Pritzker School of Medicine Certificate in Translational Research


The Pritzker School of Medicine (PSOM) and the Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS) have worked together to design a Certificate in Translational Research program for Pritzker medical students at the University of Chicago. Students who completed a research year in 2020-2021 will be the first cohort of students eligible to earn the certificate.

The certificate was initially created and is administered by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Early Scientific Training to Prepare for Research Excellence Post-Graduation (BEST-PREP) program to recognize the accomplishments of MD-only students who complete basic or early-stage translational research and training during their medical school careers. However, all students completing a research year in the basic/translational sciences are encouraged to apply to the certificate, regardless of whether the student’s research year is funded by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) Fellowship, the Pritzker Fellowship, or another source.

Certificate requirements

1. Completion of CCTS 33000/MEDC 33000 Scientists Advancing the Forefront Course, offered for 1 hour/week for 14 weeks during Fall and Winter Quarters. This course highlights breakthroughs in basic science and their translation to patient care, scientific reasoning skills, and state-of-the art research methods. Most students will complete the course during M1, but students may also complete it during the research year.

2. Completion of a research year (full-time for a minimum of 9 months during the research year) with a focus on basic and/or early-stage translational science. The research year may be completed after M2 or M3. Students are encouraged to apply for funding to support their year off but funding is not a prerequisite for the certificate. Funding opportunities for a research year include:

3. Completion of 300 units of basic or translational science research in M4.

4. Participation in Senior Scientific during M4, held in May. Registration for Senior Scientific is in February.

5. Completion of a manuscript of basic/translational science research. Guidelines for the manuscript will be provided to fellows accepted to the certificate program. Although not required, students are encouraged to submit their manuscript to an academic journal. Manuscripts will be due in the Spring of M4.

6. Completion and timely submission of the Certificate in Translational Research audit form and evaluation, which will track student’s progress in completing the Certificate. The audit form will be due in the Spring of M4. The primary mentor must provide a paragraph summary of the student’s progress and must sign the form to confirm successful completion of research year and M4 research block.

7. Receipt of certificate is contingent on the student maintaining academic and professional standards throughout both medical and research training and successfully completing the medical school degree.


Event/Activity Year/Quarter
Participate in CCTS 33000 Scientists Advancing the Forefront M1 Fall/Winter (or research year)
Apply for Research Year Fellowship (Winter deadline is for internal fellowships, external fellowships may have earlier deadlines). BWF and Pritzker applicants will have the opportunity to self-identify and apply simultaneously to the certificate. M2 or M3 Winter
Research Year (RY) Between M2 and M3, or M3 and M4
Apply for Certificate in Translational Research (for students who did not apply through Fellowship application) RY Summer
Completion of 300 units of basic or translational science research in M4 M4 Sum, Fall, Win, Spr
Register for Senior Scientific M4 Winter
Submit Certificate audit form which tracks completion of activities M4 Spring (early May)
Participate in Senior Scientific M4 Spring (mid-May)
Submit manuscript for basic/translational research project M4 Spring (mid-May)
All requirements must be complete so certificate can be conferred M4 Spring (mid-May, after senior scientific)

Pre-Application Form:

Prior to submitting an application to the certificate, all students who intend to apply are encouraged to submit a pre-application form to provide a brief description of their proposed research year project and research mentor. All students will receive and email consultation with a BEST-PREP faculty member about the project and to ensure alignment with the goals and focus of the Certificate in Translational Research.

The pre-application form will be open from March through May for students who are taking a research year. Individuals who are applying to the BWF or Pritzker fellowships are encouraged to submit their pre-application form by March 21. Most applicants will receive their email consultation within 1-2 weeks.

Click here to launch the Certificate in Translational Research pre-application form.

Please contact Kelsey Bogue at with questions.