Ohio University

Research and Scholarly Advancement Fellowship

Important Dates and Information

Application Deadline: February 3, 2020 (by Midnight)

Acceptance Notice: March 9, 2020 (Tentative)

Program Dates: June 1 - August 14, 2020

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 (RSAF) 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, 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 healthcare.  

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. 

New this year, through the RSAF application process, students will also be permitted to apply for a Medical Student Seed Funding Grant, up to $3,000, to support research expenses of their proposed RSAF research project. 

Fellowships are provided by the Heritage College.  A minimum of twenty RSAF fellowships will be available.  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. OhioHealth, the Cleveland Clinic systems), 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 his/her time on the project during the ten weeks.

Mentors must be members of the Heritage College faculty or Heritage College affiliates (e.g. individuals within the OhioHealth, the Cleveland Clinic systems). 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 Borovica, Program Manager, or  Jessica Wingett, Director of Research Administration and RSAF Program Director

Two people working on whiteboard

RSAF Class of 2019

Student Name Primary Mentor
Ciara Amstutz Dr. Melissa Thomas
Pranay Arora Dr. John Kopchick
Amelia Chapman Dr. Sarah Rubin
Michael Christy Dr. Xiaozhuo Chen
Kyle Denihan Dr. Christian Stork
John Enasko Dr. Daewoo Lee
Daniel Hellman Dr. Thomas Rosol
Chelsea Iles Dr. Sharon Casapulla
Naomi Kasturiarachi Dr. Dawn Graham
Christopher Keener Dr. Caroline Kingori
Jonathan Major Dr. Vipin Koshal
Simon Moskowitz Dr. Brian Clark
Corrin Pelini Dr. Sebastian Diaz
Lyndsie Pfeifer Dr. Zelalem Haile
Nathan Robbins Dr. Wilson Tang
Michael Tensmeyer Dr. Frances Wymbs
Mary Kaitlyn VanHooser Dr. David Eland
Jennifer Viola Dr. Tania Basta
Christopher Walsh Dr. Shigeru Okada
Taylor Watkins Dr. Kristen Conrad-Schnetz
Wendy West Dr. Tracy Shaub
Brandon Wilkins Dr. Emily Guseman

RSAF Travel Awards (for RSAF Students Only)

View Guidelines [PDF]

Apply for Funding