UQ Medicine is committed to enhancing the research training and experience for students in the Medical Program. Active participation and training in the research process gives students the skills to develop independent critical-thinking, propose theoretical concepts, and to critically analyse their findings.

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 the MD-PhD and MD-MPhil. There are three ways to incorporate a PhD or an MPhil into the medical program; the intercalated MD-PhD or MD-MPhil and the Concurrent MD-MPhil.
  • Extended Research - extracurricular research opportunities for all medical students with an interest in doing some research during their medical program.
  • MD-MPH - incorporating a course work Masters of Public Health into the medical program.
  • Summer Research Scholarships - 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

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 don’t want to take on a Higher Degree by Research (MPhil or PhD) alongside their medical program. It is more flexible 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 vast majority of students gain tremendous advantage from their experience. 

All medical students can do Extended Research at any time during their medical program. However students are urged to remember that the MD is the priority.  It is strongly suggested that Year 1 students wait until at least semester 2 to get involved in, and commit to a research project.

Note: There is no dedicated time out of the medical program to devote to extracurricular/volunteer research work. All students must fulfil all the normal requirements of the medical program. 

To qualify as Extended Research:

  • The project should be extra-curricular and undertaken on a volunteer basis. 
  • There must be some output from the project 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.
  • The time commitment overall should be at least 10 weeks full time equivalent devoted to the research. This can be spread over a summer break, several holiday periods, or over a year or years of the medical program.
  • The project must be registered on the Medical Student Research Portal  You may register multiple projects as often as necessary throughout you degree.

Official acknowledgment of your research:  Don’t forget to Register your research, and Report your achievements on the Medical Student Research Portal.  This is a simple and very important process and allows us to officially acknowledge all your research activity when you graduate.  See FAQs for details.

How to get started: The Medical 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.

View Extended Research FAQs

CST: Concurrent MD-MPhil

The Concurrent MD-MPhil is an option for students interested in undertaking an MPhil alongside their MD. The MPhil is completed on a part-time basis concurrently with the full-time MD and does not require students to take time out of the MD Program.

Program Summary

Enrolled MD students and provisional entry MD students who are interested in the Concurrent MD-MPhil must first obtain approval from the Faculty of Medicine to apply for the Concurrent MD-MPhil. 

Eligible MD students can enrol in a part-time MPhil at the start of Year 2 MD and undertake their MPhil research part-time and 'concurrently' with their full-time MD degree. The part-time MPhil can be completed within two to four years. The MPhil does not need to be completed to coincide with graduation from the MD but it is strongly recommended that MD-MPhil students strive to finish the MPhil at or close to graduation. 

 It is the student’s responsibility to:

  • understand all the eligibility requirements for enrolling in and undertaking the MPhil degree. All details can be found at The Graduate School.
  • understand the Higher Degree by Research Milestone system and all details of what is required and expected to complete each Milestone. See UQ Medicines's Milestones webpage and the Graduate School’s HDR Milestones page. 

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

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

Graduate School eligibility requirements for entry into the MPhil are detailed at this Link.

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

  • meet the MPhil eligibility as specified by the Graduate School (at this link),
  • attain (and maintain) high academic merit; i.e. a GPA greater than or equal to 5.5 throughout the medical degree program,
  • identify an area of research interest or a project and a potential principal supervisor, and
  • obtain permission to enrol in the MD-MPhil through an interview with the Faculty of Medicine Director of MD Research.

Please remember, interested students must first obtain permission from the Faculty of Medicine to apply for concurrent enrolment in the MPhil, before applying to the Graduate School for the MPhil.

Timeframe

The earliest entry point into the Concurrent MD-MPhil is January of Year 2 MD, and no later than January of Year 3 MD.

Steps to apply

  1. Ensure you understand all of the information provided on this webpage, the FAQs and links to The Graduate School regarding eligibility to enrol in an MPhil.
  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 from your first year MD =>5.5 and seriously consider whether you can maintain a 5.5 GPA throughout your MD and alongside an MPhil or a PhD.
  4. Identify a research project or area of interest.
  5. Identify a Principal Supervisor who has previous experience in supervising Higher Degree by Research students and is agreeable to supervise you. The Medical Student Research Portal and UQ Researchers may help you to identify a project and a supervisor.
  6. Send your Curriculum Vitae (CV) plus the name and affiliation of your proposed Principal Supervisor to the Director of MD/MBBS Research Associate Professor Di Eley to arrange an interview.

Information for Research Supervisors

The Student Supervisor information document provides information to research staff who are supervising or considering the supervision of a Concurrent MD-MPhil student.

The For Researchers section on the Medical Student Research Portal also has information regarding student research supervision and teaching opportunities for research staff.

View FAQs

CST: Intercalated MD-PhD and MD-MPhil

Integrating research and clinical training dates back to the late 1800s. Driven by the growth of translational research, the clinician scientist fills a unique niche in uniting clinical medicine with training in the basic, clinical or social sciences. The Faculty of Medicine MD program offers outstanding students the opportunity to 'intercalate' a PhD or an MPhil with their medical training.

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

NOTE: Enrolled MD students and provisional entry MD students who are interested in the intercalated MD-PhD or MD-MPhil must first obtain approval from the Faculty of Medicine to apply for either the PhD or the MPhil. See STEPS TO APPLY below.

