Distinction in Medical Research | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center


The Distinction in Medical Research (DMR) program is designed to provide medical students a structured medical research experience. An experience in which the student not only plans, conducts, and presents a cutting-edge medical research project, but is instructed in research method development, research management, and other critical skills. This structured experience will empower the student to become engaged in research during medical residency and as they continue on in their medical practice.


  • Construct hypothesis driven research
  • Prepare research design for basic science research
  • Prepare study protocols for clinical studies
  • Draft research proposals, abstracts, and manuscripts
  • Know regulations required to conduct research

The DMR is comprised of TWO PARTS (I and II)

PART 1 covers two online courses, COURSE 1: “Research Methods” and COURSE 2: “Proposal Development and Research Management.” Each course includes 30-60 min session (8 hours for each COURSE and a total of 16 hours for DMR). You will use eRaider account to login to Sakai for DMR lectures and submission requirements.

  • COURSE 1 (Research Methods) covers searching and evaluating medical research literature; performing retrospective chart review; study design; basic biostatistical analysis; preparing for statistical consultation; how to write a study protocol for a basic science study, case report, retrospective study, and clinical trial; how to conduct basic science study, case report, retrospective study, and clinical trial; and how to prepare abstracts, posters, and oral presentations for basic science and clinical study.
  • COURSE 2 (Proposal Development and Research Management) covers how to write a research proposal for basic science study, case-control study, retrospective study, and clinical trial; advanced biostatistical analysis and data management; responses to critiques of study panel’s comments on proposals; research misconduct, clinical research management for case report, retrospective study, and clinical trial; and manuscript preparation and journal publication.

PART 2 includes scholarly activities:

  • Conducting a research project
  • Submitting at least one abstract as the first or co-first author and presenting the work for Student Research Week
  • Submitting at least one abstract as the first or co-first author and presenting the work at a State/National Conference
  • Submitting and presenting a 5-page research proposal to a DMR committee for approval
  • Participating in a manuscript submission: needs to be as one of coauthors in manuscript to show the significant contribution for peer-referred journal publication
  • Submitting required documents. Reviewed and approved by DMR Committee.


  • Estimated completion time: 3-4 years
  • Lectures (virtual)
  • Opportunity to increase skills and knowledge in clinical research
  • No thesis requirements
  • Plans of research study are created on a case-by-case basis and customized for each student
  • Expert faculty tapped for lecturing and mentoring
  • Resourceful research environment
  • Interactive peer group discussion
  • Practice composing study protocols and grant proposals for medical research
  • Apply basic, clinical, community health, and health service research concepts to improve patient outcomes
  • No charge to TTUHSC SOM students


Those who wish to acquire these skills as part of their educational component. Students who need flexible schedules.

HOW: Requirements for application (Application form):

  1. Medical student transcripts from MS1 Fall and MS1 Spring,
  2. Letter of support from faculty mentor, and
  3. Specific Aims (1 Page, NIH format) approved by faculty mentor. Reviewed by committee panel for acceptance.

Application Deadlines:

  • October 1st, 2023 for Class of 2026

Other info about DMR:

For more information on Distinction in Medical Research, please contact Jacob.Lovett@ttuhsc.edu or Leslie.Shen@ttuhsc.edu