A shot of a row of three research posters on easels from an angle.

Embark

Research & Scholarship

Embark is a required scholarly concentration program of Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine that provides a mentored introduction to research and scholarship. The four-year longitudinal curriculum consists of structured coursework in research design and implementation, compliance training, research communication, and scholarly presentation, with protected time to develop mentored projects in a wide-range of community and health-related settings. 

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Embark Mission Statement

Embark is a required scholarly concentration program of Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) that provides a mentored introduction to research and scholarship.  The four-year longitudinal curriculum consists of structured coursework in research design and implementation, compliance training, research communication, and scholarly presentation, with protected time to develop mentored projects in a wide-range of community and health-related settings.

As part of the Embark program, every medical student gains a tool kit of research and project-management skills, beneficial to the completion of their required capstone outcomes-based research project. Throughout their OUWB career, students have opportunities to utilize their skills by providing periodic progress presentations, where scholarly achievements are recognized with awards and scholarships. With both vertical and horizontal integration to the overall academic mission, the Embark program represents an important component of the OUWB curriculum that seeks to encourage a passion for life-long learning, and the development of research design and implementation skills in all of our future physicians. 

As our graduates embark on their careers, we anticipate each will have an exceptional impact on the patients and communities that they serve, and will act as multipliers to continue the growth of research developments and socially accountable activities within their future peer groups.

Embark Program Goals

As part of the Embark program, every medical student gains a tool kit of research and project-management skills, beneficial to the completion of their required health outcomes-based research project. Throughout their OUWB career, students have opportunities to utilize their skills by providing periodic progress presentations, where scholarly achievements are recognized with awards and scholarships. With both vertical and horizontal integration to the overall academic mission, the Embark program represents an important component of the OUWB curriculum that seeks to encourage a passion for life-long learning, and the development of research design and implementation skills in all of our future physicians.

As our graduates embark on their careers, we anticipate each will have an exceptional impact on the patients and communities that they serve, and will act as multipliers to continue the growth of research developments and socially accountable activities within their future peer groups.

The First Year

The first year entails course work that encompasses sessions on research study and design. Included in these topics are development of a research question, constructing a research proposal, and the important aspects of research regulatory bodies (internal review board (IRB)).

Also during this first year, students choose mentors with similar research interests. Mentors include OUWB faculty from the Foundational Medical Studies Department, various clinical departments in Beaumont Health and faculty from Oakland University Departments. The mentor and the student work collaboratively to design a feasible, outcomes-based research project. The mentor guides the student in their project throughout the four-years of medical school.

The Second Year

During the M2 year, the students continue with instruction in “best practices” in writing an abstract, and providing an oral or poster presentation. Many students strive to complete their data collection by the end of their M2 year. The year culminates with awards given for the most outstanding short oral presentations of current research status.

The Third and Fourth Years

Protected time is embedded in the M3 year. Additionally, Directed Independent Research rotations are possible in the M4 year to continue additional work on Embark or other research projects. Completion of the capstone research project is a graduation requirement for each student with presentation of his or her work at a research colloquium in the M4 year.

At OUWB, we believe in recognizing our medical students for efforts in conducting best practices in research. Partial fourth-year scholarships are awarded for outstanding Embark achievement through a mini-manuscript competition. Embark encourages students to present their findings and provides supplemental travel funds when appropriate for students to present their completed work at regional and national meetings under the guidance of their mentors. Writing of abstracts with submission to local, national and international conferences, as well as submission of manuscripts are encouraged but not required. 

Mini-Manuscript Award Winners

Generous donors of OUWB support students by funding scholarships that are awarded through the school’s Embark program. Third year medical students have the option of preparing a mini-manuscript reporting their Embark program capstone project outcomes. The manuscripts are judged by a panel of faculty, and the students who prepared the top manuscripts are awarded partial scholarships to be used in their fourth year at OUWB.

2018 Mini-Manuscript Award Winners

2017 Mini-Manuscript Award Winners

Become a Mentor

How to Become a Mentor

Please contact embark@oakland.edu with any questions.


Meaningful Participation Eligibility

Clinical faculty may be eligible for meaningful participation points by providing the service of mentoring.

The Meaningful Participation Program is designed to recognize the extraordinary efforts of the Beaumont medical staff in dedicating the time and expertise necessary to assure that every graduate of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine has received the training necessary to become an effective, compassionate contributor to the well being of the community.

Sellers presents at 2019 Embark Colloquium
The "Do It Yourself" Approach to Laparoscopic Skill Training
Taylor Sellers | Class of 2019

Embark Project Spotlight

When Taylor Sellers was considering a surgical specialty, he wanted to learn more about laparoscopy. Sellers learned that skills are taught with a “box trainer,” so he set out to build one with the guidance of Victoria Roach, Ph.D., assistant professor, Foundational Medical Studies, who also studies surgical skills acquisition.


They compared results from student training on five DIY boxes built for $50 each with training on a professional box borrowed from Beaumont Hospital. One group of 17 students used the DIY boxes; another same size group learned on a commercial box. Neither group knew which type they were using. Training involved instruction followed by practice. All students showed significant performance improvement between their first and last task attempts, regardless of the trainer used. In fact, research results show that the $50 box trainer is as effective as the commercial device for training.