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Research and Scholarly Advancement Fellowship

Important Dates and Information

Application Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Deadline Extended)

Acceptance Notice: March 31, 2022 (Tentative)

Program Dates: May 24 - July 30, 2022

2022 RSAF Guidelines

About the RSAF Program

All Heritage College students who will successfully complete the Year 1 medical school curriculum by the end of the spring semester are invited to apply for the Research and Scholarly Advancement Fellowship program. Students must be in good academic and professional standing, with no Code of Professional Standards violations on record from the time of application through the conclusion of the RSAF program. Heritage College academic affairs staff, assistant deans, academic program administrators and others may be contacted to evaluate the student’s suitability to participate in this experience prior to the conclusion of the proposal review process. 

Under the guidance of the mentor, students conduct intensive short-term (10-week) research projects in selected areas of basic, primary care, medical education or clinical investigation. Students will attend a core curriculum consisting of seminars on broad topics in medical research. They will complete an oral presentation describing their research, to be presented after the conclusion of the summer program. 

The objectives of the RSAF program are to provide a valuable experience for highly motivated and talented medical students to participate in a defined research project; to acquaint students with scientific methodology; to enhance their analytic and laboratory skills; and to provide an opportunity to improve their presentation and writing skills. The program provides an atmosphere that encourages and facilitates student interactions with a diverse group of established investigators and clinicians. The rationale for the program is that exposure to a superior research environment will ultimately result in better physicians. It also opens the possibility for students to consider pursuing research as physician-scientists dedicated to enhancing health care.  

The fellowship pays $3,000 to assist fellows with living expenses over the course of the program. Fellowship payments will be paid intermittently throughout the program and will be paid through the Ohio University Bursar’s Office. Typical disbursement dates are June 1, July 1 and August 1 but are subject to change. Students will also be eligible for up to $500 for domestic travel and $750 for international travel to present research findings after satisfactory conclusion of the RSAF program. 

Fellowships are provided by the Heritage College. Students from all three campuses are encouraged to apply.  

Identifying a Mentor

Students are encouraged to directly approach the Heritage College faculty member and/or members of Heritage College affiliates (e.g., Cleveland Clinic, Nationwide Children's Hospital systems, etc.) or Ohio University faculty member (outside the Heritage College) whose research may be of interest to them. Students who are looking at different options for the summer should make the potential mentor aware of this early in their discussion process.

Evaluation Criteria

Quality of the Research Experience
Research projects should be well-planned and should be structured. A student should be carrying out much of the work. A project that requires more than two weeks of reading or library research is not appropriate for this program.

Quality of the Proposal
The student should write the proposal after thorough consultation and collaboration with the mentor. It should include all of the components outlined below. In addition, the proposal must include a clear mentoring plan indicating to the committee specifically how the student will be spending their time on the project during the 10 weeks.

Mentors must be members of the Heritage College faculty or Heritage College affiliates (e.g., individuals within Cleveland Clinic, Nationwide Children's Hospital systems, etc.). This may include adjunct or part-time faculty members. Mentors should not approve the same project with competing students. Faculty mentors may approve different projects with different students; however, because the demand for RSAF placements often exceeds the number of fellowships awarded, the RSAF program can likely only support one student per mentor.


For additional information, please contact:
The Heritage College Office of Research and GrantsNadine Borovicka, program manager, or Jessica Wingett, director of research administration and RSAF program director

Two people working on whiteboard

RSAF Class of 2021

Student Name Primary Mentor
Spencer Aidt Kevin Lee, PhD
Grace Berry Craig Nunemaker, PhD
Jonathan Burton Amrik Singh Khalsa, MD (Nationwide Children's Hospital)
Milo Co Xiao Chen, PhD
Ernest Dankwah Erin Murphy, PhD
Aashika Katapadi Tendy Chiang, MD (Nationwide Children's Hospital)
Nidha Khan Sarah Rubin, PhD
Alyssa Lambrecht Cameron Rink, PhD, MBA (Mount Carmel)
Belainesh Nigeda Sharon Casapulla, EdD, MPH
Maggie Piron Vishwajeet Puri, PhD
Brooke Rigot Elizabeth Beverly, PhD
Jonah Stavsky David Drozek, DO
Shenika Zarebski Melissa Thomas, PhD


RSAF Travel Awards (for RSAF Students Only)

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