Student Research Programs

Click on any of the program links below to learn more about the admissions requirements for each.

For High School Students:

Medical Careers Program (MCP)

Medical Careers Program (MCP):

Program Director: Dolores Caffey-Fleming, MPH, MS

Program Description: MCP is a careers program at King Drew Medical Magnet High School (KDMMHS) that provides students the opportunity to gain experienced-based learning in hospital, clinics, research laboratories, and university facilities. At the CDU facility, students gain hands-on research experience by working alongside nationally and internationally known CDU Faculty. Students are exposed to careers in health care and given opportunities to explore the science and health care fields. This exposure motivates students to pursue higher education and eventually pursue careers in medicine and science.

Program Format:
Students are assigned to a CDU faculty mentor who will support guided research. Students will participate in various seminars and workshops including a Research Fundamentals workshop.

  • Eligibility: 11th grade students enrolled at King Drew Medical Magnet High School.
  • Program Duration: Year round
  • Key Outcomes: Students will develop an abstract and poster and present their research findings at the High School Student Research Symposium in May.
  • Application Process: ONLY applicable to KDMMHS students.

Application deadline is _________.

For All CDU Students

Student Opportunities to Advance Research (SOAR)

Program Director: Dulcie Kermah, Ed.D, MPH

Program Description:
The SOAR program is a team-based student research training program in 5 key research areas: (1) Cancer, (2) Cardio-metabolic, (3) HIV/AIDS, (4) Mental Health, and (5) Health Policy. Focusing on addressing health disparities to achieve health equity, the program is an interdisciplinary research training that encourages the formation of collaborative teams (2-3 students per team) to conduct integrated, translational, cross disciplinary and inter-professional research. 

Program Format:
Students will be assigned to CDU faculty mentor who will support guided research.  Students will participate in “boot-camp” to gain an understanding in research terminology and the research process.  Workshops and seminars will include topics such as “How to conduct a literature review”, “Roadmap to Research Findings” etc.

  • Eligibility:  Open to currently enrolled CDU graduate, post baccalaureate, and undergraduate students in COM, COSH and SON. 
  • Financial Support:  Each team will receive up to $4,500 to cover student materials, research support and training.
  • Application Process:   Students form research teams prior to submitting an application. Students complete a team application form that includes a proposed research question, and team members experience with health disparities and health equity as it relates to research interests. Applications are due in the fall of each year. After committee review, students are notified at least 4 weeks prior to start date.
  • Program Duration:  Eight months (October-May)
  • Key Outcomes: Students will develop an abstract, poster, power point, and manuscript. Students will present their research findings at CDU Student Research Symposium and external conferences.

Leaders Engaging Against Health Disparities (LEAD LA)

Program Director: Dulcie Kermah, Ed.D, MPH

Program Description:
LEAD LA is a student-led initiative with the goal of encouraging a healthier South LA through innovative efforts in community-engaged research, education, and service. The purpose is to address health disparities in South LA for the achievement of health equity. LEAD LA will identify community priorities for wellbeing, create partnerships that respond to community priorities for wellbeing, and utilize education as a source for advocacy in achieving wellbeing.
Program Format:
Students meet bi-weekly to discuss ongoing projects, and data collection methods in preparation for developing an abstract and manuscript.  CDU students partner with non-CDU students to plan an annual wellness health fair.

  • Target Audience:  CDU and non-CDU students
  • Application Process: To participate in LEAD LA, email: uhisrc@cdrewu.edu
  • Program Duration: Year round
  • Key Outcomes:    In addition to planning an annual wellness health fair, students will develop an abstract and manuscript. Students will present their research findings at a Student Research Symposium at CDU and external conferences.

2018 Wellness Fair video

For Graduate Students ONLY

UHI Research Assistant (URA)

Program Director: Dulcie Kermah, Ed.D, MPH

Program Description:
RA is a research training program that provides CDU Post- baccalaureate and graduate students an opportunity to work closely with a CDU faculty mentor in COM, COSH and SON to conduct research.  Students gain research knowledge and hands-on research experience, whilst providing assistance to their research faculty mentors. 

Program Format:
Students will be assigned to CDU faculty mentor who will support guided research.  Research activities include, but are not limited to: assisting in developing research questions and study design, conducting literature reviews, collecting data, and participating in data analysis, providing support in developing protocols for designing research study, assisting in preparing IRB protocols, assisting in writing and preparing grant reports, developing presentations for conferences, developing manuscripts to be submitted to peer reviewed journals, and attending scientific seminars and workshops.

  • Target Audience:  Currently enrolled CDU Post- baccalaureate and graduate students in COM, COSH and SON. 
  • Financial Support:  Each student will receive up to $4500 to cover student materials, research support and training for up to 20 hours a week of conducting research.
  • Application Process:   Students submit an application via the RA Application portal and undergo an interview process with the Research Mentor.  
  • Program Duration:  6-12 months
  • Key Outcomes:    Students will develop an abstract, poster, power point, and manuscript. Students will present their research findings at a Student Research Symposium at CDU and external conferences.

