Student Research and Scholarly Activity

Our goal is to facilitate student engagement in research and other scholarly activity in both the preclinical and clinical years.

What is scholarly activity?  Boyer identifies 4 components of scholarly activity: Discovery, Integration, Application, and Teaching. (Boyer EL. Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professorate. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 1990).  Some examples of activities that fall in each of these categories are below.  If you want to engage in scholarly activity, please complete the appropriate form and return to the ORSP prior to engaging in the project.  This will make you eligible for funding.  Note that scholarly activity are activities that are generally intended to be presented or disseminated to external audiences. 

  • Discovery (advancing/creating new knowledge)
    • Usually this is research, and generally the goals is to publish a paper or submit/present an abstract.  This type of activity usually requires the ORSP1 form.
  • Integration (synthesizing knowledge)
    • Often this is writing a review manuscript, case study or report, conducting a literature review for presentation, or some kind of patient education/teaching project for patients.  This type of activity usually requires the non-research scholarly activity form (NRSA).
  • Application (applying existing knowledge/service)
    • Often this is participation in national panels or professional society committees, which develop guidelines, society statements, or policy.  This type of activity usually requires the NRSA, as above.
  • Teaching (disseminating current knowledge)
    • Often this involves preparing and delivering presentations/lectures, developing curricula, developing web-based learning modules, etc.  This type of activity usually requires the NRSA, as above.

Peer Review Opportunities

Some journals allow for medical students to engage in peer review.  Peer review of journal articles is the foundation of journal article publication.  Known opportunities are listed below, as well as some resources for what makes a good review(er).  The latter may help with understanding what makes a rigorous manuscript, and what reviewers are looking for.

Congratulate our student authors on their publications!

Procedures and Forms

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

  • Rotations: Refer to your Clinical Education Manual for information on conducting research or other scholarly activity while on rotation

For more information regarding student funding, see "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.

As far as the scholarly activity projects available, students are responsible for contacting faculty to see about joining a research or scholarly activity project.  The best way to do this is to reach out to faculty with similar interests.  You may access the faculty research webpages as the link to the right, or you may simply email a faculty who lectured on a topic of interest.

  • Students may also provide their own information/request by completing this Student Scholarly Activity Matching Form.   
  • There is no guarantee that faculty will use this form to reach out to students.  
  • Faculty are not required to look at this form and it is NOT A SUBSTITUTE for you reaching out to faculty.  
  • You should still reach out to faculty and discuss your interests to see if they would make a good mentor for you for what you want to get out of a scholarly activity experience.

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.
  • NOTE: Out-of-State Travel requires approval by the President.  Contact the ORSP for more information.
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
Literature Reviews

Literature reviews are the first step in any scholarly activity project. Literature reviews allow you to gain a solid foundation on what has already been done on the topic, what gaps there are in the literature (which help you develop your specific question), and permit you to place the project and question in context.

Case Reports

Case report are a common mechanism for a brief scholarly activity project. Case reports still require a literature review, so see the above accordion for guidance. Below are some videos and documents for writing case reports.  Many of the links focus on requirements for publication in a journal, however, the points and steps are universal for case reports, even if you do not plan on submitting to a journal for publication.  Read some published case reports for examples.

Developing a CV or Resume
WVCTSI (WV Clinical and Translational Science Institute)

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

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

Sigma Xi Student Research Conference, Nov. 4-7, 2021,  Abstracts due September 24, 2021
AACOM Educating Leaders, April 27-29, 2022, Abstracts due October 7, 2021
  • Current medical students and trainees are encouraged to submit abstracts for Educating Leaders 2022.
  • Topics include:
    • Diverse and Culturally Competent Workforce,
    • GME Programs and Osteopathic Training,
    • Promising Approach,
    • Research, and more
  • Educating Leaders call for abstracts.
Experimental Biology, April 2-5, 2022, Abstracts due November 20, 2021.
American Academy of Family Physicians, Family Practice Experience (FMX), September 29-October 2, 2021, Abstracts submission closed
West Virginia Rural Health Association Conference, October 20-22, 2021, Abstract submission closed
WV American Academy of Physicians, Abstract submission closed

2021 ACP WV Chapter Meeting’s abstract competition

The portal for the 2021 ACP WV Chapter Meeting’s abstract competition is now open! Abstracts must be submitted electronically using our portal. The submission deadline is Monday, September 6. Categories are Clinical Vignette, Clinical Research, and Quality Improvement/Patient Safety.

