Program Description

Students at the UW School of Medicine (UWSOM) undertake a scholarly project to fulfill the Independent Investigative Inquiry (III) Scholarship Requirement. Options for scholarly work include:

  1. Scholarship of Discovery – Student undertakes a research project related to medicine such as (but not limited to) basic science, clinical research, health services, and quality improvement.
  2. Scholarship of Integration – Student undertakes a literature review project related to medicine in order to synthesize and give meaning and perspective to prior work.

Either option provides the opportunity for students to participate in an individually-mentored scholarly work. The project will be carried out over the Summer 2019 quarter (9 weeks), after the student has completed their first year of medical school. To receive credit for their work, Scholarship of Discovery students present their findings at the annual Medical Student Poster Session in Fall 2019. Scholarship of Integration students submit a completed literature review in September 2019.

Over Summer 2019, students will also be enrolled in a six-credit, Research Methods course (approximately 6-10 hours per week) via distance-learning format and in conjunction with their III summer projects. For this reason, student project commitment is up to 30 hours per week. During this time, students will be eligible for financial aid for their summer living expenses. Students who relocate for the summer between WWAMI sites (Seattle, Spokane, Laramie, Anchorage, Bozeman, and Moscow) in order to conduct their scholarly project will be provided a relocation stipend by UWSOM. Thus, we strongly encourage faculty members to consider working with students from all sites.


Faculty Mentor Expectations

Students will execute their project over the 9-week Summer term, committing approximately 30 hours per week. With this in mind, Faculty Mentors are expected to:

  1. Create a project that can be completed within 9 weeks and has a clearly defined role for the student that allows them to make an intellectual contribution to the project.
  2. Assist the student in writing their Project Proposal (due February 1, 2019) by meeting regularly to review and edit drafts, signing off on the final draft.
  3. Provide a brief Faculty Mentor Statement as part of the student’s Project Proposal indicating a plan to regularly meet with the student over the Summer term and a commitment to guiding the student in completing their project.
  4. Be available throughout the Summer term to regularly meet with their student (weekly at minimum) and guide then through the execution of their project.

We also expect that Faculty Mentors will:

  • Have experience with the topic at hand.
  • Be familiar with the methods the student will use in their project.
  • Possess skills and knowledge that complement that of the student
  • Be enthusiastic about working with medical students
  • Develop a supportive environment for scholarship
  • Demonstrate professionalism



  1. Faculty mentors may be any UWSOM faculty members with an active Affiliate, Acting, Adjunct, Clinical, or Regular faculty appointment; this includes those at the Instructor level. Fellows and residents are not eligible to be a research mentor or co-mentor. If a Faculty Mentor does not hold a UWSOM appointment, the student must also find a Faculty Co-mentor who does hold a UWSOM appointment in the event support is needed and to be able to submit an evaluation of the student’s work.
  2. A Faculty Mentor may serve as the primary mentor for more than one student; however, each student must have a discrete project of their own. Student project proposals that are identical in any form to another student’s project proposal will not be considered.
  3. The Faculty Mentor must be experienced and familiar with the project topic and methods used in the study.


Faculty Co-Mentor Expectations

The Faculty Co-Mentor serves as a resource to the student. They are not the primary resource for executing the project – students should always use their Faculty Mentor for advising on their work. If a Faculty Co-Mentor is required (see above), the expectations of this role are:

  1. The Faculty Co-mentor must check in with the student every 2-4 weeks (or more as needed) to ensure they are making progress toward completing their project at the end of the summer
  2. Discuss the student’s work with the Faculty Mentor and student to be able to submit an evaluation.


Student Project Proposals

A 3-page Student Project Proposal is written by the student with the help of their Faculty Mentor. The proposal must clearly define the student’s discrete project for which they are personally responsible. This is especially important for students who will be doing a sub-project within a larger project.

As part of the proposal, you will be asked to provide a Faculty Mentor statement discussing the student’s expected role in the project, a plan for how you will provide direct and regular supervision throughout the 9 weeks, and your signature indicating your commitment to helping the student have a successful scholarly experience.

The proposal is reviewed by a committee headed by the Director of Medical Student Scholarship. If approved, the student may undertake the project to fulfill their III Scholarship Requirement. Acceptance will be based on the quality of the proposal and evidence of appropriate mentor support. More information can be found on the Project Proposal form.



October 22, 2018 Due date to submit a faculty project description
November 1, 2018 Directory of Faculty Projects released to students
Nov 2018 – Jan 2019: Students and faculty agree upon a project and work together to write a proposal using the Student Project Proposal form.
February 1, 2019: Student Project Proposals forms due
February 22, 2019: Student Project Proposals are accepted or conditionally accepted with revisions
February 28, 2019: Student deadline to commit to III program
March 15, 2019: Project proposals requiring revisions due
Jun-Aug 2019: Students conduct their work over the 9-week Summer period
September 2, 2019: Literature reviews are due for Scholarship of Integration students
Oct-Nov 2019: Scholarship of Discovery students present their work as a poster at the UWSOM Medical Student Poster Session.
January 31, 2020: Faculty mentor evaluations of the student’s performance are due.



Please contact: Dr. Karla Kelly, UWSOM Education Specialist, at or 206-543-0922.