Dean’s Certificate of Distinction

Program Overview and Goals

The Dean’s Certificate of Distinction in Research will provide future physicians with a background in clinical and translation research. This is accomplished through a blended experience leveraging on-line didactic modules based on the graduate course BIOM640 “Introduction to Clinical Research” developed as part of the Clinical and Translational Research Graduate Program and active participation in ongoing research projects with JABSOM faculty mentors. Research activities include engagement in the Research Interest Group (RIG), developing skills in critical evaluation of relevant fields of scientific literature, involvement in a research team, designing and/or actively participating in a research project, attendance and poster presentation at research conferences, and contribution to co-authored manuscripts. The program will help students understand the process of evidence-based medicine in validating treatments for patients, and to encourage them to engage as future researchers in various fields of medicine.

Meet the Advisory Team

The Advisory Team is here to support participating students and guide them in areas of research and feasible projects. The Advisory Team may ask to meet with students to discuss individual timelines for completion, mentor-mentee relationships, and research projects. The Advisory Team will also keep a record of student involvement and report overall progress in yearly summary reports and presentations.

Amy BrownDr. Amy Brown (Associate Professor, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences,, 808-692-0907) will oversee the required Didactic Core and the Didactic Elective online modules and monitor student progress from module to module including evaluations of quizzes. In partnership with Dr. Woo, she is committed to assisting students as they embark on the Certificate of Distinction in Research. She is available to proofread manuscripts and provide editing support for journal submissions.
Russell WooDr. Russell Woo (Professor, Department of Surgery, will contribute his expertise in surgery and clinical research and advise students in developing feasible research projects with focused study goals and rigorous methods. He will assist with helping students find well-matched mentors, research projects in line with their career goals, and engagement with the Research Interest Group, and assessing and improving their skills in critical evaluation of relevant fields of scientific literature. He will provide support in connecting students with committed researchers. He, together with the Advisory Team, will help students prepare individual progress timelines to accomplish tasks and achieve overall certificate goals.

Research Mentor/Advisor

A research mentor or advisor is needed to be successful in this program. You are strongly encouraged to find your mentor who aligns with your current interests and field of study. Specifically for JABSOM departments, a contact person is identified annually to support medical students to connect with mentors in their respective department. View this year's Points of Contact for Research for current JABSOM medical students. To find mentors from our community partners please see Research Partners. These important research partners provide possible collaborations, experience, and training. Select one project instead of two that might dilute your efforts. You may ask the Advisory Team for assistance in finding a mentor and/or research project, or you can suggest a research project. Please let Dr. Woo and Dr. Brown know if you are having difficulties finding someone as we want to assist you.

The Advisory Team will assist participating students in matching their research interests with ongoing and supported projects led by faculty. Mentoring faculty are not expected to generate and support new and individual student projects unless such project is mutually beneficial for both student and faculty.

Student Participation Criteria

Student commitment and overall research interest will be assessed by the Advisory Team. Students will be guided toward feasible projects within areas of the research expertise of participating faculty. Students will be expected to join ongoing research efforts, except in cases when a new project is beneficial for both the student and faculty research project as determined by the supervising faculty. Students with a committed research supervisor may participate in the program.

Intended Student Audience

  • Who should join the Certificate of Distinction (COD) in Research? Preferably starting within the first year, or possibly the 2nd year, email Dr. Brown to get started on your path of receiving a COD in Research award upon graduation.
  • How long does the program take? The program spans 3.5 years finishing in December of the 4th academic year. The didactic component is planned for completion within the first two years with activities and research project milestones continuing through all years. Remember, the last two years are the busiest, especially the 4th year. To preview the worksheet to be completed throughout the program, go here.
  • How do I get started? Send an email to Dr. Amy Brown expressing your interest in the COD program and include your graduation year, area of study, and current mentor (if applicable). When chosen to participate, a personalized COD in Research Checklist will be posted in Google Docs and program instructions will be shared with you via your student email. A sample of the introductory letter (pdf) includes next steps and access to google classroom modules with codes.

Educational Objectives

At completion of the Research Certificate Program the students will be able to:

  • Work with a research mentor and actively participate in a research team’s activities focused on a medically relevant topic.
  • Conduct thorough literature reviews with critical evaluation of articles’ weaknesses and strengths.
  • Prepare a research paper with an understanding of study hypotheses, aims, variables, data collection and quality, and interpretation of the results.
  • Describe various study designs applicable to medical research.
  • Demonstrate the basics of statistical analysis and sample size and power through independent study design.
  • Provide clear and focused research presentations.
  • Present a research poster or paper at a scientific conference.
  • Gain experience in mentoring 1st and 2nd year medical students.