Student Research Program

  • This was a great experience. Vanderbilt has a great team of pharmacists that work hard to make things happen.
  • The VSP research program was the first exposure to research that I have had. It was a great opportunity to learn and gain experience.
  • I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and am extremely grateful for the experience. Thank you again for letting me apart of the VSP research program, everyone has been so helpful and kind.
  • The VSP research program was extremely beneficial for me. Being able to work on project from conception through data collection has been a great and eye opening experience.
  • The forums I was able to attend gave me more insight into research techniques and important tips for my current projects.
  • The VSP research program has given me a much larger exposure to clinical systems and help me build my own research skills.


Developed in 2016, the Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy Student Research Program (VSPRP) is a training program for interested student pharmacists to receive mentorship, didactic instruction, and experience in completing outcomes research. Students are selected on a biannual application basis from the three schools of pharmacy in Nashville, TN.

Student Responsibilities

VSPRP students actively participate in research project design, data collection, data analysis, and manuscript development and publication. Students are assigned to a research mentor for collaboration on ongoing Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy research initiatives. Publication and presentation is a goal of the research projects, but not guaranteed within the one year commitment time frame.

Current research opportunities will be discussed with students selected to participate in the program. Research topics may include multiple specialty areas and may be chosen based on current project opportunities and student interest (rheumatology, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, hematology/oncology, hemophilia, endocrinology, movement disorders/neurology, lipid management, cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and pulmonary arterial hypertension).

Programming and Time Commitment

Programming for VSPRP includes an orientation (1 hour) and two didactic research meetings (1.5 hours each) to help enrich student knowledge and experience with the research process. Students are strongly encouraged to attend these biannual meetings.

The time commitment will be discussed on an individual basis and is flexible for the students’ schedule. Students should be willing to dedicate at least approximately 5 hours/week towards research assignments.


  • Students will meet with their assigned mentors by phone or in person at least once every two weeks.
  • Students should respond to all email and telephone communications within at least 48 hours regarding research activities.
  • Deadlines will be project-specific and agreed upon by the student and mentor. Failure to meet a pre-specified deadline will be discussed with the student researcher by the mentor. Multiple failures may result in dismissal from the program.
  • Students will complete IRB and CITI training and adhere to all HIPAA-compliant practices endorsed by VUMC.

Recommended Reading

Byrne DW. Publishing your medical research.2nd ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer 2017.

Contact Information

Megan Peter, PhD
Project Manager and Student Coordinator
Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy, Health Outcomes and Research