Scholarly Year

At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), we want the physicians we train to be lifelong learners, growing and adapting as medicine evolves. This will help you provide the highest possible quality of medical care, and to experience your own intellectual fulfillment as well.

Within the four years, you have many opportunities to enrich your education, though the demands of required coursework and clinical responsibilities may limit your choices. This is why a growing number of students elect to spend a full year carrying out a scholarly project.

Some students opt to conduct a research project in order to obtain mentored, one-on-one research training, while others engage in a service or advocacy project with a faculty mentor. Such experiences can not only enhance your ability to be a lifelong learner, but may also help you identify an area in medicine that you can be most passionate about.

To take advantage of the Scholarly Year program, you will need to be in good standing, have completed your second or third year of medical school, and be committed to spending a year on your project. This may be conducted either at ISMMS or another approved site, offering you a more intensive research experience than otherwise possible.

Exploring a Scholarly Year

If you are considering a Scholarly Year, first meet with a faculty member in the Medical Student Research Office to discuss your plans. They will help you review national fellowship programs that support your goals and objectives, such as the Howard Hughes Research Scholars Program, or the NIH Medical Research Scholars Program, and other sources of funding. We also suggest that you review the program guidelines.

The Scholarly Year project that you choose must ask a question of scientific, social, or other scholarly value, and must be feasible within the time frame. We encourage both scientific and humanities projects. Other than those in a national research fellowship program, all must be approved by the Medical Student Research Office. If you are interested in pursuing a Research Scholarly Year, please read the instructions carefully before completing the "Scholarly Year Request Form." Students who are returning from a Research Scholarly Year must submit the "Return from Scholaly Year Request Form" and be cleared by the Medical Student Research Office. Students who are pursuing a degree program or consulting fellowship should contact Student Affairs office.