What is R2D2?
R2D2 is a NIH-funded research education program for students who want to…
…create a strong transdisciplinary bridge between medicine and public health.
…develop “hands-on” data-based research skills, competencies, and products.
…work to reduce population health disparities and medical inequalities in CVD.
…build a strategy to address the socio-political determinants of population health.
…investigate the role of race, ethnicity, gender, and implicit/explicit bias in medicine.

What is Required of Students Accepted into The R2D2 Program?

  • A two-year program commitment.
  • Two four-week intersession workshops during spring of ECE and MCE.
  • A mentored research project the summer after second year (July/August).

Who is eligible to participate in the R2D2 Program?
The R2D2 program is funded for CHM first-year medical students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Unfortunately, this opportunity is not open to students who are not U.S. citizens, even if they are in medical school under D.A.C.A. (deferred action for childhood arrivals) or with an F1 student VISA.

Do R2D2 students have to be from a disadvantaged background?
No, disadvantaged background status is one of many selection criteria used to select R2D2 students.

Do R2D2 student have to be located in Flint for the last two years of medical school?
No, students begin mentored research projects before LCE and R2D2 mentors are located at multiple campuses.

What is the time commitment for R2D2?
During the intersession, students must attend three weekly 3-hour sessions and complete asynchronous assignments totaling 30 hours/week. Students work 40-50 hours/week during research months and 3 hours/week the rest of the year.

Are research mentors and projects assigned?
No, but mentor selection is restricted to a predetermined list of R2D2 mentors and student research projects must overlap with the expertise of at least one of the predetermined mentors.

Do students work collaboratively on a single project?
No, R2D2 research projects are not group projects. Individual students will work collaboratively with their research mentors and potentially with the mentor’s professional research staff.

Can mentored research projects be completed during the 3-week break before 2nd-year MCE?
No, three weeks is not sufficient to complete a mentored research project.

What resources will students have while conducting research?
Students should expect to be integrated into mentors’ research teams and utilize available team resources. Additional research needs are considered on a case-by-case basis.

What is the potential community impact of the project?
Impact on the health of local populations is a central component of the projects implemented by R2D2. However, measuring the change in population health is a complicated process. How this is addressed is ultimately up to the methodologic procedures employed by students in consultation with their mentors.

R2D2 is funded for 5 years. Does this mean R2D2 students are in medical school for 5 years?
No, the R2D2 program is concurrent with the shared discovery curriculum and does not extend students’ time in medical school.

How does R2D2 differ from the MD-PH certificate program?
The MD-PH certificate introduces the interface between clinical medicine and public health to help students learn to integrate medical practice on both the individual and population. R2D2 ensures students develop research skills that further bridge medicine and public health. R2D2 also focuses on cultivating “hands on” data analysis skills and disseminating findings to the larger academic community, via academic papers and presentations.

What types of research projects are the first cohort of R2D2 student scholars working on?
Students are matched with a faculty Research Mentor and are working on research projects that address a variety of health disparities in a range of populations.