Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

of Case Western Reserve University

Academics > Curriculum > Research



An Integrated Research Curriculum

The research curriculum begins on the first day and extends through all five years with research topics integrated into the basic science and clinical curricula. Students learn about the interaction between basic and clinical research, how basic science discoveries translate into changes in clinical care and how clinical observations can result in new directions in basic science and research.

Beginning with the Class of 2018, students are strongly encouraged to conduct their thesis research in Year 4. All thesis research rotations are to be taken as a contiguous 52-week block that allows up to 4 weeks of vacation. Any variations must be approved by the Research Education Committee. Obtain detailed copy of thesis expectations and guidelines in the “Resources” section on the portal or from the Research Education Coordinator.  All thesis research rotations are to be done at the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, or an affiliated institution. Only students that have been awarded a NIH, Doris Duke, Fulbright or Sarnoff Fellowship will be permitted to complete their research year outside of Cleveland.

Students learn the basic principles of research, including:

  • Research design and data analysis
  • Ethical issues such as the use of animals and protection of human subjects in research
  • Critical review of the basic science and clinical research literature

In addition, students develop and use grant writing and oral presentation skills in school that will help prepare them for the years ahead. 

Learn more below.

Every student participates actively in a PDFbasic "translational" research project in the first summer, preparing a mock research proposal and an oral presentation.
In the second summer, each student writes a clinical research protocol and participates in a clinical research project while taking courses in applied biostatistics and epidemiology.
During years 3 through 5, students have a research advisor who oversees their thesis project. In addition, students work with a basic science researcher (year 1) and clinical investigator (year 2) on summer research projects.
Research is one of the four cornerstones of Cleveland Clinic and is actively pursued by basic scientists and physicians working in close collaboration. Cleveland Clinic is a world leader in medical breakthroughs and innovations largely because of such collaborations.

Cleveland Clinic offers a broad range of research experiences for CCLCM students. The biomedical research effort here includes:
  • 4000 active, IRB-approved human research protocols
  • nearly 200 laboratory principal investigators with $112 million of federal funding support
  • integrated research curriculum with hands-on research experience
  • $248 million of total research
  • Clinical Science and Technology Award with more than 300 outstanding clinical investigation projects
  • interdisciplinary and disease-oriented research that links basic scientists and clinical investigators in eight disease categories and includes three dozen research programs
In addition to Cleveland Clinic research opportunities, CCLCM students can choose from a wealth of research experiences at Case Western Reserve University and its affiliated teaching hospitals.
CWRU School of Medicine ranks among the top 25 research institutions in the United States, with more than $243 million in NIH funding. Research programs are available in a broad range of basic science and clinical disciplines.
Throughout years 1 and 2, weekly Advanced Research in Medicine (ARM) seminars (PDF), integrated with the content of the basic science curriculum, are led by physician investigators and basic science researchers. ARM seminars provide students with exposure to a broad range of research opportunities available to them. 

In years 3 through 5, ARM sessions continue bringing greater grant writing and research skills, opportunities to present at home and away, and advice for publishing.

Hear what our students have to say about the Research curriculum.

Hear what our faculty have to say about student research.

Journal Club

In the summer of years 1 and 2, students have a journal club aimed at enhancing skills in interpreting and evaluating research literature.

Students are divided into two journal club groups. Each week, one student from the group presents an article while the other students are expected to read the articles carefully and come prepared with questions for the presenters.

Each student is responsible for one paper each summer. The student works with a faculty facilitator to review the paper and presentation before journal club.

Using feedback from faculty and other students on their presentations and on the questions they ask of others, students hone their ability to critically review literature and communicate effectively in this setting.

New Addition!

Chats with top Cleveland Clinic administrators over breakfast or an evening event began in the Summer of 2015. These student inspired sessions were requested to enable CCLCM trainees to learn how one of the nation's highest ranking health systems functions. Open exchange of questions allows students to get closer to what makes the Cleveland Clinic tick. Medical homes, care affordability, capitated care, and transitioning into the next generation of healthcare will be discussed from the ground floor up. Patient experience officers,quality gurus, and others join in these exciting and thoughtful discussions.