How in GME  (and did you know that we have an online subscription to learning more about QI?  contact Dr. Hanna for more info)
  • Researching and Writing Effective Background Section of Research Paper


Presentation Opportunities, Conferences, and Internships

WVSOM Office of Alumni Relations

The WVSOM Alumni Office often has local conferences that students are able to attend for free. See their webpage for more information and contacts

WV Osteopathic Medical Association (WVOMA), September 26-29, 2019.  Abstract submission due August 29, 2019

  • WVOMA Webpage Registration.  Students MUST register for WVOMA (registration should be free for students), and must be able to attend the presentation session.
  • The presentation session is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 28th in the morning (followed by lunch).  Posters are expected to be printed and available for display starting Thursday, September 26 afternoon (the ORSP will set them up).
  • Student abstracts are due by 5pm, EST on August 29, 2019 by email to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, with the subject as "WVOMA Abstract Submission".
  • Research and other scholarly activities, including case reports, are welcomed for presentation
  • There is no specific format or required word count for abstracts but the following information must be included.
    • Title
    • Authors and affiliations (see note below regarding work done off-campus)
    • A brief description of the project including purpose, methods, results and conclusions
    • A statement that appropriate approvals were obtained where relevant including:
      • Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval or granting of exempt status for studies involving human subjects or data
      • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval for studies involving animals
      • Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) approval for projects involving regulated recombinant DNA technology, infectious agents or toxins.
  • For projects conducted off campus, the Principal Investigator must also send an email to the ORSP confirming that you have permission to present the work and that all necessary approvals (IRB, IACUC, IBC) had been obtained.
  • For projects that were done off campus at unaffiliated sites, WVSOM should not be listed as your affiliation.  Your affiliation should list the institution that provided the resources for the project.  The typical way of handling this is to list the site where the work was done and include a symbol next to your name indicating your current affiliation.  For an example, you can go to the pubmed link below and expand the author information.  The first author did the work at Radboud University but is currently at Catharina Hospital.  (
  • Funding for printing of posters is available for projects that were sponsored by/affiliated with WVSOM and may be available for projects done through certain other affiliated programs.  If you are eligible for funding, you should already have an email from ORSP indicating your potential eligibility for funding, but can also contact Dr. Hanna to discuss this in advance.
  • You will be notified by email of whether your abstract is accepted shortly after the August 29, 2019 submission deadline, and a poster template provided at that time.

West Virginia Geriatrics Society, November 6, 2019. Abstracts due September 20, 2019

WV Geriatrics Society "Tomorrow and Beyond: Optimizing Geriatric Quality of Life"

We are accepting Student/Resident Original Research or Case Study posters.

  • Submit your completed application and IRB approval (if applicable) at the website links listed below
  • Include a pdf file of your poster
  • The submission format is listed below
  • Deadline for Submission: September 20th 5 pm ET

Case Study Abstract Submission Form

Research Study Abstract Submission Form

WVCTSI Annual Meeting, TBD, 2020

West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute Registration

You have to be a member, but here is the link for Free membership

Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition (OMED), October 25-28, 2019. Abstract submission closed

9th Annual Appalachian Translational Researcher Network Health Summit (ATRN), October 14-15, 2019. Abstract submission closed

West Virginia Rural Health Conference, October 8-11, 2019 (Huntington, WV), Abstract submission due August 30, 2019

Home page for WV Rural Health Conference

27th Annual WV Rural Health Conference Flyer

Abstract submission page

  • Students and residents in training are invited to submit abstracts of rural health projects/research for podium or poster presentation.
  • Contact Courtney Hereford for more information about abstract submissions.

External Fellowship and Research Opportunities (Mainly summer opportunities)

Contact us for more information about these external opportunities or assistance with applications.


Contact Information

Dr. Jandy Hanna
Associate Dean of Research and Sponsored Programs
Room A311
(304) 647-6366

Diana Bird
Admin. Secretary Senior
Research and Sponsored Programs
Room A310
(304) 647-6289