Frequently Asked Questions

The SMURRF program is open to all first year medical students who are US citizens or green card holders. Successful completion of the first year of medical is required by the time the SMURRF program begins in June. An application is required for selection and the program is competitive.
No. The SMURRF program is federally supported from The National Institute of Health (NIH) and students are expected to work full-time on their research projects or related academic pursuits. Exceptions are rarely granted and approval in writing needs to be obtained before applying to the SMURRF position.
The stipend is paid out to you electronically once every two weeks through direct deposit. Clocking in and out daily calculates the hours worked. By the end of the program if you have not earned the full amount of the stipend a final payment is sent to you in a check after the conclusion of the program.
Since the Stipend is being earned at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital it would not be tax free since we are not an educational institution. Generally, stipends are issued as tax free if they are issued by a University to pay for an educational purpose (tuition or books).
The NIH requires a minimum of eight weeks participation so during the nine-week program we can only approve a maximum of one week vacation. Also, all vacation should be communicated to the Mentor and Mary Kay Lang (coordinator).
The weekly lectures are provided typically every Friday at noon. Often students bring their lunches and eat while the lecture is occurring as well. Unless you are on vacation, we request students attend all lectures. 
No, only non-University of Cincinnati medical students are required to complete the Letter of Intent.

Yes, we had the program in 2020 with students exclusively off-campus. Overall feedback was very positive, and all students successfully completed their projects.