First authors will be notified of accepted abstracts by September 27. This year’s meeting will held on November 4-6, and the poster and oral presentations will be on November 5 or 6, depending on the category. Winners of the oral competition will automatically be entered into the abstract competition for the spring 2021 National ACP Meeting in Chicago and will receive a travel stipend.

Please make sure you have addressed all of the following items on this checklist prior to submission:

  • I am an ACP Resident/Fellow Member or Medical Student with current WV ACP membership status.
  • The submission has been approved by a qualified senior author prior to submission (i.e., licensed to practice internal medicine in WV, ACP Member, board-certified in internal medicine/medicine subspecialty, and/or faculty in one of WV’s medical schools.)
  • If selected, I (the submitting and first author) agree to present an oral or poster presentation in person at the WV ACP conference on November 5 or 6.
  • All authors have had an opportunity to provide feedback, edits, and have approved the final submission.
  • The submission includes no identifying patient information or I have obtained a signed consent from patient for use of their information.
  • My submission does not exceed the word limit of 450 words and does not contain charts or graphs.
  • If clinical vignette, I have made a reasonable attempt to ensure that I am the only person submitting this case.
  • I have reviewed the following judging criteria that will be used for evaluating my abstract.
ACP's helpful guide to preparing for an abstract competition.

If you have any questions, please contact the chapter's Executive Director, Sheri Campbell.

Substance Use Research 2021 Symposium, Abstract submission closed

2021 Symposium on Substance Use Research now accepting abstracts

The 2021 Symposium on Substance Use Research is now accepting abstracts for the digitized short research presentations and the poster session. Abstracts are due by Friday, September 10, 2021. Please note that you do not have to be formally associated with any National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Biomedical Excellence (COBRE), IDeA Program Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR), or IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) to submit an abstract.

Abstract Submission Form

Authors will be notified via e-mail by Monday, September 27, 2021, if their abstract has been accepted for the symposium. The symposium is free and open to the public, and there are no registration fees to attend or participate. Questions should be directed to Kali Patterson at Please include “2021 Symposium on Substance Use Research” in your e-mail’s subject line. Registration for this event will open on Monday, August 2. For more information visit the University of Nebraska's Rural Drug Addiction Research Center.

WV Osteopathic Medical Association (WVOMA), November 5-7, 2021, Abstract submission closed
WVOMA is hybrid this year (November 5-7), and poster presentations will be virtual (pre-recorded).  To be part of the poster presentation, you will need to submit an abstract, and then, if accepted, you will need to create a digital poster (e.g. powerpoint) and record your poster presentation talk over powerpoint/video. 
  • Instructions will be sent with a poster template and how to record the presentation and when it is due by (early October, date will be sent with abstract acceptance). 
  • Recordings will be brief, 3-5 minutes or less, and will be your elevator speech about your poster. 
  • The recordings will be made available online for the WVOMA attendees to view.  By submitting your recording, you agree to have your email addressed published in the program, so people can email you questions.
There is no specific format for the abstracts, but you will need a title, the list of authors and affiliations, the PI/project director, the corresponding author’s contact, and any ethics/safety review board approval numbers, as appropriate.  Abstracts should be in one of the following categories:
  • Research
  • QI/QA
  • Case Study
  • Literature review
Abstracts submissions will close September 15 at 5pm.  Acceptance emails and instructions for recording posters will be sent by September 17, close of business.  Abstract submission form Students, for those of you who worked with an off-campus preceptor, PI/Project director, you will need to have that person email, granting permission for you to present. Recorded posters presentations will be due October 6, by 5pm.  More info to follow once your abstract is accepted.

