Second Year

MS2 Orientation to Scholarship & Discovery

Usually occuring in September of the second year, this orientation provides an opportunity to highlight class achievements, overview expectations for the coming year, and outline the Track Application process.


Track Applications & Participation Agreements

Students will identify a University of Chicago mentor and select a scholarly project by mid-November of the MS2 year. This timing allows students to submit a Track Application to the Track which most appropriately fits their projects by mid-November, obtaining official confirmation by Track Leaders before the Winter Break. At the time of the Track Application, students also submit a Participation Agreement, a signed document outlining mentor-mentee expectations.


Student have the option to either continue a project that was already begun during the MS1 year (e.g., through SRP), or begin a project with a new mentor. Although most students elect to continue a project that was begun during the MS1 year, up to a 25% of students choose to change projects, or have not yet participated in scholarly work. If you are starting a new project, the key is to set appropriate expectations. The majority of work on new projects will likely occur during the MS2 Spring Block, as well as during the fourth year. 


Track Leader Meetings

In January of the MS2 year, students who are newly accepted to their S&D Track will gather in small groups for the first Track Leader meeting.  At the first 1 - 2 hour session, Track Leaders will provide an Orientation to the Track, focusing on Glassick's Criteria for Scholarship. This meeting will give students a chance to create a framework for their scholarly projects, overview peer projects, and help plan individualized goals. Two subsequent Track Leader meetings will be held throughout May and June (during the Spring Block) to allow peer exchange and dialogue around project progress, and also to troubleshoot potential obstacles with expert Track Leaders. As students are expected to produce a Progress Report, as well as design and create an e-Poster by the end of the Spring Block, Track Leader meetings will allow time to discuss and plan these activities. The Track Leader meetings are imperative as during the Spring Block, any difficulties experienced by the students should first be brought to the attention of the Track Leaders.


Spring Block

The main goal of the Spring Block is to provide protected time for students to work on scholarly projects. The Spring Block begins in early May, at which point students should have already taken USMLE1; the Spring Block ends in early June, before third-year clerkships begin. During this 5-week block, students are able to work with their mentors to execute a concrete plan of action for accomplishing project relevant responsibilities. The expectation is that students are working full-time on their scholarly projects throughout the duration of the Spring Block.

The Spring Block kicks off with an information session to describe details regarding the Progress Report and e-Poster assignments. Various other events are hosted by the S&D Team throughout the Spring Block to supplement student learning (e.g., year-off student panel).

During the Spring Block, students will:

1) Conduct work on a mentored scholarly project

2) Regularly attend Track Leader meetings to report on project progress

3) Complete and submit a required Progress Report and e-Poster

To assist students in fulfilling these expectations, the S&D Team holds a series of optional sessions and Office Hours throughout the Spring Block.