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Craig Scholars Program

The Craig Scholars Program enables medical students who are interested in research and scholarship to conduct defined summer research and scholarship projects under the mentorship and guidance of faculty at the University of Illinois College of Medicine between their first and second years.

Eligibility Heading link

  • Only first year (M1) students are eligible to participate in the University of Illinois College of Medicine Craig scholars program.
  • MD/PhD program students are not eligible as they are already expected to participate in research by virtue of their combined degree program.
  • Students must be academically eligible to receive the Craig scholars. Those students who are required to complete summer remediation exams are ineligible.

Submit Your Application on Time Heading link

The COMPLETE application for Summer 2023 must be submitted by FRIDAY, March 1, 2024 at 11:59pm, via the following email:

When submitting your application, please make sure to follow these instructions:

  1. Name your application as follows: LastName.FirstName_Craig2024Application
  2. Send all documents as one complete file — no multiple submissions. No personal email or hand-in copies will be accepted!
  3. ALL necessary signatures MUST be present on the submitted application cover page in order to be considered.
  4. Please make sure they are in the sequence as listed in the application requirements section on this page.

Application Requirements Heading link

Include the following components with your application. Make sure they also appear in this order:

  1. Cover page
  2. Research proposal 3-4 pages in length, followed by a bibliography. The research proposal should include the following elements:
    1. Cover Page: title of the proposal, student name, research mentor’s name, and appropriate University of Illinois College of Medicine department
    2. Specific Aims: principal aim(s) of the research project; a summary of the questions the student will ask and the methods that will be used
    3. Background and significance: information to help the reviewer understand the context of the questions the student is asking and why they are important, as well as the clinical and/or basic science significance of anticipated outcome(s)
    4. Experimental methods, anticipated outcomes, and alternative approaches: for each Specific Aim, provide details about the methods the student will use, specific experimental protocols, how they will answer student’s questions, what information student expects to obtain, and interpretation of anticipated results; state explicitly the portion of planned research to be completed by the student applicant over the summer research months. Provide also a brief explanation on what the student will do if the outcome of the results is not the anticipated one.
    5. Timeline: provide a tentative plan stating when the different steps and goals of the proposal will be completed. The goals of the proposal should be met within the time of the scholar
    6. Program mentorship (to be completed by research mentor): please describe the skills that the student will acquire with his/her work during the proposed Craig scholar. Additionally, please specify who will actually be supervising the student, e.g. the faculty research mentor, other faculty member, post-doctoral research associate, graduate student, etc., as well as the frequency of meetings and whether meetings will be in person or via phone, e-mail, combination, etc.
  3. Student applicant resume/curriculum vitae
  4. 1-2 paragraph statement of interest explaining nature of interest in undertaking a research project for personal and professional development.

Identify a Mentor

Prior to developing and submitting a Craig scholar application, interested students should identify a research Students must select a University of Illinois College of Medicine faculty mentor. Your chosen mentor must agree to:

  • Supervise you on a project during the summer months
  • Provide research mentorship and guidance during the Craig scholars program
  • Help the student prepare for a poster presentation at the College of Medicine Research Forum
  • Ensure that the student fulfills all requirements of the scholars, including a final written report.

You may select mentors from any of the University of Illinois College of Medicine campuses, and are not restricted to mentorship at the campus where you are enrolled. In the scenario of cross-campus mentorship, Craig scholars applications are submitted to the campus of the faculty mentor, rather than that of the student participant.

Program Timeline Heading link

What to expect from the program, month by month.

  • November-December preceding summer scholars
    Craig scholars informational session for M1 medical students
  • November-January preceding summer scholars
    Craig scholars opportunity announcement disseminated to M1 medical students
  • February-March preceding summer scholars
    Craig scholars application due date
  • April-May preceding summer scholars
    Craig scholars positions offered
  • June-August
    Craig scholars program undertaken
  • September-October following summer scholars
    Craig scholars reports collected
  • Fall/winter/spring following summer scholars
    Students present scholars project results at the College of Medicine Research Day at the University of Illinois College of Medicine campus where the research was performed

Expectations for Participating Students Heading link

  • All awardees are required to submit a final research report after completion of their summer scholars.
  • Craig fellows are required to submit an abstract and present a poster at their campus College of Medicine Research Forum.