CDU Bridges Summer support program (CDU Bridges):

Program Director: Sharon Cobb, Ph.D., MSN, RN
Program Description:
The CDU Bridges Summer Support Program is designed to provide research training opportunities for CDU/UCLA Bridges scholars who are currently working on their doctoral degree in nursing. Students are given the opportunity to work closely with a CDU faculty mentor in developing a paper for both presentation at an academic conference and for publication. The overall purpose is to generate and maintain a close working relationship between CDU faculty and CDU/UCLA Bridges scholars with a specific focus on research productivity and scholarship during their doctoral studies.
Program Format:
Students will be assigned to CDU faculty mentor who will support guided research.  Research activities include, but not limited to: assisting in developing research questions and study design, conducting literature reviews, collecting data, and participating in data analysis, providing support in developing protocols for designing research study, assisting in preparing IRB protocols, assisting in writing and preparing grant reports, developing presentations for conferences, developing manuscripts to be submitted to peer reviewed journals, and attending scientific seminars and workshops.

  • Eligibility:  The program is open to CDU/UCLA Bridges scholars with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA at time of award who are currently working on their doctoral degree in nursing and: 1) Are currently enrolled as a UCLA doctoral student at the time of application, 2) Have been continuously enrolled/registered the previous spring and will be continuously enrolled/registered the following fall. If these conditions are not met, the awardee will be required to repay the summer award. 
  • Financial Support:  Each student will be receive a compensation for research support and training.
  • Application Process:  Students complete an application package that includes a Curriculum Vitae, Overview of Research Proposal, a Faculty letter of recommendation and transcripts. Applications are due in the spring of each year. After committee review, students are notified at least 6 weeks prior to start date.
  • Program Duration:  Year round (September-July)
  • Key Outcomes:    Students will develop an abstract, poster, power point, and manuscript. Students will present their research findings at CDU Student Research Symposium and external conferences.

National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP):

Program Director: Keosha Partlow, Ph.D.,MPH
Program Description:
In an effort to strengthen the Health Services and Policy Research Pillar, CDU remains focused on developing capacity in the areas of health services and health policy research by supporting and recruiting key faculty. UHI has partnered with UCLA and The National Clinical Scholars Program (NCSP) to support these efforts. The NCSP is designed to develop physicians who can lead medicine into an era of consumer- and community-responsive evidence based healthcare delivery, enabled by appropriate health policy. NCSP is a post-residency training initiative where early career physicians and nurses participate in an intensive, highly-customized two-year program that places them in community settings to conduct priority research that will directly benefit the health of Southern California communities.  The program aims to create the next generation of leaders and change agents to understand and improve health.  The breadth of public and private partnerships makes the UCLA-NCSP a truly inter-professional endeavor, both within CDU and beyond.  Given the complexity of healthcare problems and the diversity of needs of underserved and under-resourced communities similar to CDU’s catchment area, new solutions are required to integrate interventions at the levels of public policy, medical practice and community environments, resources, and values.
To date, the Urban Health Institute at Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine has committed to funding three scholars, with the goal of both actively collaborating and participating in the newly formed Health Services and Policy Research Pillar, and receiving CDU faculty appointments at the end of their 2 year term
Program Format:
National Clinician Scholars at UCLA receive intensive training in the methods of creating health and health care change at community, practice and policy levels. The curriculum is based on a social, behavioral and community conceptual framework that combines didactic and experiential teaching methods, and inter-professional education. Scholars spend their first year in intensive, community-based learning and project development, followed in subsequent years by advanced project completion and elective work. Scholars also learn health services research methods, including theory, study design and data analysis; fundamentals in health policy; biostatistics; scientific writing; implementation science; and the application of these skills to conduct original research and to change health policy.

  • Eligibility:  MDs, RNs with a doctoral degree, and DNPs (Doctor of Nursing Practice) are eligible to apply. The clinical training for physicians and the doctoral degree for nurses should have been completed within the past 5 years prior to the application process. For all applicants, relevant research experience is a particular strength in the application evaluation process.
  • Financial Support: CDU provides support for each scholar (up to two years). This includes scholar stipend, tuition, and supplies.
  • Application Process: Candidates apply to NCSP online via the NCSP website (Online Application). Application deadline is in August. Candidates are notified of their acceptance in November. Program begins in July.
  • Program Duration:  2 years 
  • Key Outcomes:  Scholars will complete an original research project in collaboration with mentor and community partner. Scholars will attend an annual national meeting to present projects, network with peers and leaders from other institutions, and participate in workshops. Scholars will provide ongoing clinical work (up to 10% of time) by working with COM residency programs. Scholars will contribute to CDU as faculty upon completion of their program.