Whether you intend to pursue a career in academic medicine or private practice, skills in analytical thinking and rational decision-making are essential for medical practice in the 21st century. By having students design, perform and present a scholarly project of their own choosing, scholarly activity provides a unique opportunity to develop and enhance skills in analytical thinking and rational decision making.

Scholarly activity is a required component of the curriculum. During year 3, each student will work on a scholarly project that culminates in a final written report. It is our hope, that under the mentorship of a faculty expert, you will use this opportunity to develop a project that embodies not only your talents but also your passions.

Scholarly activity allows students to explore all facets of scholarship. As defined by Boyer (1990), scholarship encompasses the full scope of academic work and includes:

  • The Scholarship of Discovery - original research.
  • The Scholarship of Integration - interdisciplinary work in which connections are made across disciplines.
  • The Scholarship of Application -the application of theory to practice and the bidirectional relationship between theory and practice.
  • The Scholarship of Teaching - communication of knowledge to learners and the creation and sharing of knowledge about the practice of teaching.

Boyer, E.L. 1990. Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Princeton, NJ.


  • Provide students with an opportunity to employ their unique skills and talents to pursue a scholarly project of their choosing under the mentorship of an expert in the field
  • Provide mentorship and guidance for students interested in careers that integrate research, teaching, and clinical service (academic medicine)
  • Foster development of analytical and decision-making skills
  • Enhance communication skills
  • Enhance self-directed learning

Learning Objectives

Each student will:
  • Demonstrate the ability to formulate a specific question or hypothesis based on a critical review and analysis of the literature on a scholarly topic
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop a scholarly project with appropriate methods to address the question/hypothesis
  • Demonstrate the ability to work effectively with a faculty mentor and, if appropriate, other members of a research team
  • Demonstrate the ability to synthesize and present the results of a scholarly project

Useful Links

Summer Research & Clinical Opportunities @ UAB
Dale J. Benos Medical Student Research Day
MD-PhD (MSTP) Program

Contact Us

Peter R. Smith, PhD

Physician-Scientist Development Office

Randy Seay, MA, MPA, MPH