Scholarly Concentrations Program (SCP)

Scholarly Concentrations Program FAQ


There are several methods in place to facilitate a good match between students and concentrations. In August a faculty led orientation is held for Year 1 students to introduce the SCP in general and to each concentration. Faculty leaders share with students the requirements of their concentration, the opportunities afforded to their students, and student accomplishments. In September a student/faculty facilitated “round-robin” is hosted so that Year 1 students can learn more about all concentrations. From August to October the concentrations foster “shopping” experiences for Year 1 students so that they can attend concentration meetings in advance of choosing.

Students may be in only 1 concentration.  In order to have a robust and scholarly experience, students need to focus their interests and efforts within a given concentration. That being said, students may have multiple areas of interests and they may wish to attend other concentration meetings. Students may attend, with permission, meetings of any concentration. With permission of their “home” concentration, this attendance may count towards their SC hours. For example, a student in Health Disparities may benefit from attending journal clubs in Public Health, Nutrition Research & Health and International Medicine.

SCP students are required to complete a scholarly capstone project by early February of their fourth year. A capstone project is developed by the student under the auspices of the SC leader(s) and the project mentor. It requires addressing a question pertinent to the field of study in the scholarly concentration, including plans for assessment of results and impact. Students must gain approval for their capstone project from both their faculty leaders and from the director(s) of the SCP. This capstone project may be a paper, a presentation, or a service to MCOM and it should demonstrate the student’s growth through analytic, leadership, or creative processes. Capstone projects have included working in a biomedical research laboratory, assessing clinical efficacy of different therapeutic modalities, creating systems for better treatment of the underserved, developing learning modules for students in the MCOM pre-matriculation program, and improving systems to ensure patient safety. Medical student successes can be found under the RISE Student & Faculty Showcase tab.

There are different opportunities for finding project mentors. Some students may be aided by their concentration leader in terms of finding a mentor. The leaders have a history of working with faculty and community members whose work and interests are congruent with those of the concentration. Others students do in fact find their own mentors. For example, some students have had prior research experience and they know which MCOM research laboratory they would like to join.

We make the information available in early December with the call for project proposals in January. Deadline is traditionally mid-March.
Students may do a scholarly project at a facility outside of MCOM. However, in addition to be mentored by an outside faculty member, these students would need to have local MCOM mentors as well. Scholarly projects involving human subject research conducted outside of USF require IRB approval from both institutions. 
In order to qualify for the SCP Summer Scholarly Award, the scholarly project needs to relate to the concentration focus and may be utilized as the capstone project.
Any changes to the student’s status (including illness/injury, academic issues, and professionalism issues) after the awarding of a summer scholarly award will be re-assessed and acted upon. Students are required to inform the SCP Directors, Faculty Leaders and Project Mentors if they cannot fulfill the obligations of their scholarly projects due to academic remediation issues. Summer awards and participation in SCP opportunities are subject to review with possible pro-rating of the summer award amount, withdrawal of the award or suspension/termination of SCP opportunities based on the student’s status.
The SCP provides several opportunities for students to present their scholarly work. There are a number of local meetings that give students excellent experience with presenting posters or oral reports. These venues allow for highlighting completed work as well as for showcasing works-in-progress. SCP students are expected to present their work, at minimum, one time at the USF HEALTH Research Day which takes place annually in February. Other local opportunities for presentation include the SCP Student Symposium occurring annually in the fall and the Gallery of Scholarship annually in the spring for graduating students. In addition to local venues, SCP students have presented work both nationally and internationally.
The commitment of the graduating students in the Scholarly Concentrations Program is recognized through the MSPE (Medical Student Performance Evaluation). Graduating students are further recognized with the receipt of a certificate of completion, a Capstone Book, recognition in the commencement program and the wearing of the SCP Honor Cord at commencement.