Timeframes

The entry point to either the Intercalated MD-PhD or MD-MPhil is at the start of Year 2. This means that students must be approved to apply for the RHD by August/September in Year 1 of the MD for commencement in January Year 2.

MD-PhD

The 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. You will take two years out of your MD program, after Year 2, to work full-time on your research, then return to full-time MD (clinical Years 3 and 4) while completing your PhD part-time.

MD-HDR Timeframes

MD-MPhil

The MD-MPhil is completed over 5 years with a mixture of part-time and full-time research work intercalated into the four year MD. You will take one year out of your MD program,  after Year 2, to work full-time on your research, then return to full-time MD (clinical Years 3 and 4) while completing your MPhil research part-time.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

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

Graduate School eligibility requirements for entry into the MPhil are detailed at this Link.

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

  • meet the PhD or MPhil eligibility as specified by the Graduate School (at this link),
  • attain (and maintain) high academic merit; i.e. a GPA greater than or equal to 5.5 throughout the medical degree program,
  • identify an area of research interest or a project and a potential principal supervisor, and
  • obtain permission to enrol in the MD-PhD or MD-MPhil through an interview with the Faculty of Medicine Director of MD Research.

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.

 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.
  • understand the Higher Degree by Research Milestone system and all details of what is required and expected to complete each Milestone. See UQ Medicine's Milestones webpage and the Graduate School’s HDR Milestones page.

Steps to Apply

  1. Ensure you understand all of the information provided on the this webpage, the FAQs and links to The Graduate School regarding eligibility to enrol in an MPhil.
  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 from your first year MD =>5.5 and seriously consider whether you can maintain a 5.5 GPA throughout your MD and alongside an MPhil or a PhD.
  4. Identify a research project or area of interest.
  5. Identify a Principal Supervisor who has previous experience in supervising Higher Degree by Research students and is agreeable to supervise you. The Medical Student Research Portal and UQ Researchers may help you to identify a project and a supervisor.
  6. Send your Curriculum Vitae (CV) plus the name and affiliation of your proposed Principal Supervisor to the Director of MD/MBBS Research Associate Professor Di Eley to arrange an interview.

Information for Research Supervisors

The Student Supervisor information document provides information to research staff who are supervising or considering the supervision of a Concurrent MD-MPhil student.

The For Researchers section on the Medical Student Research Portal also has information regarding student research supervision and teaching opportunities for research staff.

View FAQs

Summer Research Scholarships

UQ Medicine participates in the UQ Summer Research Scholarship Program. 

Learn more about the UQ Summer Research Scholarship Progam

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 degree
  • The degree can be done as a concurrent or intercalated model
  • 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)
  • 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.

If you are you interested in combining a Master of Public Health (MPH) with your medical degree please follow these steps:

1. Ensure you have a satisfactory GPA of at least 5.5 from your medical program.

2. Read all the information about the MPH on the School of Public Health website and familiarise yourself with the various study plans and specialities at this page http://www.sph.uq.edu.au/mph-program

3. Contact the Director of MD/MBBS 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. Contact the MPH course coordinator Dr Satyamurthy Anuradha s.anuradha@uq.edu.au to make more detailed enquires and discuss your eligibility and application. This discussion should include the:

  • format you undertake; i.e. concurrent or intercalated with your medical degree,
  • number of units per semester, and
  • fees for the MPH.

5. Please remember that MD-MPH students are responsible for maintaining satisfactory progression in all requirements of the MD and an overall GPA of 5.5. Students doing the MD-MPH must fulfil all the requirements of the MD. This means there is no dedicated time out of MD curriculum for MPH study.   

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. UQ-Ochsner students are encouraged to consider research opportunities that may start at UQ and continue at the Ochsner Clinical School.  

There are a number of ways that UQ-Ochsner students can incorporate research training and experience into their medical degree. These are:

  • The Clinician Scientist Track (CST) - refers to the MD-PhD and MD-MPhil. There are three ways to incorporate a PhD or an MPhil into the medical program; the intercalated MD-PhD or MD-MPhil and the Concurrent MD-MPhil.
  • Extended Research - extracurricular research opportunities for all medical students with an interest in doing some research during their medical program.
  • MD-MPH - incorporating a course work Masters of Public Health into the medical program.
  • Summer Research Scholarships - excellent opportunities for students to get 'hands on' research experience concentrated over the summer break.

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

Research advice for UQ-Ochsner students

Research ethics for students

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

Pathways to the CST

Current MD students

Current MD students in Year 1 or Year 2 of the MD, with an interest in the Clinician Scientist Track, should read carefully the information on the pages; CST: Intercalated MD-PhD and MD-MPhil, and CST: Concurrent MD-MPhil. These pages provide all the details and information regarding options, eligibility, requirements and timeframes regarding the MD-PhD and MD-MPhil.

Future MD students 

Undergraduate bachelor students who are interested in the Clinician Scientist Track, and intend on, or have a provisional offer to enrol in the MD program, may wish to consider another pathway to an MD-PhD or an MD-MPhil.  An MD applicant in the final year of a bachelor degree may defer an MD offer for 1 or 2 years in order to begin a PhD or an MPhil at UQ, providing that the student has met the entry requirements and been accepted into the program.

This is a good option for students who have been working in or done an Honours year in the same or similar research lab/area as their proposed PhD or MPhil. Preference may be given to students who have an established research relationship with their proposed PhD advisors. 

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.

Student portal

The Medical 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 such as the MPhil or PhD.

Visit the Medical Student Research Portal