The Program

The goal of the DFCM's Division of Research Fellowship program is to provide medical and graduate students the opportunity to participate in a research project and expose them to the research environment of an academic medical center and the activities of academic physicians and other faculty. Suitable projects will allow you to learn and participate in medical research; this includes involvement in formulating a hypothesis, experimental design, execution of the work, data analysis and presentation of results. 



Investigative areas broadly reflective of the interests of the division include:

  • Translational research (e.g., science in substance use, diabetes, or other disease states that relate or translate basic science discoveries into practice)
  • Patient-centered outcomes research
  • Community-engaged research
  • Public health
  • Practice-based primary care
  • Quality Improvement
  • Other studies of specific behaviors or diseases of interest to primary care

Former Research Fellow Projects

2016: Erica Schuster, Mentor: Lars Peterson

2017: Jessica Adkins, Mentor: Keisa Fallen-Bennett

2018: Jessica Creager, Mentor: Lars Peterson

2019: Rachel Cox, Mentors: Lars Peterson and Karen Roper

2021: Bennett Collis, Mentor: Karen Roper

2022: Bradley Firchow, Mentor: Richard Ingram


Student Applicant Eligibility

  • You are a UK student (medical or graduate) who is in good academic standing. 
  • Medical students must have completed at least their first year of study at UK. 
  • It is expected that you will or have already completed the required CITI training in the projection of human subjects required by the UK College of Medicine prior to starting your research, unless your research is exempted. 
  • Final acceptance is dependent on approval and permission from the UK Student Progress and Promotions Committee or the UK Office of Medical Education Progress and Promotions committee. 

    Mentee Requirement

  • It is required that you choose one or more faculty mentors.  Your mentors can be any faculty member at UK, so long as they agree to guide you through a project that falls within the broad interest areas of family and community medicine research.  
  • A faculty member with the UK College of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine ( must be included in the application as a co-investigative team member if your primary mentor is not among the DFCM faculty.

Application Checklist

•Resume including past research experiences 

• One-page essay describing: 

        • your interest in community/primary care-based research 

        • what qualities/experiences would make you a good candidate 

        • what you hope to gain/accomplish from the student research fellowship

• Completed application form -This includes a question regarding the # of hours per week you would hope to be able to dedicate to the project.  See "Will I get paid?" below. 

• Letter of support from mentor 

 Qualified applicants will be judged on suitability of their interests to those of the program and the project needs.

All materials are due by 5 pm on Monday, March 18, 2024. Late or partial applications will not be considered.

Fellowship Expectations

  • Fellows will present the results of their research to the department at a suitable time after the research project is completed.
  • Fellows and mentors will work with the program director, Dr. Karen Roper, to finalize a date for this within a year of the fellow’s acceptance for the program.
  • Also, fellows are required to submit their project for participation in the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science’s Spring research showcase, or another suitable research conference. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the schedule for this fellowship opportunity?

  • The scheduling is arranged between the fellow and the mentor (s).
  • All commitments of the fellowship must be met, but the timeframe is purposely flexible. The research is expected to culminate in a oral presentation to the DFCM faculty, and in an external presentation (local or national; see fellowship program expectations), within a year from program acceptance. 

Will I get paid and how much?

  • Yes!
  • Fellows will receive an hourly wage, equal to or greater than 10 hours per week ($1,900) and no more than 40 hours per week ($7,600), that is paid as a non-federal work-study opportunity and so contingent on the submission of biweekly time sheets across an 8-week pay period. 
  • The number of hours per week is to be requested on the application form.  It must be equal to or greater than 10 hours per week and no more than 40 hours per week.  We will make every effort to match the requested amount for accepted applicants.  In the event we are not able to match the request, we will communicate this in your offer of acceptance, and offer as close to the requested hours as funding allows!


To apply to our Research Fellowship, please download and complete the application to send as a pdf.  Along with the form, please provide all other materials listed in the Applications checklist drop down menu. All materials can be emailed to Dr. Karen Roper by clicking the "SEND APPLICATION" button below. 
Please note: Chrome may not open and display the PDF correctly, but after the PDF is downloaded and opened in Adobe it will display correctly.

Download the Research Fellowship Application 

Send Application


Still have questions?  Please email Dr. Karen Roper.