NIDDK Medical Student Research Program (DK-MSRP): Project Summary/Abstract NIDDK created the NIDDK Medical Student Research Program (DK-MSRP) in 2009 to promote exposure of medical students to research and career pathways involving diabetes, obesity, and metabolism. The Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center (VDRTC) was asked to lead this program because of its experience with a long standing medical student research program. This application, in response to the RFA for creating a National Enrichment Program, proposes an enhanced DK-MSRP that engages medical students from around the country in research and excites them about careers in discovery related to diabetes and its complications. The DK-MSRP consists of: 1) Nation-wide application process available to students from all US medical schools; 2) Matching of selected students with one of 15 NIDDK-supported Diabetes Research Centers; 3) Student-conducted research at a NIDDK-supported Diabetes Research Center; 4) Enrichment activities to educate students about diabetes and research opportunities; 5) National Research Symposium at the end of the summer; 6) Robust program evaluation; 7) Short and long-term career follow up of student participants; 8) Experienced administrative supervision, educational support, and advisory panel oversight; and 9) Synergy with other NIDDK-funded programs. Since its inception in 2009, 550 students from more than 100 medical schools have conducted research at one of the 15 NIDDK-supported Diabetes Research Centers during the summer between their first and second years of medical school. This program, with its considerable diversity in geography, ethnicity, and scientific area of research, has become a way to initiate research exposure for students who might not otherwise pursue this career path. The VDRTC and the DK-MSRP propose these specific aims: 1) Create and maintain an organizational structure that provides medical students with an in- depth experience in scientific discovery; 2) Provide access to online educational materials and seminars on bench, translational, and community research in diabetes and its complications; 3) Organize and host a National Research Symposium for DK-MSRP students to present their work and engage with leaders in diabetes research; 4) Develop networking skills and coaching for career development of DK-MSRSP students to nurture future researchers in diabetes, obesity, and metabolism; 5) Develop a social media platform to track students, monitor program outcomes, and create resources for trainees' continued involvement in clinical and research careers in diabetes. Thus the DK-MSRP generates significant enthusiasm about diabetes research and creates momentum toward a research career and is a key example of NIDDK-supported Diabetes Research Centers and other NIDDK programs working together to train future leaders.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1-GRB-S (J1)P)
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Independent Hospitals
United States
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