UQ Medicine is committed to enhancing the research training and experience for students in the Medical Program. There are a number of ways students can incorporate research training and experience into their medical degree. These are:

  • The Clinician Scientist Track (CST) - refers to incorporating a PhD or an MPhil into the medical program. Students must be eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree Research (HDR; PhD or MPhil).
  • Extended Research – refers to extracurricular, voluntary research opportunities for all medical students with an interest in doing some research during their medical program.
  • MD-MPH - incorporates Masters of Public Health into the medical program.
  • Summer Research Program Scholarships – these are excellent opportunities for students to get 'hands on' research experience concentrated over the summer break.

To assist you to incorporate research into your medical degree and to help you understand the research options available to you, we have prepared some frequently asked questions. 

View FAQs   Meet our Clinician Scientist students

Clinician Scientist Track (CST): Intercalated MD-PhD and MD-MPhil

The Intercalated MD-PhD or MD-MPhil is a mixture of full-time and part-time research which is 'intercalated' with the MD degree. Both require time out of the medical program to undertake full-time research between MD Year 2 and MD Year 3. 

Timeframes

The entry point to either the Intercalated MD-PhD or the Intercalated MD-MPhil is at the start of MD Year 2, or at the start of MD Year 3. This means that students must be approved by the MD Research Director to apply for the MPhil or PhD by August in either MD Year 1 or MD Year 2 for commencement the following January. Please see link to MD-HDR Timeframes below.

MD-HDR Timeframes

Intercalated MD-PhD

The Intercalated MD-PhD is completed over 6-7 years with a mixture of part-time and full-time research work intercalated into the four year MD. After completion of Year 2, studnets will take two to three years out of theMD program to work full-time on research, then return to full-time MD clinical Years 3 and 4, while completing your PhD part-time.

Intercalated MD-MPhil

The MPhil Degree is equivalent to the Research Master’s Degree (MSc). The Intercalated MD-MPhil is completed over 5 years with a mixture of part-time and full-time research work intercalated into the four year MD. After completion of Year 2, studnets will take one year out of the MD program to work full-time on research, then return to full-time MD clinical Years 3 and 4, while completing the MPhil part-time.

Eligibility and selection criteria

Student eligibility into the Intercalated MD-PhD or Intercalated MD-MPhil is determined by criteria set out by the Faculty of Medicine and the UQ Graduate School.

Read the Graduate School's eligibility requirements for entry into the MPhil or the PhD. It is the student’s responsibility to:

  • understand all the eligibility requirements for enrolling in and undertaking the PhD or MPhil degree. All details can be found at The ‘Graduate School Future Students’ https://graduate-school.uq.edu.au/future-students
  • understand the Clinician Scientist Tract (CST) Program and all details of what is required to complete an Intercalated MD-PhD or MD-MPhil (on this web page)
  • the HDR Milestone process.  See UQ Medicine's Milestones webpage.

Faculty of Medicine selection criteria for the Intercalated MD-PhD or Intercalated MD-MPhil are the following:

  • meet the PhD or MPhil eligibility as specified by the Graduate School,
  • have an overall GPA (from the MD degree) greater than or equal to 5.5, with a minimum grade of 4 on first attempt in all MD courses,
  • maintain a GPA of 5.5 throughout the duration of the MD program*,
  • identify an area of research interest or project and a potential principal supervisor, and
  • obtain permission to enrol in the Intercalated MD-PhD or MD-MPhil through an interview with the Faculty of Medicine Director of MD Research.

*If the GPA falls below 5.5:

  • a meeting with the MD Research Director is required to discuss reasons that may be responsible,
  • the discussion also clarifies that the student is on ‘unofficial’ probation for one semester to improve grades,
  • if grades do not improve, another meeting is required to discuss further contributing issues, at which time it is suggested that the student interrupts the PhD or MPhil enrolment until a GPA greater than or equal to 5.5 is achieved.

