Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship

The Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship is an 8-week program of mentored research designed to introduce students who have completed their first year of medical school to research opportunities in orthopaedic basic science, translational science, and clinical research in orthopaedics.

The fellowship program is built around a summer research project that is directed by an orthopaedic surgeon or scientist at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). Both clinical and basic science projects are offered, and these are detailed below.

The fellowship program includes the opportunity for weekly observation of orthopaedic surgical procedures with your mentor. In addition, a weekly seminar series and discussion group provides the opportunity for students to expand their understanding of the fundamentals of medical research and clinical orthopaedics. Students will also be required to give a brief presentation on their research at the end of the program.

The 8-week program runs from mid-June, 2017 to mid-August, 2017 and includes a $2,400 stipend, paid in two increments of $1,200. Fifteen (15) fellows will be selected.

Students who have completed their first year at an LCME accredited US medical school are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to those students attending Weill Cornell Medical College.

Completed applications must be submitted to the Academic Training Department online via the following link, by February, 2017.

A selection committee will review the applications and determine the final candidates. Applicants will be notified of the status of their applications by March 21, 2017.

At this time, the selected students will be given the contact information of all prospective mentors, along with the description of the projects offered. Securing a fellowship position will be contingent on the student being accepted by a mentor. If any of the selected students fail to find a mentor, an alternate student will be offered the opportunity to interview with prospective mentors.

Fellowship Coordinator:
Chisa Hidaka, MD

For any questions regarding the application process or fellowship, please refer to the Student FAQs. For any additional questions please contact Kate Romero, Curriculum and Evaluation Coordinator at

Examples of Past Research Projects:




Basic Science


Student FAQs

Application Process






Application Process

Q. What role does the mentor play in the Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship? What should I expect from my mentor?

A. Mentors are responsible for the majority of your program and guidance while you are at HSS. Mentors are expected to carry out the following responsibilities:

  1. Meet with the student once a week (a minimum of 4 times during the 8 week session) to discuss the student’s research
  2. Ensure that if he/she personally is unable to meet once a week with the student, another member your research team is available to provide guidance regarding the student’s research.
  3. Bring the student to the operating room or office hours (or arrange for the student to shadow a colleague who is an orthopaedic surgeon) at least 4 times during the 8 week session.
  4. Complete student evaluation at the end of the program


Q. I already have a mentor in mind for the fellowship that I have a previous relationship with. Does my application process differ?

A. Please make sure to indicate your prospective HSS mentor in the designated tab in your online application. We strongly recommend that you submit a letter of recommendation from the prospective mentor as well. Please note that having a prospective HSS mentor does not guarantee admittance to the program. We ask that you do not introduce yourself to faculty members prior to the application deadline in hopes that they will write you a letter.A select group of faculty members participate in the program and they will indicate to us if they have a student in mind.


Q. How are students chosen for the MSSRF?

A. We had over 120 students apply to the MSSRF in 2016. Once filtered by set criteria, the students are divided between a committee of faculty members who then score the applications on additional criteria such as previous research involvement, personal statement, and letter(s) of recommendation. The top 15 students and 4 alternate students will be selected and notified of their acceptance to the program contingent on matching with a mentor. Students will reach out to their top 2-4 mentors for interviews over the course of a few weeks. Mentors are free to interview as many students as they like, but it is up to the student to reach out to them for an interview. After interviewing, the student will send us his or her mentor preference by early-mid April. Once all priority lists are reviewed, students and mentors will be matched with priority placed on student preference.


Q. I am coming from out of area and will require housing over the summer. Is housing provided for by HSS?

A. Unfortunately HSS cannot provide housing assistance for our medical student summer research fellows. Upon acceptance into the program, we would encourage you use various outside resources to sublet an apartment close to the hospital. In the past, students have used Airbnb, Craigslist, and local University online bulletin boards/postings.



Q. How do I obtain an ID Card?

A. To get an ID badge please report to the 2nd Floor Security Office (open at 8:00am) on your first day of the fellowship and tell them you are a visiting medical student and need to get your picture taken. Your name will have been submitted to the security officers so they will have you on file. If you have any questions or there are any issues please call either Kate Romero (x2232) or Shauna Davis (x8227).

If you have arrived in the city prior to your start date, you are welcome to come to the hospital to do this prior to the week you begin the program. Security might not give you the physical badge until your official start date, but this way all you will have to do is pick it up when you arrive to meet with your mentor for the first time.


Q. Is there any specific training I have to do prior to my arrival at HSS?

A. No training is required prior to your arrival, but you are welcome to begin the process by completing your CITI training online. The CITI program is completely web-based and can be accessed by any researcher anywhere who has access to the Internet. All users must choose “Hospital for Special Surgery” or the training will not be registered with the IRB. Go to www.citiprogram.organd log in to your account if you already have one or create a new account. You need to complete the Human Subject Research Curriculum and Biomedical modules under "Online Courses".


Q. I need access to the electronic medical record in order to access information about patients for my research project. How do I get access to EPIC?

A. Unfortunately the AT office is unable to facilitate access to EPIC, but your mentor’s office manager should complete and/or approve all requests for Epic access. They should have submitted this request prior to your arrival. If they are unsure of how to submit this request, please have them contact Kate Romero (x2232) or Shauna Davis (x8227) for more detailed instructions. Please note that your HSS CITI certification must be completed prior to EPIC access being granted.


Q. How do I obtain access to the OR? What permissions do I have once in the OR?

A. You are required to complete a quick scrub orientation video once you arrive at HSS. The video is only available on the intranet so you will only be able to watch this video once you are on campus. It is required to watch the video before you are granted OR access. After watching the video we ask that you take a short quiz at the same link titled “Scrub Post Test”.

As a rising 2nd year medical student you are not permitted to assist in surgeries, but you will have access to participate in patient exams/histories and to scrub in to surgeries to observe.


Q. Where do I get scrubs to access the OR?

A. Scrubs are available via scrub machines on the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 9th floors. Instructions on how to access these machines with your unique scrub account will be given to you prior to your start date.


Q. I can’t access scrub machines/my scrub account.

A. Please make sure that you are attempting to access the correct scrub machines. The scrub machines outside of the locker rooms will give you the wrong color scrubs. If you are still having trouble, call Ivelisse Diaz at (212) 606-1977 between 10am and 6pm. If you are expected to be present for a surgery prior to 10am, please make sure to test your account the day prior to make sure there are no issues. If it is before 10am and you are unable to access scrubs, we ask that you please try and borrow scrubs from a colleague until the problem is resolved.



Q. What does a typical day look like in the program? What commitments will I have?

A. You will spend the majority of your time with your mentor or with members of your mentor’s lab. You will be asked to attend mandatory lunch lectures on Mondays from 12:00pm-1:30pm and are also invited to attend research lectures on Fridays from 7:15am-8:15am in July and August. At the conclusion of the program you will be expected to give a brief presentation to your other colleagues in the program, as well as your mentor and/or members of your lab.