Student Research Opportunities

There are a variety of summer opportunities available for students. Programs are hosted by colleges and universities around the United States and the world. They provide an intensive research experience on a particular topic within a scholarly discipline. For undergraduates with plans for graduate or professional school after MSU, summer research provides the opportunity to expand your professional network and acquire experience in an area of interest. IGH is working with Merida, Mexico and Trujillo, Peru professionals to give undergrad students the experience on first basis on research, and grad students to co-conduct a research on infectious disease and produce their papers with the support of Mexican-recognized institutions.

Ongoing Project

Anthropometric indicators for children living in underserved communities in Dominican Republic, Peru, and Guatemala

The main objective of the research project is to assess the health and nutritional status of children living in underserved communities in the Dominican Republic (San Pedro de Macoris), Peru (Iquitos) and Guatemala (La Guardiana del Hato). With the consent of parents or guardians, the assessment will be accomplished through anthropometric measurements of children, 3 months to 5 years of age. Anthropometrics are a set of non-invasive quantitative body measurements used to assess children’s growth and development. A simple questionnaire will be used to gather measurements of children to determine their height, weight, head and waist circumference, and skin fold according to the World Health Organization (WHO) & United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) 2019 guidelines. In addition, their parents or guardians will be asked about their geographic location, gender, living arrangements, education, and household income.

The study is sponsored by the Institute for Global Health (IGH), College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University (MSU). The principal investigators will be Dr. William Cunningham, DO, and René Hinojosa PhD assisted by IGH trained clinicians and medical students who will be taking measurements according to the 2019 WHO & UNICEF guidelines. At all times, we will follow HRRP Covid-19 guidelines.

The survey instrument is a simple, one-page questionnaire to be administered to parent/child when families voluntarily come to clinics setup by IGH for the purpose of providing health care services with the participation of 2nd year MSU medical students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine. Body measurements and answering questions should take approximately 15 minutes. Only case numbers will be assigned, with no names or other identifiers, and final reports will only summarize aggregate results. Parents will be given a copy of the consent form (see attached Informed Consent Form) and asked to sign. There are no known risks or costs for participants.

As of today, students in different education abroad programs have gathered over 100 surveys and one poster competition won in 2022.

Research Interest Statement

Interest in research? Participate in our programs and contact us to develop a research component of your interest.

Student Research Poster Competitions

Overall Best Goes To Com Oms II- Page Melema And Second Best In Research Category Goes To Oms II- Laura Miller, Brendan Rawlings And Erik Vanfossen.

4 Osteopathic students invited to enter abstract competition won!

Annually The American Osteopathic Association’s Bureau of International Osteopathic Medicine (BIOM) invites all US osteopathic medical students and osteopathic medical residents to participate in a global poster competition.

This abstract competition (currently on its 24th edition) provides an opportunity for osteopathic medical students and residents to disseminate their global health research and narrative medicine experiences to a broad audience via a poster expo. All entries must be focused on the entrants’ experiences with global health and/or providing healthcare internationally. This year the competition also considered abstracts reflecting work with migrant and/or refugee populations within the United States.

The Institute for Global Health has been the focal point of global health at Michigan State University for the last 35 years. Our education abroad opportunities for pre-med, pre-nursing and health care sciences students have brought international experiences to more than 600 students in the last 6 years (amid the COVID-19 pandemic).

This year we are very proud to announce that four (4) MSU-COM students who participated in two (2) of our Study Abroad Programs in Dominican Republic and Peru are winners of the poster competition prizes with the research projects they started in these programs.

The Abstract Competition includes a Poster Expo. All osteopathic medical students and osteopathic medical residents in the United States are eligible to enter the competition’s two categories:

1. Global health research abstracts

Research Abstracts must be a clinical, basic science or health services study. The research category includes any project using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods to collect evidence of or test a hypothesis about any aspect of global health. Research projects must have IRB approval

2. Narrative medicine essays

The narrative medicine category allows for osteopathic medical students and residents to submit essays of creative nonfiction describing their experiences in global health. The competition invites participants to submit short nonfiction narratives about their global health outreach experiences.

Paige Mellema with her abstract: Low-Cost Nanoparticle-based Biosensor for Point-of-Care Detection of SARS-CoV-2, was selected as Best Overall!

Laura Miller, Brendan Rawlings, and Erik VanFossen with their abstract: Anthropometric Measurements of Children Living in Plantation Communities, Dominican Republic, was selected as Second Place, Research!

If you would like to participate in next year’s competition check AOA website: and view the complete list of competition guidelines.

Poster competition prizes

  • Grand Prize- $1,500
  • First Prize – $750 in each category
  • Second Prize – $500 in each category


Neuromusculoskeletal Physiology and the Osteopathic Concept

Priya Sankaran, OMS-III, Janice Prescod, OMS-III, Erin Johnson, OMS-III, Sarah Schluckebier, OMS-III, Travis Gordon, DO, Shane Sergent, DO will present their abstract: Making a Section Whole: Improvement of Cesarean Section-Related Sequelae with Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.