Please remember, interested students must first obtain permission from the Faculty of Medicine to apply for the PhD or the MPhil, before applying to the Graduate School for the PhD or MPhil. Contact Associate Professor Di Eley.

First Steps to the CST before you can apply – by July 1st

  1. Ensure you understand all of the information provided on this webpage, FAQs, Timeframes,   and links to The Graduate School regarding eligibility to enrol in a PhD or MPhil degree.
  2. Ensure you are eligible to apply for an HDR according to the rules set out by The Graduate School, and that you understand the Milestone requirements (see Milestones webpage).  
  3. Ensure you have a GPA of 5.5 or are confident you can achieve and maintain a GPA =>5.5 in the MD Program. 
  4. Email the Director of MD Research Associate Professor Di Eley, with your interest in the CST, including your CV.

Information for research supervisors

The Student Supervisor information document provides information to research staff who are supervising or considering the supervision of a medical student doing an Intercalated MD-PhD or Intercalated MD-MPhil.

On page: Research in your medical degree

https://medicine-program.uq.edu.au/research/research-your-medical-degree

 

Clinician Scientist Track (CST): Concurrent MD-MPhil

The Concurrent MD-MPhil is an option for students interested in undertaking an MPhil degree alongside their MD, without taking time out of the MD Program. The MPhil is equivalent to the Research Master’s Degree (MSc).  It is completed on a part-time basis concurrently with the full-time MD across two or three years.

Important note about project selection: Project selection for the Concurrent MD-MPhil must be approved by the Director of MD Research to help ensure it is feasible to complete on a part-time basis, concurrently with the full-time MD degree.  Projects must be flexible with no time critical elements. Wet-lab and clinical research projects are not allowed for the Concurrent MD-MPhil. 

Timeframe

The entry point to Concurrent MD-MPhil is at the start of MD Year 2, or at the start of MD Year 3. This means that students must be approved by the MD Research Director to apply for the MPhil or PhD by August in either MD Year 1 or MD Year 2 for commencement the following January. Please see link to MD-HDR Timeframes below.

MD-HDR Timeframes

 

Eligibility and selection criteria

Student eligibility into the Concurrent MD-MPhil is determined by criteria set out by the Faculty of Medicine and the UQ Graduate School.

Read the Graduate School's eligibility requirements for entry into the MPhil or the PhD. It is the student’s responsibility to:

  • understand all the eligibility requirements for enrolling in and undertaking the PhD or MPhil degree. All details can be found at The ‘Graduate School Future Students’ https://graduate-school.uq.edu.au/future-students
  • understand the Clinician Scientist Tract (CST) Program and all details of what is required to complete an MD-MPhil (on this web page)
  • the HDR Milestone process. See UQ Medicine's Milestones webpage.

Faculty of Medicine selection criteria for the Concurrent MD-MPhil are the following:

  • meet the PhD or MPhil eligibility as specified by the Graduate School,
  • have an overall GPA (from the MD degree) greater than or equal to 5.5, with a minimum grade of 4 on first attempt in all MD courses,
  • maintain a GPA of 5.5 throughout the duration of the MD program*,
  • identify an area of research interest or project and a potential principal supervisor, and
  • obtain permission to enrol in the Concurrent MPhil through an interview with the Faculty of Medicine Director of MD Research.

*If the GPA falls below 5.5:

  • a meeting with the MD Research Director is required to discuss reasons that may be responsible,
  • the discussion also clarifies that the student is on ‘unofficial’ probation for one semester to improve grades,
  • if grades do not improve, another meeting is required to discuss further contributing issues, at which time it is suggested that the student interrupts the MPhil enrolment until a GPA greater than or equal to 5.5 is achieved.

 

Please remember, interested students must first obtain permission from the Faculty of Medicine to apply for the Concurrent MPhil, before applying to the Graduate School for the PhD or MPhil. Contact Associate Professor Di Eley.

