About the Program

The College of Medicine’s Master of Science in Medical Science degree program (MMSP) offers physicians-in-training at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital the opportunity to prepare for research careers in academic medicine through pursuit of a core curriculum, individualized electives and seminars, as well as a mentored research project.  The program provides an opportunity for promising clinically trained individuals to develop into independent biomedical academicians by facilitating the transition from postdoctoral training to a career as an independent investigator and educator.

Upon completion of their 2nd or 3rd year of clinical training, General Surgery Residents will dedicate one – two full-time years, without clinical responsibilities, towards research education and training, including a mentored research project and earning an advanced degree. Based on the trainee’s performance during their clinical training, their interests, and their professional goals, degree options are the Master of Medical Science, M.P.H., M.B.A., or an alternate M.S. degree (such as the M.S. in anatomy). Curriculum content and research plans are tailored to the individual’s professional career interests and research focus. Trainees who are interested in completing the one-year Surgical Critical Care Fellowship for their professional development year should speak with the Program Director as soon as possible.

Research conference group

Purpose of the Program

The Master of Science in Medical Science (MMS) program is designed to provide advanced degree training for physicians interested in pursuing a career in academic medicine. The coursework is selected from courses offered in the College of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP), College of Medicine Departments, College of Public Health and/or other Schools and Colleges at the Ohio State University. The program includes a mentored research project. Coursework is typically completed within two years or six academic semesters. However, the curriculum can be tailored and completed in one year or three semesters. Fellows and General Surgery Residents are encouraged to enroll in this degree program.



Core Curriculum Requirement

Student trainees must complete 30 credit hours of graduate courses including a core curriculum in:

  • Research Design and Research Methods
  • Research Ethics
  • Science Communication/Grant Writing
  • Research Statistics
  • Electives relevant to their career path and/or research project

Program Requirements

All student trainees must:
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA
  • Maximum of 10 credit hours/semester
  • Pursue a mentored research project
  • Apply for extramural funding 
  • Submit abstracts to national scientific meetings 
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed journal
  • Present culminating research to the Graduate Studies Committee in lieu of a written thesis prior to program completion

In addition, General Surgery Residents who are participating in the MMS or other degree program must:
  • Apply for extramural funding 12-15 months in advance of the training period
  • Participate in the Department of Surgery’s James D. King Research Award Competition
  • Submit an abstract for presentation at OSUWMC’s Trainee Research Day and the DOS’ Annual Research Conference
  • Submit abstracts to national scientific meetings at least twice a year 
  • Publish two to three manuscripts per year 
  • Present research at a Department of Surgery Grand Rounds

Program Benefits

Benefits for Trainees

General Surgery Resident Trainees receive the following benefits while in their dedicated research training year(s):
  • Travel allowance to present research
  • Tuition assistance
  • Book allowance to purchase textbooks/statistical software
  • Access to RDR i2b2 (OSU Research Data Repository)
  • Access to Microscopy Core & Small Animal Imaging
  • Access to Biostatistics resources
  • OSU Software for Students

Funding Research

Funding your Research

General Surgery Resident Trainees must apply for extramural funding. Potential funding sources include:

  • Institutional T32 training grants such as

    • CCTS TL1
    • Advanced Research Training in Immunology for Surgical Trainees (ARTIST) T32
    • Tumor Immunology T32
    • Oncology T32

  • OSU Pelotonia Fellowship Program (cancer research)
  • Individual postdoctoral F32 grants
  • Mentor/PI funded R01’s
  • Mentor/PI Diversity Supplement Award
  • Society awards via the ACS, SUS, etc.
  • University Fellowship Award

Reducing Debt

NIH Loan Repayment Program

Prepare 12 months in advance of the start of the research training period by applying for the NIH Loan Repayment Program (NIH LRP). If awarded, the LRP will repay up to $35,000 annually (maximum of 2 years) of a researcher’s qualified educational debt in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research.  The online application period is September to mid-November of each year.

Research Information

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