Medical Student Research Grant Program
The Damewood Medical Student Research Awards, established through the generous support of Drs. Marian and Richard Damewood, promote scholarship in women’s health among medical students at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Projects may encompass one of many aspects of women’s health care, including clinical care, quality improvement, medical education, challenges in health disparities and health delivery. Scholars will have the unique opportunity to further explore their scholarly area of interest and find lifelong mentorship among leaders in women’s health.
- Program Resources
- Eligibility Requirements
- Application Process
- Selection Criteria
- Current Recipients
- Previous Winners
Silka Patel (program director) leads the Damewood Medical Student Research Grant Program and head the selection committee. Other committee members include:
- Andrew Satin, director of gynecology and obstetrics
- James Segars, director of reproductive science & women's health research
- Betty Chou, director of residency programs
- Cybill Esguerra, associate clerkship director
The Damewood Research Award will support projects with grants from $3,000–$15,000. All grant recipients will be required to submit a summary of their project as well as provide materials to share with donors annually.
All projects should be related to advancing research in education or clinical care in women’s health. Scholars must be medical students at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine or faculty in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics (Gyn/Ob) who will be working directly with a medical student from Johns Hopkins.
For Medical Students
- Students are expected to complete their projects prior to earning their medical degree. If the grant is awarded their final year, the project should be completed by the end of their intern year.
- All medical students must have a mentor identified to qualify for funding. The primary mentor must be a faculty member who has a primary appointment in the school of medicine Gyn/Ob department. Mentors must agree to provider appropriate assistance to medical student scholars on project design and execution.
For Johns Hopkins Faculty
- If the primary applicant is a faculty member, he or she must identify the medical student with whom they will be working and the specific role on the project team for that student.
Prior to application, scholars should identify their team, which must include a medical student from Johns Hopkins as well as a faculty member with a primary appointment in the Gyn/Ob department at Johns Hopkins.
Applications must include:
- CV for the medical student scholar
- A paragraph from the faculty mentor affirming their support of the medical student scholar and delineating the student’s role on the scholarly project
- A research proposal (limit three pages, not including references). The proposal will include the specific aims of the project and will summarize the methodology planned to accomplish the aims. A title page should be included that has the name of the medical student, the faculty mentor and the primary contact person for the project.
- Budget proposal: Grants will be awarded between $3,000 and $15,000 based on the submitted budgets and request of scholars.
The 2023 application due date is October 30, 2023 Application materials should be emailed to [email protected]
Applications will be scored by the review committee who will determine final funding allocations for each project. Projects will be evaluated on the following core criteria:
Does the study address an important problem? If the aims are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, clinical knowledge or medical education be advanced?
Is the work proposed appropriate for the team, and does it allow for significant support of the medical student scholar?
Is the project original and innovative? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, tools or technologies?
Are the framework, design, methods and analysis adequately developed and appropriate for the aims of the project? Can the project be completed as designed?
If you have questions regarding applying for the Damewood Medical Student Research Grant please contact us at [email protected].
Improving the Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) in Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy for Gynecologic Cancer
Medical Student Awardee
Along with her mentor, Kretz will be conducting a retrospective cohort of approximately 800 patients previously treated for gynecologic cancer including ovarian, vulvar, cervical, vaginal, and endometrial. Through a series of surveys and observations, Alyssa plans to check for signs of VTE at 3 and 6 months after chemotherapy, and identify the gynecologic cancer-specific factors that can be added retroactively to the Khorana score factors to create more detailed and nuanced risk stratification tools, with the ability to not only tell the gynecologic cancer-specific risks, but also differentiate between high and low risk patients. Through this study, Alyssa hopes to assist with developing a quality improvement initiative with the Johns Hopkins Kelly Gynecologic Oncology service to reduce VTEs in gynecologic cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Kretz is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health between her third and fourth years of medical school. She has a deep interest in gynecologic oncology and reproductive health, and hopes to improve patient satisfaction and quality of life. She plans to pursue a residency in obstetrics and gynecology.
Evaluating a Trauma-Informed Care Curriculum’s Impact on Medical Student Readiness for the Women’s Health Clerkship and Utilization in Other Usual-Practice Settings
Medical Student Awardee
Terrence Tsou is a third-year medical student from Los Angeles, California. Before beginning his time at Johns Hopkins, Terrence earned his undergraduate degree in Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. From there, he served as a research assistant at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston before starting medical school.
Impact of maternal depressive symptoms on prenatal care utilization and milestones
Medical Student Awardee
This study will look at the impact of maternal depressive symptoms on prenatal care utilization and milestones. Perinatal depression is a common complication of pregnancy that can lead to serious consequences for mother and child. Her project aims to assess the impact of early prenatal depressive symptoms on the utilization of prenatal care services as well as the use of non-routine health care services, the completion of major prenatal care milestones, and engagement with mental health services during pregnancy. Understanding patterns of prenatal care utilization as well as missed milestones in cases of maternal depression may reveal specific opportunities for targeted intervention. This study will help lay the groundwork for future projects that seek to bridge gaps in access to perinatal depression services.
Jang is interested in pursuing a career in women's health and has spent time abroad, helping develop maternal and child health interventions with a focus on addressing social determinants of health as well as mental health during pregnancy. She has also helped lead the Women's Health Interest Group while developing research interests at the intersection of women's health, reproductive rights, global health, and infectious diseases. Her past research has encompassed COVID-19 in pregnancy, contraceptive use in postpartum women with substance use disorders, and the relationship between pregnancy intention and child outcomes in Brazil.
Lombardo’s project, Preventing Period Poverty: Assessing Barriers to Menstrual Equity for Adolescents and Young Adults in the Greater Baltimore Area is a mixed methods project. Alexandra aimed to assess barriers to menstrual equity for adolescents and young adults in Maryland. Inadequate menstrual hygiene management and stigma are extremely impactful on youth's quality of life, affecting their education, career, and social engagement, but the topic is hardly studied in the US. This project aims to close these gaps in knowledge and determine methods to address period poverty.
Alexandra studied sexual and reproductive health disparities, as well as culturally competent care. Upon arriving at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from Yale University, she became the leader of CASE (Community Adolescent Sexual Education), which coordinates volunteers to teach a scientifically-based sexual education curriculum in local Baltimore schools. As a Fulbright Scholar, she pursued a Masters of Science in Global Health in Taipei, Taiwan, where she wanted to build on the research groundwork laid by this project in Baltimore.
Assessment of Access to Fertility Preservation for Women with Cancer
Medical Student Awardee
This project aimed to characterize counseling about, access to, and utilization of fertility-preserving services for reproductive-aged women who are diagnosed with a) primary gynecologic cancers, b) hereditary cancer syndromes predisposing to gynecologic cancers, and/or c) cancers requiring pelvic radiation at JHM. The goal was to better understand and identify gaps in the current counseling, referral and evaluation practices for fertility-preserving treatment for reproductive-aged women with cancer. This project also served as the groundwork to develop a multidisciplinary service line across Gyn/Ob, medical oncology, radiation oncology and genetics to improve and streamline counseling and protocols for fertility preservation in women at Johns Hopkins.
Yu’s interests have focused on the intersection between women’s health, reproductive rights and equity of care. Her past research in anthropology includes understanding the experiences of infertility for women in China as well as Asian American women’s experiences with oocyte cryopreservation. This project builds on her past research with the goal to improve experiences with fertility-preserving services and, thus, quality of care for women.