2010 Medical Humanities Year-Out Application
Purpose of the Program
The one-year Fellowship in Medical Humanities (FIMH) provides medical students the chance to
study a healthcare topic within any humanities discipline that may interest them considerably, but
that cannot be explored adequately within the constraints of the regular curriculum. The program
encourages medical students to research aspect of healthcare within George Engel’s medical
framework, to consider their places and those of their patients in relationship to self, family,
community, nation, and biosphere. And to do so, students will use materials and methodologies of
the humanities disciplines, including literature, fine arts, philosophy, ethics, religious studies,
visual and cultural studies, law and history. Exceptional projects in social sciences, such as
anthropology, will also be considered.
The Fellowship does not support completion of degree programs at other institutions. The
Fellowship cannot be deferred from the year in which it is granted.
The Fellowship is intended to provide an intellectual opportunity and funding for
substantive and innovative humanities-focused projects on medical topics or issues. Those
wishing to undertake substantial creative works, such as writing, visual, or performing arts,
depicting topics in health and healing are also welcome to apply for this award. FIMH is a
competitive, paid fellowship sponsored by the Division of Medical Humanities and Office of
Medical Education available for one year. During that time, students receive a stipend of $18,000
(broken down into bi-weekly installments) to cover living and research expenses ( please note:
Students applying for year out funding and who are eligible for Federal Work Study will receive
$4,500 from the University and $13,500 from Federal Work Study for a maximum yearly award
of $18,000, which is dispersed bi-weekly. Students who are not eligible for Federal Work Study
will receive a maximum $4,500 award from the University, which will be paid on a bi-weekly
basis. Students who are not eligible for work-study are highly encouraged to seek other funding
sources. Please contact the Director of Financial Aid to determine work-study eligibility).
The Fellowship research work itself consists primarily of independent study, information
collection and analysis, and completion of a substantial product, whether as a long essay or thesis,
or creative work. The student must secure an advisor or, where appropriate, co-advisors in
Rochester and at the site(s) of their research work with expertise in the student’s research area to
serve as mentor/advisor the student.
The student will need to demonstrate appropriate skills and background knowledge for
the project and to identify specific skills and knowledge relevant to his/her project which will
need to be further developed, and how this will be achieved (through course work, individual
tutorial sessions or other learning activities with supervisor (s) in Rochester or at other institutions
or settings as appropriate.
The student is required to submit a substantial final draft of their project to all project
advisors upon completion of their Fellowship year for review, and arrange to meet with his/her
primary supervisor(s) in person within 3 months after the completion of the Fellowship. A final
revised clean copy must be submitted by December 31 of a student’s final year of medical school
to the Director of the Division of Medical Humanities for dissemination to the student’s Advisory
Dean, FIMH Review Committee, advisors and others. The final revisions and editing of the
projects may be done in part through the Medical Humanities Independent Research Project
elective, MHU 950.
During the course of the fellowship year, FIMH students are required to have regular
communication with their Advisory Deans and also their project advisors, submitting monthly
written progress reports and action plans for review. Students are also encouraged to seek
involvement and research guidance from other URSMD faculty with expertise in their FIMH
topic. Fellows are also expected to submit basic outlines and drafts of their work-in-progress, to
allow their advisors and other readers’ appropriate time to make critiques before the completion
of the Fellowship. The student’s advisor assigns the thesis or project a rating of Pass, Fail, or
Honors. The Division of Medical Humanities will also support students who have excelled in
their Fellowship if they wish to publish all or part of their thesis.
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry students become eligible to
participate in this program after the successful completion of their first year, and remain eligible
until their graduation. FIMH terms begin in July and extend until the following summer, with the
thesis defense to occur prior to that following October 31. FIMH projects need to be feasible in
that time frame.
Medical Humanities faculty are available to review drafts of proposals and application
components, and are also prepared to help students seeking project ideas or mentors.
Applicants to the program must submit the following to the Center for Advocacy,
Community Health, Education and Diversity (Room G-9552) by February 7, 2010:
(suggested word limit for each section 300- 500 words)
biographical information sheet
personal statement (why this Fellowship would enhance your learning and career goals)
official URSMD transcript
research proposal including:
o Background to the project
o Rationale for the project (explain why and how this project is useful)
o Project Statement (describe what you expect as final product)
o Budget ( up to one page on how monies will be used)
o Dissemination of your Project (identify your audience and/.or community and possible
journals, presses, national conferences, workshops, lecture opportunities)
o Timeline for research (up to one page; use headings and bullets)
o Advisor(s) and Institution(s) (explain the role of each and areas of expertise)
letter of recommendation
letter of project endorsement by the Medical Humanities faculty member who wishes to serve
as that student’s thesis advisor.
Selection is determined by factors including timeliness and completion of application; the nature
of the project with respect to its appropriateness, originality, and significance; quality of the
research proposal and supporting materials; the student’s academic and technical preparation for
completing the project; feasibility of the project with the time and resources allotted; and the
overall number of applications received. Students who receive the FIMH award are required to
submit their proposal to RSRB for approval or exemption.
Applicants will be interviewed by the FIMH Review Committee in late February/early March and
will notify applicants of its decision in March 2010.
Applications are due Sunday, February 7, 2010.
Fellowship in Medical Humanities
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SHEET (2009-2010)
NAME: (First MI. Last) Class Year
Preferred Mailing Address Phone Number
Student ID Number:
Are you eligible for Federal Work Study?
Student Mail Box #
Please do not continue responses beyond space provided below.
1. What formal education has prepared you to conduct your FIMH research? List specific coursework and the institution where
you completed it.
2. What other training and experiences have equipped you to pursue your research? Consider providing information on past
employment, research appointments, independent learning, and experiences with particular patient populations relevant to your
3. What honors, publications, or activities best reflect your readiness and qualification to perform
successfully as a FIMH Fellow?