First Steps to the CST before you can apply – by July 1st

  1. Ensure you understand all of the information provided on this webpage, FAQs, Timeframes, and links to The Graduate School regarding eligibility to enrol in an MPhil.
  2. Ensure you are eligible to apply for an MPhil according to the rules set out by The Graduate School, and that you understand the Milestone requirements (see Milestones webpage).  
  3. Ensure you have a GPA of 5.5 or are confident you can achieve and maintain a GPA =>5.5 in the MD Program. 
  4. Email the Director of MD Research Associate Professor Di Eley, with your interest in the CST, including your CV.

Information for research supervisors

The Student Supervisor information document provides information to research staff who are supervising or considering the supervision of a medical student doing an Intercalated MD-PhD or Intercalated MD-MPhil.

 

Pathways to the Clinician Scientist Track

There are two pathways to undertake an Intercalated MD-PhD or Intercalated MD-MPhil.

Current MD students - Pathway 1: 

Current MD students may begin the Concurrent MPhil or the Intercalated PhD or Intercalated MPhil in January of MD Year 2 or MD Year 3.

Future MD students – Pathway 2:  

Undergraduate bachelor students who are interested in the Clinician Scientist Track, and have an offer to enrol in the MD program, may wish to consider another pathway to an MD-PhD or an MD-MPhil. A prospective MD applicant in the final year of a Bachelor’s degree may defer an MD offer for 1 or 2 years in order to begin a PhD or an MPhil at UQ.

Preference may be given to students who have already established a research relationship with their proposed PhD or MPhil supervisor. 

Defer Option Timeframe for the MD-PhD: Year 3 bachelor students may defer their MD offer for 2 years to undertake full time PhD research, then enter the full time MD program while continuing part time research and finishing the PhD over the next 2-3 years.  See timeframe below.

  • Year 1 & 2: Defer MD and begin PhD research full time.
  • Year 3: Begin MD full time and continue PhD part-time. 
  • Year 4: MD full time and continue PhD part-time. 
  • Year 5: MD full time and continue PhD part-time. PhD completion is expected at the end of Year 5. *Candidates may apply for an extension to complete the PhD in Year 6.
  • Year 6: MD full time

Defer Option Timeframe for the MD-MPhil: Year 3 bachelor students may defer their MD offer for 1 year to undertake full time MPhil research, then enter the full time MD program while continuing part-time research over the next 1-2 years. See timeframe below.

  • Year 1: Defer MD and begin MPhil research full time.
  • Year 2: Begin MD full time and continue MPhil part-time. MPhil completion is expected at the end of Year 2. *Candidates may apply for an extension to complete the MPhil in Year 3.  
  • Year 3: MD full time
  • Year 4: MD full time
  • Year 5: MD full time

Future MD students interested in this pathway, and believe they qualify, should contact the Director of MD Research Associate Professor Di Eley.

Extended research

Extended Research refers to a wide range of extra-curricular/volunteer research opportunities suitable for all medical students with an interest in doing some research during their medical program.

The Extended Research option is ideal for students who do not want to take on a Higher Degree by Research (MPhil or PhD) alongside the MD. It is flexible option and with careful planning, can work around your full time MD curriculum.  Although you are a volunteer, and will receive no payment for your efforts, the majority of students gain tremendous advantage from an Extended Research experience. 

All medical students can do Extended Research at any time during their medical program.

Students are urged to remember that the MD is the priority.  It is strongly suggested that MD Year 1 students wait until at least semester 2 to get involved in, or commit to a research project.

Please remember: There is no dedicated time out of the MD Program to devote to extracurricular/volunteer research work. All students must fulfil all the normal requirements of the MD Program. Choose the research carefully and discuss you MD responsibilities with your research supervisors to help ensure that what you commit to can be achieved in your spare time, weekends and breaks. 

