The central purpose of the Focused Inquiry & Research Experience (FIRE) program is to provide and facilitate opportunities for each student to directly experience and participate in scientific research that will enable them to develop skills of intellectual inquiry applicable to the practice of medicine. A research project may be in any area of interest related to medicine where a qualified faculty Research Mentor can be identified. The curriculum will include training and tools to successfully develop a rigorous, independent, and scholarly research project. Research Mentors will oversee the creation (Year 1) and completion (Year 2) of the research project.
The I-1 curriculum is focused on delivering content during formally scheduled face-to-face (F2F) class time as well as flexible online self-learning modalities. Students will identify a research mentor and work with that individual or team of individuals to develop an original, feasible, and scientifically valid research proposal that will be assessed through faculty and peers. Students will also complete statistical training exercises via various modalities. Assessment of student performance in these exercises will be performed through a combination of online and in-class exercises and quizzes as outlined below. I-1 students will also attend the FIRE Conference as participants and peer reviewers of student scientific work. In the second year, the FIRE Module continues as I-2, where students will complete their research projects initiated in I-1, culminating in oral/poster presentations of project results at the FIRE Conference.