Student Research Program

  • The VSP research program was an amazing experience that I have and will continue to recommend to future students.
  • Absolutely loved this program, I hope it continues to grow and give opportunities to other pharmacy students in the future.
  • The VSP research program provided me with the opportunity to see a research project from the very beginning, appreciate/learn how many factors go into developing a study design, and the chance to work with multiple pharmacists and mentors who have provided guidance and feedback through every step of the process, while still allowing me to work independently to grow in my confidence and ability to problem solve. The didactic sessions were beneficial in providing training in areas such as abstract, poster and manuscript development that pharmacy students are not taught in most pharmacy school's curriculum. Overall this program has allowed me to gain research experience, grow in my professional writing and communication skills and has provided me with additional skills as I pursue training and research opportunities in my future career.
  • The program was very beneficial to me. It allowed me to meet my goals of presenting at midyear as well as help me write my first abstract and poster.
  • I was further able to get involved in research efforts - a goal of mine from when I began pharmacy school! Not only was I able to take part in each stage of the research project, I was able to take the finished research project and present the poster at a national meeting. I will absolutely cherish that experience as I continue on in my pharmacy career.
  • 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.
As of May 2020, we have trained 40 pharmacy students. Students have been co-authors in 9 manuscripts, 1 podium presentation, and 37 poster presentations (12 as primary presenter).

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