Registration, Mentor Selection, and Thesis Proposal

Registration for Master’s Thesis Credits (CLR0001)

All students are required to register for at least five master’s thesis credits (course number CLR0001). Students who take CLR0008 Introduction to Health Survey Research Methods for two credits as their chosen elective, must register for at least six credits of CLR0001. Students must register for the master’s thesis credits prior to graduation. They may register for these credits during the Fall, Spring I or Spring II terms of year two. In special cases, student may receive permission from the program to register for these credits in Spring II of year one. In select instances, and in particular for those conducting patient-oriented laboratory research, students will be permitted by the program leadership to apply additional credits towards their master’s thesis in lieu of additional courses.

Mentor Selection and Master’s Thesis Proposal Process

First-year MSCR students should meet early on with their faculty advisors and program administration to identify an appropriate mentor for their thesis project. They may also wish to consult the Emerging Investigators website, which provides advice and resources for students embarking on mentored research projects. The student, together with their thesis mentor(s), should complete the online Research Agreement form indicating willingness to serve as a thesis research mentor, and specifying the research question and data source. The Research Agreement form must be submitted online by June 1 of the first year in the MSCR program. MSCR program leadership will review the Research Agreement form and either approve or not approve the mentor and choice of project. If not approved, program leadership and the faculty advisor will work with the student to make revisions. The student must then resubmit this form for final approval by the CLR leadership.

Master’s Thesis Proposal and Form

The Master’s Thesis Proposal and Form are due on September 10 of year two, and should be completed and uploaded online. The proposal should be no longer than three pages, must be approved by the thesis research mentor before submitting to the program, and contain the following sections:

  • Study title

  • Rationale for the study/gap in knowledge being addressed

  • Hypothesis

  • Specific aims

  • Patient population

  • Study design and analytical methods

  • Responsibilities of student and skills that will be acquired by student for the project (include what the student will do and how the mentor will help)

  • Timeline for research

  • Whether project requires IRB approval or is exempt

  • Potential statistical tests

  • Possible figures and tables

Once the proposal and form are submitted to the CLR Program, the Director and Associate Director will review and decide if the proposed project is approved or needs to be further refined or revised. If revisions are required, the student must resubmit the proposal for final approval. Students must receive approval from the program before moving forward with their proposed research.

Please note that a student may submit for their Master’s Thesis a first-author manuscript either submitted for publication, accepted for publication or published during their training which is reflective of their Master’s Thesis work. In this instance, a statement of purpose, introduction, and discussion regarding the findings and impact of the work will need to be added.

Students previously in the CRTP Program who transfer into the MSCR Students who are accepted into the MSCR program, having successfully completed the CRTP, will be entering the second year of the MSCR program, since they will have completed in their CRTP program all of the first year MSCR coursework requirements, with the exception of CLR0011 Grant Writing, the three-term Journal Club sequence, and an elective course.

Students who transfer into the MSCR will be required to declare their mentor and research project by submitting the Research Agreement form no later than September 30. Their full proposal will be required by November 15 of that same year.

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