Summer Medical Student Respiratory Research Fellowship
Program Information

Program Information

The SMURRF program provides medical students an excellent exposure to techniques of basic or clinical research and the scientific process used to develop and investigate biomedical questions in areas relevant to National Institute of Health initiatives focusing on pediatric sleep and pulmonary biology areas of research.

During the period of support, students will have a direct relationship with an experienced investigator and the staff of an established laboratory. The mentors will devote time to the student to allow a thorough understanding of the research process and intensive training in the experimental techniques necessary to carry out the proposed project. To the greatest extent possible, students are expected to take primary responsibility for the technical execution of experiments related to their projects. All students are expected to participate in advancing the understanding of unsolved problems in areas relevant to the funded initiatives while they are supported by the program. At the end of the summer program we expect students to have a greater enthusiasm regarding the research opportunities in pediatric respiratory and sleep disorders.

Dates of Program

The nine-week program will begin Tuesday, May 28, 2024 and finish on Friday, July 26. Dates are flexible for individual circumstances, but individuals must commit to a minimum of eight weeks.


Below are the eligibility requirements to apply for the program:

  1. Medical or osteopathic students who have successfully finished at least one year of study.
  2. Students must be in good academic standing and cleared to advance to their next year of medical education without the need to remediate classes during the summer.
  3. Students must be citizens of the United States or green card holders.
  4. Students must commit to a minimum of eight weeks of full-time (40 hours/week) effort toward their research project.
  5. Students work an eight-hour day, Monday through Friday (not four 10-hour days).
  6. As this is a federally funded program, students may not participate in any non-research activities during regular work hours (i.e. formal classes, other employment, medical student orientation) during the approved project period unless approved in writing by the course director before applying.

Educational Program

Weekly lectures or activities will be provided by the physician-scientists in pulmonary and sleep medicine on pediatric respiratory clinical and research core topics. In addition, students will complete Research 101, an on-line, 13-module training course on responsible conduct of research.

During the summer program, students are provided an optional opportunity to shadow their mentors or other physicians in pediatric pulmonary and sleep at Cincinnati Children's to better understand how a physician-scientist functions. Students will be able to enhance their pulmonary experience by choosing several half-day shadowing opportunities during the summer where they may attend the following clinical activities:

  • General Pediatric Pulmonary
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Rare Lung Diseases
  • Neuromuscular Disorders
  • Aerodigestive Anomalies
  • Chronic Ventilator-Dependent Clinic
  • Asthma
  • Lung transplant
  • Exercise testing (students will observe scheduled pediatric exercise testing and are invited to have a personal test performed)
  • Bronchoscopy (students will observe scheduled bronchoscopies in the operating room)
  • Rounds with pulmonary team on hospitalized pulmonary patients

In the final week of the summer all students will present a 15-minute summary of their research project to their peers, mentors and co-workers. Students presenting their research project will be invited along with their mentors to celebrate the end of the summer at a dinner at a Cincinnati restaurant.

Stipend, Training-Related Expenses and Travel Reimbursement

The final stipend from the NIH has not been released yet but is expected to be approximately $5,800.

Each student is allocated $850 exclusively for expenses incurred for the trainee’s individual research project.

All eligible students will receive a travel reimbursement of approximately $1,000 to present their research findings at a National Research Meeting. The reimbursement is designed to assist the SMURRF students with costs of attending a conference: registration fees, transportation costs, food, and lodging.

To be eligible for the travel reimbursement students must have completed travel prior to May 1, 2025. In addition, students must have completed the following during the summer:

  1. Commit to a minimum of eight weeks of full-time effort toward their research project
  2. Formally present their research project at the end of the program
  3. Complete Research 101 training
  4. Complete evaluations of the program
Stephanie Kortyka, a student in Dr. Clancy’s laboratory
Stephanie Kortyka, a student in Dr. Clancy’s laboratory.
Amir Rezayat and Stephanie Kortyka, students in Dr. Clancy’s laboratory.
Amir Rezayat and Stephanie Kortyka, students in Dr. Clancy’s laboratory.
Students attending small group lectures focused on pediatric pulmonary-related clinical topics.
Students attending small group lectures focused on pediatric pulmonary-related clinical topics.
Frank Forde, a student in Dr. Hershey’s laboratory.
Frank Forde, a student in Dr. Hershey’s laboratory.