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David Hamilton Smith Year-Out Fellowship

The David Hamilton Smith Year-Out Fellowship is a year-long opportunity for medical students to do mentored clinical, bench, or health services research in an area that matches their personal interests.

Dr. David Hamilton Smith often said that his “year-out”, which culminated in the development of the Haemophilus Influenza Type b (Hib) Vaccine, set the course for the rest of his investigative career.  This vaccine has virtually eliminated diseases caused by Haemophilus Influenza and revolutionized the preventative care of children worldwide.

As with Dr. Smith, by gaining an in-depth perspective of the role of research, trainees will have the potential to become future physician leaders and to substantially contribute to healthcare research.

Program Details

The David Hamilton Smith Pediatric Year-Out Research Fellowship is available to 2nd, 3rd and 4th year medical students at the University of Rochester. Interested students should first discuss their plans with Adrienne Morgan, Ph.D., Senior Director for the Center for Advocacy, Community Health, Education and Diversity. If you have identified a faculty member, with whom you are interested in doing research, that person may also participate in this meeting. In preparation for this discussion the student needs to complete all application requirements by January 19, 2018. The most competitive students will then be referred to Dr. George Schwartz, Director of the SCRC, who will interview each interested student to assess scientific interests and identify potential mentors. If approved, the students will be expected to fill out the standard OME Medical Student Research Application.


  • An opportunity to pursue other interests in medicine that may be difficult to pursue during the traditional curriculum
  • Attend national meetings
  • Collaborate with physician scientists, both internal and external, and meet experts and national leaders in your field of research
  • A focused, in-depth exploration of the fundamentals of basic science and/or clinical research techniques
  • An opportunity to experience a taste for the life of an academic pediatrician: in the lab, the classroom, and the clinic without a life time commitment
  • Exposure  to all facets of research life: conceptualization and design, data collection, data analysis, abstract submission, presentation and publication
  • Time for personal and professional growth and reflection
  • The opportunity to present your research at Pediatric Grand Rounds

The David Smith Research Fellowship provides $5,000 to the sponsor to pay for travel to meetings, preparation of manuscripts and abstracts and to help support the research. Additional support may be granted through the Office of Medical Education. A detailed budget will be required after acceptance to this program.

Criteria and Application Process

Applications will be evaluated competitively, based on the following:
Quality of the applicant. This includes medical school record and grades; publication record or likelihood of publication; and likelihood of success of the project
Environment. This includes the quality of the research environment; the quality of the mentor and mentor team; and the quality of the mentoring plan.
Science. The quality of the research question or hypothesis; the quality of the study design; and the likelihood of successful completion of the study.

Applications should consist of:

  1. Personal Statement - A short description (no more than one page) of the background of the student with respect to the proposed project
  2. Project Proposal (2-4 pages)
    • Background to the project
    • Rationale for the project
    • Project statement
    • Methodology
    • Budget
    • Dissemination of your project - should include the student’s statement of anticipated role in the project and of career goals with respect to the project.
    • Timeline for research
    • Advisor(s) and Institution(s) - explain the role of each and areas of expertise
  3. Letter of Support from research mentor. This should include the names of 2-3 other individuals involved in basic science, clinical or translational research to constitute the student's research committee. The letter should contain a statement in support of the student, of the project, and of the expected outcome with regard to career goals of the student. This statement must include an attestation that the committee has reviewed and approved both the content and process of the project, as well as the application. Finally, there must be a statement of the mentoring plan.
  4. Resume/Curriculum Vitae

The student should meet with the research committee and separately with their Advisory Dean at least twice during the year out.

At the end of the project, the student should submit a report on the outcome of the project, in a form suitable for publication.

Applications should be submitted in one .pdf with required sections clearly labeled and will be reviewed by the Student Research Faculty Advisory Committee for approval.

Contact Us

George Schwartz, M.D.
Pediatric Nephrology
Strong Children's Research Center
URMC, Department of Pediatrics
601 Elmwood Avenue, PO Box 777
Rochester, New York 14642