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Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences Student Success Center

The Student Success Center recommends the following resources for students seeking undergraduate research opportunities.

CAS 3440/ENGR 3440: PEMRAP Course Details
The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Research Associates Program (PEMRAP) at OU is an original collaboration between the OU Health Sciences Center, Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Engineering. PEMRAP students are actively involved in clinical research studies being performed by University of Oklahoma College of Medicine faculty in the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department (OCHPED). We participate in a wide variety of clinical research studies, with varying scope and scale. Some of these studies are single site studies – patients are only being enrolled in the OCHPED – and some are multi-site – patients are being enrolled in hospitals across the United States. Some studies have no grant funding and PEMRAP students comprise the entire research enrollment team. Other studies are supported by multi-million dollar grants with support of a full research staff, and PEMRAP students will be collaborating with these research staff members.

PEMRAP student responsibilities vary depending on the study. Students will help screen patients for active studies, gather important patient information, and when possible, enroll eligible patients into studies. The number and type of studies vary from semester to semester but can lead to interaction with a wide range of patients, from infants to young adults, with a variety of different conditions.

PEMRAP students may also elect to participate in optional shadowing shifts in the OCHPED. This time is independent of the time spent working to enroll in research studies. These shifts allow students to shadow a physician in the OCHPED (either a resident, fellow, or attending) for a two-hour period in the ED. During this time students will get a first-hand look at how an ED functions, how patients present to the ED, how physicians talk with patients, how they decide what testing to do, and how this helps them determine possible causes of an illness.

Lecture Sessions
Lecture Sessions are held on Friday afternoons, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. both virtually and on the Norman and HSC campuses. Covered subjects include an introduction to clinical research, study design, inclusion/exclusion criteria, data collection and enrollment techniques and ongoing study updates. In addition, faculty members with active research projects will introduce the basic principles behind the clinical questions being asked. An important aspect of this course is utilization of the Clinical Skills Education and Testing Center (CSETC) on the HSC campus. Students will participate in hands-on sessions with live standardized patients/parents as they practice the Informed Consent process. In addition, using High Fidelity mannequins, students will practice basic Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) procedures. Finally, students will give a presentation on a topic of interest acquired during the semester or a novel research idea at the end of the semester.  Students will be assigned a PEM Faculty Mentor that will help them navigate the course, the project, and the HSC logistics.

This class provides an unparalleled opportunity to work within a busy Pediatric Emergency Department. Your role as a student and research associate places you on the front lines of clinical research and can give you an inside look into how advances in medicine are made. Step-by-step, patient-by-patient, you will gain experiences and learn skills that have the potential to shape your future career.

Note* PEMRAP/CAS 3440/ENGR 3440 is not offered in the summer.

Research Shifts
New students are required to:

·    Participate in two (2) hours of orientation and shadow shifts on the OUHSC campus with a PEM Faculty/ Fellow and the Research Coordinator or Research Nurse.

·    Attend weekly lecture sessions on Friday afternoons, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm (virtually and/or on the Norman and HSC campuses). 

·    Meet one-on-one with your assigned mentor at least monthly (virtual as well as in-person). Receive hands-on training in the Simulation Lab (CESTC) at OUHSC, using both standardized patients demonstrating the Informed consent processes, as well as training in basic emergency medicine stabilization activities.

·    Participate in an average of sixteen (16) clinical hours per month in the OCHPED helping to identify and enroll patients into clinical research studies, for a total of sixty-four (64) clinical hours by the end of the semester. Given the distance between campuses and students’ other responsibilities, these hours can be performed in 4, 8, or 12-hour increments, to include evenings and weekends. Note: Physician shadowing shifts are optional and are not counted toward required hours.

·    Prepare a 10-minute conference-style presentation over a topic of interest acquired during the semester or a novel research idea.

Who Should Enroll in this Course:
Undergraduate University of Oklahoma students considering a career in medicine, healthcare in general, or clinical research should consider enrolling in this course.  A student must have completed at least 30 hours toward their undergraduate degree and have a 2.50 GPA or greater in order to be eligible for this course. Note* It is vital that students interested in participating in PEMRAP consider the time commitment required before starting the registration process. Students with financial hardships that may prevent them from travelling the required distance can apply for assistance.

3 credits letter-graded

Each PEMRAP student is responsible for his or her own transportation to and from Oklahoma Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City.  Embark offers public transportation directly from the Norman campus to the HSC campus.

Restrictions apply, but parking is available in designated garages for shifts after 5:30 PM Monday-Friday and anytime Saturday and Sunday. Please contact the Program Coordinator for details.

Students must complete criminal background checks, drugs screens and immunizations. Flu shots and the COVID-19 vaccine are strongly encouraged. 

Student Application

In partnership with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Honors College offers an opportunity for first-year Honors students to participate in laboratory research. This course, the Honors First-Year Research Experience (FYRE) is open to Honors College students from all majors. Through a competitive application process students are matched with ongoing research projects led by OU professors in numerous disciplines. Selected students will participate in active laboratory research for 8-10 hours per week, culminating in a poster presentation and awards ceremony. The application process occurs in the fall semester, and the research work occurs

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With the generous support of the Office of the Vice President of Research, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program offers financial assistance for scholarly and creative projects under the mentorship of a faculty member.   

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