Mayo Clinic Special Research Student Appointment

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The Mayo Clinic Special Research Student appointment is intended to provide a meaningful research experience to students considering a career in biomedical research and to expose them to the educational opportunities at Mayo for prospective candidates to the biomedical sciences Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. programs. This appointment will offer on-going research opportunities for independent study course credit to students considering a career in biomedical research. Mayo Clinic investigators will also obtain first-hand knowledge about potential Mayo Graduate School candidates before they apply. 

Learn about Mayo Faculty that accepted applicants for the spring 2019 semester by clicking on their individual names below.

Position Description

  • Students will have appointments during the academic year.
  • No stipend is associated with this appointment, as the students receive credit for their participation (HON 498)
  • Students will collaborate with a Mayo Clinic investigator on a research project. In some cases, the research project may evolve into the honors thesis project, if approved by the thesis chair and the Mayo Clinic investigator.

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate a scholarly approach to biomedical problems and a willingness to learn new skills/ techniques that are needed to solve biomedical problems.
  • Describe the critical role of basic science, clinical, epidemiological and translational research and scholarship in understanding and alleviating disease and disability from disease.
  • Describe the steps needed to identify a suitable biomedical research question, formulate a hypothesis, design a suitable experimental procedure, obtain and properly analyze data.
  • Work with a faculty mentor to analyze a research question and analyze and interpret the data collected.
  • Demonstrate command of the domain of research project and present data coherently and effectively.
  • Describe the process of preparing research materials for publication or presentation.


Exceptional Arizona State University (ASU) Barrett Honors students are eligible for participation.

Applicants must:

  • Be in second or third year in Barrett at ASU during semester of appointment.
  • Have a grade point average of at least a 3.3 (4.0 scale).
  • Be seeking a major relevant to the desired experience within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, School of Engineering, or College of Health Sciences with at least 1 year of experience (recommended).
  • Be seriously considering a biomedical research career as a Ph.D. or M.D.-Ph.D. (as opposed to practicing as a physician).
  • Be able to devote at least 10 hours per week to the research project on the Scottsdale campus at Mayo Clinic. (Three consecutive days each week with uninterrupted laboratory time of 3-4 hours each day is preferred, but not required – TBD with Mayo Clinic Investigator).
  • If planning a thesis, have an ASU faculty co-director for the thesis if the Mayo Clinic investigator does not have an academic affiliation with ASU.
  • Be able to register for HON 498 for 3 credits each semester of appointment
  • Have access to transportation to and from Mayo Clinic

Applications will be initially reviewed by Barrett, The Honors College and eligible applicants will be submitted to selected faculty for further review. 

Attachments must include:

  • A personal statement describing your interest in the program and career goals
  • A copy of your transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
  • One signed letter of recommendation on letterhead (from a current or previous supervisor or faculty member)

Applications will open for the Fall 2019 semester in mid-March, 2019.

If accepted, students must register for HON 498 through their Barrett Honors Advisor. 

Expectations of student researchers

  • Be present for all agreed-upon hours of research work at Mayo.
  • Be familiar with all background materials in preparation for research work.
  • Complete all work (laboratory/clinical work, writing, presentations, etc.) on time and excellently.
  • Be responsive to all feedback and requests by research mentor in regard to the research experience.

Expectations of investigators

  • Be available to student researcher.
  • Offer guidance in the research work.
  • Ensure that student researcher has adequate space, materials, and access to equipment.
  • Provide mentoring to student researcher.
  • Provide an evaluation of student’s research work at end of semester (the independent study will be graded with pass/fail).

Responsible leaders for this partnership are Lisa Marks, Mayo Clinic, at and Amy Sever, Director of Student Community Development, Retention and Outreach , or 480-727-5929.