|Mechanisms of Support|
|Application Guidelines (Student and Mentor)|
Exemplars (pdf files)
2014 MPEE Participants
Friday, September 5, 2014, 10 a.m.
South Auditorium & Lindegren Hall 310
The Mentored Professional Enrichment Experience (MPEE) is an optional eight-week elective between the first and second years of medical school. MPEE is an opportunity for you (as SIU-SOM medical students) to pursue interests in research and career development that you would not otherwise be able to investigate. Regardless of the area chosen for investigation, you are expected to play an active role in the project. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, you will develop the initial question, design a method to obtain an answer, establish clear goals and objectives to achieve an outcome and present the conclusions of this work before an audience of faculty and peers. MPEE project areas include "traditional" laboratory research, clinical research, or investigations in health-related areas such as rehabilitation, social work, health education, public health or academic medicine. MPEE projects could involve empirical data gathering or they could be more oriented toward library research. You may join an ongoing faculty research project; however, random "shadowing" of physicians performing their usual clinical activities is not an acceptable project. The location for MPEE may be in Carbondale, Springfield, or another approved site. You will need both an on-site and an SIU-SOM mentor to sponsor an "out-of-country" (i.e., some place other than the United States) project.
MPEE projects should describe distinct activities for the summer period. A mentor may sponsor multiple students, but the proposals should be distinct and focus on a different aspect of a larger project.
There are many rewards associated with participation in the MPEE program. One example is publication of the results of your investigations. For example, Craig Wilson (Class of 2015) had his MPEE work with Dr. Khaled J. Saleh and Brooke Robinson, MPH accepted for a poster presentation at the 126th annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Association. Eliza Davis, Kristina Lynch, and Stephanie. Shinn (all Class of 2012) were coauthors with Dr. Lisabeth DiLalla on Longitudinal Associations Among Peer Victimization and Physical and Mental Health Problems. Alexander Claussen (Class of 2012) worked with Dr. Kathleen Campbell during his MPEE experience and was the first student from SIU-SOM to be awarded a fellowship in the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Here is one perspective of MPEE, as it appeared in the Spring 2003 issue of The Generalist (a former newsletter of Family and Community Medicine at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine):
For those of you interested in carrying out projects in other medical schools in the U.S. or Canada, use the following link to their individual web sites in order to find potential faculty mentors:
The Directory of Research Mentors provides a listing of SIU-SOM faculty members and the specific areas of their research. Look for the MPEE Mentor Checkbox to determine if a faculty member is willing to participate in the MPEE program. This directory is frequently updated but it is always a good idea to inquire about potential opportunities even if a faculty member has indicated not to serve as a mentor. The MPEE Program Coordinator may make suggestions or give input about potential projects but does not find or set-up mentors or projects.
Information about special approvals such as for laboratory animals or human subjects also differs, as approvals for freshmen medical student projects are obtained via the Office of Research Development and Administration (ORDA), a division of the Graduate School in Carbondale. Please check their web site (http://ospa.siu.edu/human/) for important information if the project you are considering might involve special compliances. The SIU-SOM human subjects (SCRIHS) office may be contacted at the following phone numbers (217- 545-2172, 217-545-7602, or 217-545-2184). As a general rule, IF you are working with somebody who has human subjects approval at their home institution and IF the work you are doing will NOT result in a solo publication, such as a dissertation, securing the distant institution's approval number and the P.I.'s name and phone number should be all we need. If you are developing an independent project, you will need to seek this approval early in the process (i.e., submit your proposal to ORDA at the same time you submit it to MPEE. You will submit a copy of the approval letter to us prior to the end of the Year One curriculum (ERG unit) in May/June.
The following are a few potential sources of funding for summer research projects (search the Internet for additional opportunities):
You must be a Year One student in good standing and not in summer remediation during the weeks of MPEE activities at SIU School of Medicine. You will identify a mentor with established credentials in the area of the planned experience. Again, please note that if you choose to work outside of the United States, you will need an SIU-SOM mentor to sponsor your project. The mentor will work closely with you as you design, implement and complete the project. Project applications will be reviewed anonymously by teams of faculty members and the MPEE Committee. Approved participants in the MPEE must enroll as full-time students and pay fees. Tuition will be waived; however, you are responsible for paying the fees (approximately $1,300). You will receive three hours credit for the eight-week elective block. Please note, however, that you will still be expected to complete 31 hours of elective credit during your fourth year.
For those projects that are approved by the MPEE Committee, there is the possibility of obtaining funding of up to $3,000 to defray expenses during the summer session (2013-2014 summer fees are ~$1,300). Typical expenses may include, for example, room and board, transportation, and actual project costs. Be sure to evaluate the cost of your project activities and the amount of support that you will receive from MPEE and your mentor. Projects may be approved but not funded, approved and partially funded or approved and funded to the $3,000 maximum. Awards are allocated from a limited pool of funds, so funding will depend upon the number of approved applications.
Any scholarship awarded becomes part of your financial aid package. Funds will be distributed to you via your Bursar account early in June (you will want to contact Leslie Fry in the Student Affairs office (217-545-2223) to discuss your summer financial aid packages). Once summer fees are deducted (~$1,300), any residual will be paid out to you. Should you require funding beyond the MPEE allocation, other funding should be pursued through the Medical School Financial Aid Office in Springfield.
Please note the following:
The SIU-SOM statement concerning liability (malpractice) coverage within the United States reads as follows:
Please note that paying summer fees covers you for malpractice while pursuing MPEE activities at SIU-SOM.
You should indicate to your prospective mentor (this only applies to SIU mentors) that they may submit a separate request for reimbursement of up to $1,000 for project expenses such as laboratory supplies or subject expenses used during the course of the MPEE project (please indicate amounts in the usual budget lines). This request for funds is generally included in the letter from your mentor confirming agreement to serve as your mentor (see below), but must be submitted by the end of February. Not all mentors will be funded, as support funds are limited.
Please note that you and your mentor are responsible for ordering items for project related activities. MPEE does not get involved in the ordering process.
The MPEE site selected for the project should have library facilities and institutional resources suitable for the proposed field of study. You will describe how you will maximize the use of relevant research and educational resources.
There are three inputs for evaluating your MPEE activities.
Successful participation in the MPEE, as assessed by the above input, will be noted in the official Dean's letter.
You should remember that you are arranging and participating in a professional experience. Your interactions with faculty at SIU and at other institutions should demonstrate a high level of professional behavior. Be polite, plan ahead, and keep in contact with your mentor. Advise your mentor of any updates and changes in your plans as soon as possible. Remember that your actions may impact others.
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Mentor will submit a letter confirming his/her agreement to serve as a mentor for the applicant and, if project expense support funds are desired (for SIU mentors only), a brief budget request (indicating amounts in usual budget lines). The agreement to serve as mentor and project expense support request may be combined in one letter. Information should be sent before the end of February 2015 to:
C. Niederhoffer, Ph.D.
MPEE Program Coordinator
SIU School of Medicine
Lindegren 112, MC 6503
Carbondale, IL 62901