Want to join a community of people committed to improving patient care and medical education through clinical research?

Join Academic Associate Program


The Academic Associate Program is intended for UIC premedical undergraduates or medical students from neighboring institutions. This program provides the opportunity to engage with medical faculty and staff in a high-acuity ED, and contribute to ongoing Emergency Medicine (EM) clinical research projects. Students will develop an appreciation for the art and science of medicine through exposure to a variety of EM physicians caring for a diverse underserved patient population, which will prepare them for future careers in medicine.



Students will develop an understanding for the fundamentals of clinical research and collaboration by contributing to ongoing projects.

Students are required to successfully complete the onboarding process, attend our Monthy Research Meetings, and commit to at least two 3-hour shifts a week. Additionally, students must complete our Crash Course consisting of 3 Episodes. Each episode consists of chapter readings from Hulley and Cumming’s Designing Clinical Research, a Seminar, and corresponding quizzes.

Students should have an enthusiastic attitude and strong work ethic; conducting research in an emergency department can be chaotic. Excellent communication skills and a professional demeanor are critical when approaching patients, and students who thrive demonstrate grit and passion for the cause. Success is not losing sight of the big picture through the long haul.



Article written about the program.

Instilling Future Doctors with a Passion for Research and Public Medicine

This year-round program is directed by Dr. Neeraj Chhabra and was Co-founded by Dr. John Bailitz and Lum Rizvanolli. For more information please see the link to the syllabus.


Benefits of Joining

The Academic Associate Program is an opportunity for students considering a career in healthcare to practice clinical research in the hospital setting. In addition to first hand experience, there are many benefits to joining the program including:

  • The opportunity to shadow physicians
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • UIC undergraduates can receive course credit for the program.

Although there will certainly be opportunities for presentation, we cannot guarantee that every participant get an authorship. Please see Dr. Bailitz’s letter concerning expectations and opportunities for presenting.

Expectations and opportunities for presenting