RESEARCH ELECTIVES typically involve a student working with a faculty member. Students who want to receive credit for research electives must schedule research electives prior to the dates scheduled for the experience. 

To be awarded credit for a research elective, the proposal must be submitted and approved in advance. Retrospective credit for work performed on an unapproved project will not be considered.

Click here to link to the Office of Student Affairs Research Opportunities web page.

A Research Elective Scheduling Form can be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs web site.  The student should discuss the form and research proposal with the sponsor of the research.  Proposed research electives will be reviewed and must be approved by the Assistant Dean for Curriculum before being added the student’s College schedule.

lease note: Upon completion, a final project, academic paper, abstract or presentation must be submitted to the Assistant Dean for Curriculum for review to receive a final grade.
  See the Research Elective Scheduling Form below for full requirements. 

rocedure for Scheduling Research Electives

1) Write a Research Elective Proposal, describing the proposed research, your role is the research, specific activities and anticipated products of the research.

2) Complete the Research Elective Scheduling Form.

3) Obtain a letter of endorsement from the Research Advisor.

4) Submit the Research Elective Proposal, letter of endorsement, and Research Scheduling Form to or Room 120 CMW four weeks prior to the start date of the rotation.

5) You will received an email as to whether the research elective has been approved or not or if there is more documentation needed.


Research electives in the M4 year at UIC COM can be designed to receive two through eight weeks of credit, with a maximum of 8 weeks. Research electives may be longitudinal in nature (the reserach may overlap with clinical experiences), however, at least two weeks of unscheduled time must be set aside on the students's scheule for the research elective.  No other experiences may be scheduled concurrently during these weeks.

The workload demanded by the research project should be appropriate for the number of hours of credit proposed. Research electives should be complementary to the student’s overall medical school experience and not to be used to supplant other clinical or educational experience.

Research electives are by definition self-designed because the demands necessary for a particular research project are unique to the project. Fundamental concepts and basic medical research should be addressed through the educational experience, lecture, discussion with faculty advisor, or active participation by the student during the rotation. These fundamental processes of medical research include: 

1. Developing a hypothesis
2. Literature review to evaluate uniqueness of proposed hypothesis or study
3. A priori statistical analysis or power analysis for clinical studies
4. Experimental design
5. Obtaining and collecting data and avoiding bias
6. Presenting raw data and statistical analysis and writing data in manuscript form
7. Preparing or submitting for publication
8. Ethics

While most of the student’s time will be spent on 2, 5, 7 and/or 8, all must be specifically addressed in the research proposal including the mechanism of how the student will be introduced to each facet of the research process unique to their project.

See the SAMPLE Research Elective Proposal to use as a guide in composing your proposal.  Make sure to address all 8 fundamental processes listed.