The proposal entitled “Summer Research Fellowship Program for Podiatric Medical Students” is a
short-term training grant involving pre-doctoral podiatric medical students in biomedical research. An
estimated 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, a serious, life-long condition. Foot
pathology is one of the most common complications associated with diabetes and podiatrists are often
the first line clinicians seen by diabetic patients. As it is a relatively young discipline, podiatry has not
developed institutionalized research in most of its schools and training institutions. Subsequently,
podiatric medical students are traditionally under-represented in research careers but provide a large
pool of available talent that could be recruited in biomedical science research. This is especially true
in the field of diabetes.
The Summer Research Fellowship Program provides interprofessional research exposure in various
biomedical sciences and is often the first exposure to biomedical research for many first year podiatric
medical students. The program also provides an inclusive professional community where students
can develop the skills and mentorship required for research success. The goal of the program is to
seek an increase in the number of podiatric medical students entering careers in biomedical sciences
through achieving the following specific aims:
1. Provide each podiatric student with individual hands-on experience in scientific research by
joining an on-going research mentor or group.
2. Provide an environment for basic science, clinical, and translational collaborative research to
cater to the individual interests of the students.
3. Provide podiatric students with an opportunity to maintain involvement over the course of their
academic medical career and an ongoing support network.
4. Provide podiatric students with educational training in data collection, data analysis, grant
writing, oral presentations, written reports, and computer skills.
5. Provide podiatric students with opportunities to explore career options in medical research and
career development through interaction with role models, advisors, and mentors.
6. Identify and foster a cadre of exceptional trainees with the potential to pursue careers in
7. Foster among the trainees a sense of belonging to a community of scientists.
After completion of the summer research program, podiatric medical student have opportunities to
continue their work in one of several interprofessional programs offered including the DPM-PhD.