Research & Collaborative Programs

Joint Prgms

Many students are interested in expanding their knowledge beyond the medical school curriculum. Whether you are interested in engineering, research, leadership or more - the Faculty of Medicine is committed to providing you with opportunities to advance your career. 

MD/PhD Program

The MD/PhD Program trains physician-scientists who are well prepared for both research and clinical practice. Through this program you will:

  • become a fully accredited physician
  • complete a PhD through the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studie

Year 1: first year MD Program

  • Fall term: first year of the current Foundations Curriculum.
  • Winter term: after meeting with the MD/PhD Program Director, potential graduate supervisors and speaking to upper-year student mentors, you will apply to your PhD Program.
  • Summer term: Start work on your PhD, or an MD/PhD Summer CREMS project. This may mean getting started in your lab, your research or completing lab rotations prior to supervisor selection (e.g. Molecular Genetics/Medical Biophysics).

Year 2: PhD

Your second year marks the beginning of formal registration in graduate school and commencement of your PhD. This involves:

  • taking the courses required by your graduate department or institute
  • developing your research plan
  • acquiring any necessary new techniques and initiating research
  • Students remain in the graduate phase for four to five years, depending on the research topic selected and the outcome of your experiments.

Year 5 or 6: return to MD Program

When research is complete, with supervisory and graduate department approval, students then return to complete the remaining three years of the MD Program.

Throughout the eight to nine years of the MD/PhD Program, students are expected to attend the bi-weekly research and career development seminars.

MD/MEng Program

Medical students enrolled in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine may complete an MD-oriented version of the MEng program during the first two years of the Foundations Curriculum (5.0 FCE total). Candidates for this cohort are referred to IBBME for admission from the MD Program Curriculum Office. Prospective students must be enrolled in the MD Program in the Faculty of Medicine and maintain a good standing.

Year One of MD Program Foundations Curriculum

  • Fall Term: apply to MEng through MD Program Curriculum Office
  • Winter Term: submit MEng internship proposal outline to the IBBME Academic Programs Office, and complete one to two MEng half-courses (0.5 FCE each)
  • Summer Term: conduct BME 1899—Internship in Applied Research (full time, May to August, 1.5 FCE), or submit MEng internship proposal outline and start (upon approval) BME 1898—Internship in Applied Research (part-time, 1.5 FCE when complete)

Year Two of MD Program Foundations Curriculum

  • Fall Term: BME 1800 & 1801—Biomedical Product Development I & II (1.0 FCE), and start / continue BME 1898—Internship in Applied Research (part-time, 1.5 FCE when complete)
  • Winter Term: complete one to two MEng half-courses (0.5 FCE each), and continue/complete BME 1898—Internship in Applied Research (part-time, 1.5 FCE when complete)
  • Summer Term and/or part of Year Three: complete one to two MEng half-courses (0.5 FCE each), and complete BME 1898—Internship in Applied Research (part-time, 1.5 FCE when complete)

Please refer to MEng program requirements for course information and more details.

MD/MSc Systems Leadership and Innovation

The Systems Leadership and Innovation concentration allows students to obtain a non-thesis MSc with a focus on the key aspects of physician leadership for system innovation including leadership and motivation, strategic thinking and planning, research methods for evaluating health system innovation and policy analysis and techniques for system change.  Medical students are able to complete the MSc degree while they are in the MD Program without having to step away from their schooling. 

The scheduling for the SLI courses and practicums is designed to fit the demands and workflow of medical school will allow medical students to complete the SLI  MSc. the same year that they complete their MD Program.  In order to complete the SLI MSc. degree in four years students will be required to pay MSc. tuition and complete degree credits in years 1, 2 and 4 of medical school and take practicums and courses in the summer between first and second year, summer between second and third and during the selective block at the end of fourth year.  

Comprehensive Research Experience for Medical Students (CREMS)

CREMS is a research program, unique to the University of Toronto, that allows students to gain extracurricular research experiences without interrupting their medical studies. The University of Toronto is well recognized as one of the world leaders in academic research and recruits many of the world's best researchers. This is your opportunity to learn from them.

As a CREMS student, you will:

  • explore research
  • gain valuable research experience
  • prepare for a career as a physician with a good foundation of biomedical research
  • learn about a career as a clinician-scientist

There is more than one type of CREMS program. Whether you are looking for a summer experience, international opportunity or an extended research opportunity, we have options for you to explore.


Graduate Diploma in Health Research (GDipHR)

The GDipHR program provides 1st year medical students an opportunity to participate in the continuum of research – from idea creation to data collection to scientific publication and/or presentation at a scholarly meeting – via a consecutive 20-month longitudinal mentored research project. Students will also be exposed in course work to a broad range of research concepts, topics, methodologies and applications to health care. 

The purpose of the Diploma is to provide accepted applicants high quality training in medical research in order to understand, interpret and apply the rapid changes in the scientific underpinnings of health care. The Diploma specifically trains future physicians into developing the skills necessary to contribute to the field as future leaders in health research, specifically designed to complement their medical curriculum. It will broaden the students' awareness of the scope and depth of medical research, and provide them one possible pathway to a career as a physician-scientist.

Please refer to GDipHR for the program structure and more details.