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Orthopedic Research Scholar Award

One Year Medical Student Scholar Program at Children’s Mercy Kansas City

Start Date: July 1, 2021

USWNR Orthopedics

The Orthopedic Research Scholar Award promotes clinical research by giving the outstanding medical student the opportunity to investigate pertinent topics in clinical orthopedic research at Children’s Mercy Kansas City. This award is unique because this is specifically designed for the medical student who is taking a year between third and fourth year and interested in pursuing a career in orthopedic surgery.

The Children’s Mercy (CMH) program focuses on giving the one-year scholar clinical research opportunities, advanced orthopedic cognitive skills through weekly clinical exposure, and mentoring for a future career in orthopedic surgery that includes clinical research. This one-year training program is an intensive mentored research experience with formal training in clinical and translational research skills. 

The CMH program is affiliated with Frontiers: University of Kansas Clinical and Translational Science Institute, a one-year NIH funded TL1 Predoctoral Clinical and Translational Research Training Program. Applicants for the CMH program are expected to also apply for this KU training program. 

Applications for the joint CMH and KU program are both due Friday, December 18, 2020. 

The KU training program will provide the scholar with 33 credit hours of degree coursework for the Master of Science in Clinical Research. 

Division of Orthopedic Surgery at Children’s Mercy Kansas City

Children’s Mercy Kansas City is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in pediatric orthopedic patient care, education, and basic and clinic research.  The Department of Orthopedic Surgery has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report.


The Department of Orthopedics has 13 pediatric orthopedic surgeons, two pediatric plastic surgeons and four non-operative sports medicine, general musculoskeletal physicians and an equal number of advanced nurse clinicians.

All disciplines, including general orthopedics, trauma, sports medicine, upper extremity, spine, hip, limb lengthening and deformity, cerebral palsy, neuromuscular and musculoskeletal tumor are represented. 

Our research program currently has a variety of over 30 different prospective and retrospective clinical studies. We have close collaborative relationships with UMKC Dental School, UMKC School of Medicine, KU Medical School, KCUMB and KU Lawrence School of Engineering.

Applicants should be completing their 3rd or 4th year of a traditional medical school. The student must be in good academic standing, have official approval from their medical school to pursue this one year program, and have an interest in pursuing a career in Orthopedic Surgery.

The successful applicant will be responsible, motivated, intellectually curious, energetic and independent. Ability to work in highly effective clinical and research teams is also necessary.

The successful candidate for the TL1 award will receive:

  • One year training and support
  • Tuition remission for the MS-CR course work
  • Monthly NIH NRSA Predoctoral trainee stipend
  • Intensive mentored research experience with formal training in clinical and translational research skills.
  • Up to $4,200 in research funds (e.g. project supplies, publication costs, consultant services, etc) per year and additional travel support for national presentations.

If you are interested in the TL1 Predoctoral Clinical and Translational Research Training Award, please set up a meeting with Dr. Won Choi to discuss mentorship plans and research interest.  Meeting arrangements with Dr. Choi can be made via Amy Smith, Frontiers Training Navigator, at

Complete application package should be emailed to Richard Schwend, Director of Research, Department of Orthopedics at

The successful student will apply for both the KU TL1 Predoctoral Clinical and Translational Research Training award as well as directly to CMH Department of Orthopedics as the Research Training site. Applications must include:

  1. Personal statement to both KU and CMH.
  2. One-page proposal for a mentored research project with CMH Orthopedic Department faculty
  3. Your resume/CV
  4. NIH bio-sketch from the proposed primary CMH Orthopedic Mentor
  5. Three letters of support:
    1. Your research mentor- Describe how you integrate into the mentor’s currently funded research efforts and how you actively participate in a research project suitable for first-authored publication at the end of your dedicated year of research training.
    2. Dean of your current academic program.
    3. One additional letter of support.
  6. Additional requirements to CMH:
    1. Completed “Children’s Mercy Hospital Department of Orthopedics Research Scholars Application” which is found on the CMH research website.
    2. PDF of Step 1 score
    3. Medical school transcripts

The Application to CMH can be downloaded from the website and either filled out by hand or completed via computer and sent to Richard Schwend, Director of Research, Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Children’s Mercy Hospital,  Detailed directions can be found on the application. 

Application Deadline

The deadline for the application is December 18, 2020. Decision will be made by Friday, January 29, 2021. The scholarship will start July 1, 2021.  We recommend submitting an application as soon as possible.

Download Application


Components of the Orthopedic Surgery Scholarship



The Orthopedic Fellowship is designed for the researcher destined for a career in orthopedic surgery. The goal is to launch the careers of tomorrow’s leaders in our field. For the research focus, the fellow will take on several projects, prospective and retrospective, single center and multi-center, some of which were started prior to their arrival, and some of which will begin during their year. 

The research is designed to answer questions and solve problems in the area of pediatric orthopedic trauma, sports medicine, spine, hip and hand disorders, patient safety, health care quality and value, as well as medical economics. 

Students meet with their mentor at least once per week to assure satisfactory supervision and mentorship. At the beginning of the year, goals will be agreed upon for specific research projects, timelines and expectations. We anticipate that approximately five research projects will be undertaken, leading to a minimum of five presentations and publications. 

The student researcher will be concurrently enrolled in the KU TL predoctoral clinical and Translational Research Training Program, Master of Science in Clinical Research.  This is a 33-credit hour graduate degree program.  The researcher will be expected to take advantage of CMH classes in CHEX, CITI, Research design, Research Statistics, online classes, IRB, Research and Grants, CMH Grand rounds, and CMH research conferences and seminars.  Student will present their research at end of the year through various local and national forums.


The second aspect of this program is clinical exposure. The CMH scholar participates actively in the outpatient clinic program within the Division of Orthopedics at CMH. There are opportunities to observe surgical procedures in the operating room. The scholar is also welcome and encouraged to attend a variety of clinical conferences in the Division of Orthopedics at CMH, including an every Monday morning indications conference, an every Friday didactic conference, quarterly orthopedic grand rounds, three times/year spine symposium, Thursday 8:00 a.m. Hospital Grand Rounds and a quarterly clinical research journal club. 

With the experience in clinic, observation in the operation room, attendance of conferences, and the interaction with the CMH orthopedic residents and fellows, the medical student advances to the next level of his/her clinical training.  At the end of the year, the scholar will be expected to present a talk to the residents on a topic of historical interest.


There is a strong, established clinical research office in the Department of Orthopedics at CMH. The scholar will meet with their assigned mentor weekly.  Research expectations, timeline and results will be discussed at each weekly meeting.

A few of the benefits of doing clinical research in our Department include:

  • orthopedic research coordinator who can help the student design and complete IRB requirements, adhere to Division and CMH research policies, review clinical data, measure radiographs, and complete manuscripts for publication
  • Active academic surgical faculty
  • Clinical conferences, visiting speakers, quarterly Journal club and many other education events to inspire and educate medical student researchers
  • A high-volume clinical and surgical practice that allows the student to gain clinical exposure to inspire research ideas
  • Faculty who can assist the student with mentoring, study design and statistical analysis
  • Hospital statisticians
  • Opportunity to present research to the entire Orthopedic Division at the year-end orthopedic research symposium
  • Scholar will be encouraged to submit presentation to AAP NCE. This meeting is each October, deadline for abstracts is April 15. There are three $1000 awards provided by POSNA for best young investigator in training awards.

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