James Scholar Program for Independent Study

James Scholar Program for Independent Study

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine

Applications Due: October 26, 2016. Students are not required to submit a transcript with their application. James Scholar committee has access to the information needed. Applications may be submitted electronically via email.


Program Overview

The James Scholar Program for Independent Study (JS/ISP) focuses on supporting and refining research skills among medical students as they develop into physicians and clinical professionals. The JS/ISP is designed to support outstanding medical student researchers during their M2-M4 years, with projects culminating in high-level activities, such as presentations at abstracted scientific conferences and/or academic meetings, publication of research papers, or other significant contributions related to professional development.

JS/ISP scholars have many opportunities throughout the College of Medicine to access research including the Center on Psychiatric Disability and Co-Occurring Medical Conditions [www.cmhsrp.uic.edu/health], the Hispanic Center of Excellence [www.medicine.uic.edu/hcoe], and the Global Health Research Collaborative [www.medicine.uic.edu/ghrc]


Application Process

Students interested in applying to be JS/ISP scholars already should be actively engaged in research at the time of application as well as have exemplary academic records. Research activities should be well-established with academic mentors, having initiated these activities in the summer prior to their M2 year.  Applicants should have established relationships with a faculty researcher who can serve as a Research Mentor over the course of program participation.


All complete applications will be reviewed by a panel of JS/ISP faculty advisors. Applications should include the elements described in the Application Materials Section. Once the complete application is received the JS/ISP Faculty Advisors will review and then invite select students in for an in-person interview with a panel of JSP/ISP mentors and senior program scholars. Based on review of all application materials and the personal interview, JP/ISP scholars will be selected. Deadlines for major program milestones are summarized in the JS/ISP Timeline.


JS/ISP Selection Criteria


1.       Academic performance in the M1/first year;

2.       Experience documented on CV, with emphasis on previous research experience;

3.       Personal Statement, detailing how participation in the JS/ISP will affect professional development;

4.       Review of Application Packet, including components defined in the Application Materials, (i.e., letter from research mentor,  longitudinal research project/study to be completed before M4/fourth year;

a.      During medical school, students pursuing a joint degree (e.g. MD/MPH, MD/MBA) who prepare a thesis or capstone project may be eligible for inclusion in the James Scholar/ISP program, pending approval from the faculty oversight committee;

5.       Feedback from personal interview

6.    Potential for continued professional growth as a result of program participation.

If you have questions about the application process or about the James Scholar Program for Independent Study please contact Rachel Maldonado,  MSW, JS/ISP Coordinator at 312-996-5751, rmaldon@uic.edu or Dr. Lisa Razzano, JS/ISP Director via email at Razzano@psych.uic.edu.


Requirements of JS/ISP Scholars


All individuals selected as JS/ISP scholars are required to meet regularly with their research project mentors, JS/ISP faculty advisors, and participate in JS/ISP events as required by the College of Medicine. In addition, scholars will be asked to prepare and submit to the JS/IPS program two (2) written reports detailing their research progress. These reports should summarize research progress to date, describe any barriers encountered and strategies to address them, project accomplishments, and any presentations and papers developed as a result of the research experience. Individuals accepted into the JS/ISP also will be assigned a JS/ISP advisor for the program, who support and monitor program activities and requirements in addition to the primary research mentor.


JS/ISP Timeline


Key Personnel


Request for Applications (RFA) Announced

College of Medicine

September 10, 2014

 Information Session
Director, Coordinator & Students
September 19, 2014

Receipt of completed JS/ISP Applications

Students; Research Mentors

October 20, 2014

Initial Application Review

JS/ISP Faculty Advisors

October 21-27, 2014

Candidate Interviews

Students; JS/ISP Faculty Advisors

Oct. 28 - Nov. 6, 2014

Final Application Review

JS/ISP Faculty Advisors

Nov. 6 - 13, 2014

Candidates Notified of Results

JS/ISP Program Directors

Nov. 14, 2014


General JS/ISP Scholar Requirements

Key Personnel


Biannual Progress Reports

Students; Research Mentors

June 1; Jan 1 annually

Final Progress Report

Students; Research Mentors

April 15 of M4 year


Application Materials


Candidates interested in the program should have established collaboration with the proposed research mentor. Applications should include specific sections as described below. These sections will be reviewed and scored by JS/ISP application reviewers as part of the selection process using standardized criteria.

Application Component

Description/Requited Document(s)

Review Points

M1 Academic Performance

a.    Student Transcripts

5 points

Past & Current Research Experience

a.    Student CV/Resume

5 points

Personal Statement


a.    Summary of interest in research;

b.    Details regarding how participation will directly affect professional development;

c.    Plans for continuity between program activities & long-term career goals

5 points

5 points
 5 points

15 points/section


Application Packet


Materials must not exceed 5 pages; Margins cannot be smaller than ½ inch; & minimum of 11pt font.

a.    Project Abstract (150 words/less)

b.    Summary of Research Project

1.                   Literature Review

2.                   Current Level of Collaboration

3.                   Proposed Methods

4.                   Relevant Analytic/Evaluation Strategies

5.                   Anticipated Results

6.                   Planned Outcomes & Outputs

7.                   Sustainability into Professional Career

c.    Plans for Completion by M4 year

5 points

35 points

 (5 points)

 (5 points)

 (5 points)

 (5 points)

 (5 points)

 (5 points)

 (5 points)

10 points

50 points/section


Research Mentor Recommendation

Two (2) pages or less

a.    Summary of Collaboration

b.    Role in Supporting Student

c.    How Project Extends Previous Work

10 points

Personal Interview

a.    Questions from JS/ISP Panel Reviewers

15 points

Total Possible Score for JS/ISP Application Materials

100 total points