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.

Obtain a Research Elective Scheduling Form 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.

Please note:

  • A single research project can only be placed on your schedule once. If you would like to request a credit increase for previously approved research project, please reopen your original service request. Your request should include your updated documentation. If you cannot locate the original ticket, please submit a new Student Scheduling Request. Please note in the description that the elective is already on your schedule.
  • Upon completion, a final summary, academic paper, abstract or presentation must be reviewed by the Assistant Dean for Curriculum to receive a final grade. This documentation is submitted to
  • Students are eligible for a total of 8 credits for research, including James Scholar Program participants per MD degree. MSTP students are the only exceptions as they are eligible for 12 research credits.

See the Research Elective Scheduling Form below for full requirements.

Procedure 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. Please submit all necessary scheduling documentation to the Student Scheduling Request.
  5. You will receive an email as to whether the research elective has been approved or not or if there is more documentation needed.
  6. Research electives will be reviewed twice – prior to starting the work, and then at the conclusion of your research work.

Fundamental Requirements

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 research may overlap with clinical experiences), however, at least two weeks of unscheduled time must be set aside on the students’s schedule 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.

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.

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

Upon completion of the research experience:

  1. End of Research (EOR) documentation requires a full summary of what a student completed on the project. Please submit these documents to If requesting more than 4 weeks of credit, an abstract or summary paper that is ready for national publication must also be submitted. Once EOR is received in COM-REG, it will be forwarded to the Associate Dean of Curriculum for review.
  2.  A completed assessment form must be received from the faculty member overseeing the research. Indicate below who should receive your assessment form.
  3. In addition, both the project summary/abstract description and assessment must be submitted in order for the student to receive credit for any research elective. Final credit hours will be determined upon review of these materials. Credit hours earned are based on productivity and quality of research and presentation and the faculty assessment.

*Please note, procedures are subject to change.