Requirements for Extended Research

The project(s) you choose:

  • will be extra-curricular and undertaken on a volunteer basis
  • will result in some research output that is agreed between the student and their supervisor. Examples of research output are: co-authorship on an abstract for a conference, a journal publication, research report, or literature review etc.
  • will involve an overall time commitment of at least 8-10 weeks full time equivalent. This can be spread over a summer break, several holiday periods, or over a year or years of the medical program.
  • must be registered on the Student Research Portal under ‘For students’ You may register multiple projects as often as necessary throughout you degree.
  • Your registration must be accompanied by a UQ Medical Student Volunteering Experience (Research) form.

Official acknowledgment of your research 

Please Register your research, and Report your achievements on the Student Research Portal under ‘For students’.  This simple process allows the MD Program to acknowledge all your research activity when you graduate.  

How to get started

The Find a Project database on the Student Research Portal  is a great way to search for research projects and potential supervisors, or as a means to explore the broad scope of research available at UQ.  If you are unsure of what area of research interests you, the Portal is the best place to start.

Also, explore UQ Researchers to search for specific experts or fields of research.

 

 

MD-MPH Masters of Public Health (MPH)

The MD-MPH is a very useful and versatile higher degree to combine with medicine and it provides many options for you to follow in your clinical career.

  • This is a course work Master’s higher degree
  • The degree can only be done as a concurrent model i.e. course work is undertaken concurrently with the full-time MD degree
  • Medical students must have (and maintain) a GPA of 5.5 or above to be considered for the MD-MPH
  • Medical students must meet the requirements for entry into an MPH as set by the School of Public Health (SPH)
  • Students doing the MD-MPH must fulfil all the requirements of the full-time MD. This means there is no dedicated time out of MD curriculum for MPH study.   
  • Commencing the MPH cannot occur until MD Year 1 grades are finalised to ensure an overall grade of 5.5 is achieved.
    • However students who feel they are eligible are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the MPH and enquire about or even begin the application process as early as midway through their first MD year. See below.

Steps to apply

1. Ensure you have a GPA of at least 5.5 and can maintain that alongside enrolment in the MPH.

2. Read all the information about the MPH on the Future Students website and familiarise yourself with the various study plans and specialities.

3. First, contact the Director of MD Research A/Prof Diann Eley d.eley@uq.edu.au to indicate your interest and obtain approval to apply to the MPH alongside your MD.

4. Next, contact the MPH course coordinator Dr Satyamurthy Anuradha s.anuradha@uq.edu.au to make more detailed enquires and discuss your eligibility and application.

Summer Research Scholarship Program

UQ Medicine participates in the UQ Summer Research Scholarship Program. 

Learn more about the UQ Summer Research Scholarship Program

UQ-Ochsner Students

UQ-Ochsner students have a unique opportunity to take advantage of the rich research environment at both The University of Queensland (UQ) and the Ochsner Clinical School in New Orleans. 

A gentle reminder: While Ochsner students are encouraged to pursue research, please remember that your priorities must be about preparation for the USMLE Step One and maintaining successful progression in the MD Program. Do not overcommit time to research in MD Years 1 and 2. There will be many opportunities to pursue research during MD Years 3 and 4 at Ochsner in New Orleans.

In order for you to make the most efficient and informed choices regarding your research options, please read the research advice specific for UQ-Ochsner students. 

Research advice for UQ-Ochsner students

Research ethics for students

All UQ students involved in research, either as a course requirement, a Higher Degree by Research, or on an extracurricular/voluntary basis, are required to have ethics approval for that research.

All information regarding application for ethics approval for research can be found on the Human Ethics webpage. 

If the research is low/negligible risk, it may be approved through the Faculty of Medicine's Low/Negligible Risk Ethics Committee. 

Faculty of Medicine LNR Review

Student research portal

The Student Research Portal was established to help medical students locate a wide variety of research projects and potential supervisors - from extra-curricular volunteer opportunities to Higher Degrees by Research MD-PhD or MD-MPhil.  It is the best source of research opportunities and news for students and research supervisors.

Visit the Medical Student Research Portal