Additionally, there may be an oral presentation opportunity, which will be live (but virtual).  This date and time has not yet been determined, but if you are interested in providing a live, ~6-8 minute oral presentation with a couple minute of time for questions following the presentation, please indicate this in the abstract submission form.  We will be in contact with you once we get the live presentation scheduled.  We anticipate a block of time for this that will allow 10-12 students and residents the opportunity for live presentations (virtually).  Additionally, we are also looking at a time (and place) to display posters on campus, and have the opportunity for WVSOM employees to see you and your posters in person (if you area available).  This may or may not materialize, but stay tuned for the option (it would not be required).

You will also need to register for WVOMA-student and resident registration is free.

West Virginia Geriatrics Society, January 20, 2022, Virtual.  Abstract submission closed
Appalachian Translational Research Network Summit, October 19-20, 2021, Abstract submission closed
Health Systems Science Impact Challenge, Abstracts submission closed

Call for submissions: Health systems science impact challenge

Do you know a learner who leveraged their knowledge of health systems science to impact patient care? Ask them to make a submission to the AMA Health Systems Science Student, Resident and Fellow Impact Challenge.

Submissions should focus on impactful activities or projects they developed and implemented. The strongest stories will be specific and innovative, and show measurable results. The competition is open to all U.S.-based medical students, residents and fellows. The deadline to apply is Monday, July 19, at 11:59 p.m. Central time. View submission requirements now.

AMA paper on health systems science challenge published in Academic Medicine

An analysis of the abstracts submitted to the 2018 Health Systems Science Student Impact Challenge has been published in Academic Medicine. Victoria Stagg Elliott, MA; Jasmyne Jackson, MD, MBA; Sally A. Santen, MD, PhD; Judee Richardson, PhD; Kevin Heckman, MBA; and Maya M. Hammoud, MD, MBA, reviewed all the abstracts identifying three long-standing problems bedeviling health systems and medical education that some of the student projects had the potential to solve such as improving care for those with mental illness, diversity in medicine, and teamwork and interprofessional education. The authors then extracted lessons learned that may be applicable more broadly. Read the paper.

Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition (OMED), October 22-24, 2021.  Abstract submission closed
Mid-Winter Osteopathic Seminar, 2022 TBD

The WVSOM Alumni Office often has local conferences that students are able to attend for free. See their webpage for more information and contacts, as well as information from 2021.

  • WVSOM alumni home page
  • WVSOM Alumni Association Mid-Winter CME conference: January 22-24, 2021.
  • Students and residents, for those of you who worked with an off-campus preceptor, PI/Project director, you will need to have that person email Dr. Hanna, granting permission for you to present.
Ohio Osteopathic Symposium, 2022 TBD
  • The Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education, and the Ohio Osteopathic Association announce a Call for Abstracts for the 2020 Ohio Osteopathic Symposium Poster Competition and Exhibition
  • competition and exhibition
  • Contact Karen Collins with questions
    • Karen Collins, MPA
    • Assistant Director of Research Administration
    • 740-593-2322
WVCTSI Annual Meeting, TBA
Michigan Association of Osteopathic Family Physicians, 2022 TBD
West Virginia Chapter of the Society of Hospital Medicine 2022 TBD
Summer Fellowships
Research Focused Elective Rotations

These elective rotations have various deadlines and many are accepted on an ongoing basis. Most require application almost a year in advance, so plan accordingly.   Check out the information page at the links below.  Elective rotations for credit through WVSOM must be approved by your StateWide Campus Regional Assistant Dean.  Refer to the Clinical Education Manual for more information.

Year-Long Fellowships
likely require a leave of absence or other arrangement.