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Medical Guild Competitions

The Medical Guild of the College of Medicine Graduate Student Competitions

There are two competitions for senior IDP in Biomedical Sciences graduate students: the traditional Graduate Research Awards and Advancement to Candidacy Awards.  The Graduate Research Awards are based on research seminar competition around College of Medicine Research Day, and the Advancement to Candidacy Awards are based on performance of third year students after being admitted to candidacy by passing their qualifying examinations.  The instructions for each of these competitions are below.

Graduate Research Awards

The 40th annual Medical Guild-sponsored graduate student research competition is scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, 2015, from 2:00-4:00 pm in the Cancer & Genetics Research Complex (auditorium room 101). Each IDP in Biomedical Sciences advanced concentration nominates one graduate student for participation in this competition, which will consist of a 15-minute oral research presentation and a 5-minute Q&A session for each participant.  Presentations will be evaluated by a panel of faculty judges, who will rank them in terms of excellence.  Additionally, the students submit an abstract of their research and curriculum vitae because the awards are also based on the overall research accomplishments including publications, presentations, awards, and academic performance.   All six students will be recognized and presented an award certificate at the Research Day reception, which begins immediately after the seminar competition.  Each finalist will receive a cash award from the UF Medical Guild based on the judges’ final rankings:  one Gold Medal finalist, two Silver Medal finalists, and three Bronze Medal finalists.  In addition, these students’ names will be inscribed on a plaque on permanent display in the Office of Graduate Education.


Advanced program directors or their designates will coordinate the selection of the nominee from each advanced program in time for submission of the nominating packets.  Please contact your concentration director or graduate coordinator for more information.

Nomination packets from each advanced concentration must be received by Brett Looney in the Office of Graduate Education (M-130) no later than Monday, March 16, 2015.  Nomination packets should include:

  1. Name of graduate student nominee
  2. Name of the student’s faculty mentor
  3. The exact title of the presentation
  4. An abstract that summarizes the student’s research.  This should be no more than one page in length (single-spaced) and should include the objectives, methods, results and conclusions.
  5. A research article that provides a more detailed report of the student’s research.  This should include the objectives, background, significance, results, and conclusions, and should not exceed 1,500 words double-spaced.  Literature citations and experimental methods should be included as an appendix, and do not count toward the word limitation.  NOTE:  Reprints of published manuscripts that the student has authored should not be submitted in lieu of this description.
  6. An up-to-date CV, including publications, abstracts presented at meetings, honors & awards, and grant funding.

Items 4 & 5, which should be submitted as Microsoft Word documents as an e-mail attachment sent, will be provided to the judges.  Items 5-6 must be turned in no later than Monday, March 17.

Advancement to Candidacy Awards

The Advancement to Candidacy Award is aimed at recognizing outstanding students in their mid-tenure after they have passed their qualifying examination in their third year of study.  A committee composed of faculty members from each concentration will evaluate the concentration nominees and will choose the top three finalists, who will receive monetary awards.  The winners will be announced at the reception following the Graduate Student Research Award competition on April 1.

The Admission to Candidacy Award recognizes both academic and research excellence.  Therefore, the criteria for assessment will include:

  1. The transcript of the student in their studies in the IDP in Biomedical Sciences.
  2. Publications
  3. Research presentations at regional, national, and international meetings.
  4. Fellowships, scholarships, and other awards.
  5. A letter of recommendation by the student’s dissertation mentor including comments on the performance of the student on the written and oral portions of the qualifying exam.

The concentration directors will nominate up to three students from their concentration for this award by March 9.  The nominees will be asked to submit the necessary documentation on a web page by March 13, and a committee made up of representatives from each concentration will choose the top four by March 20.

I’m sure you will all agree that this is a very generous continuing contribution from the Medical Guild, which helps to support and encourage excellence in graduate student research.  Everyone is encouraged to attend the COM Research Day activities, which will also include a poster session and a keynote speaker.  A good turnout, especially during the student portion of the program, will demonstrate our grateful appreciation of this support to our graduate program.  I look forward to seeing you!

– Thomas Rowe, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Graduate Education 

2014 Medical Guild Research Competition Winners

  • Gold: Amanda Sacino
  • Silver: Thomas Biel
  • Silver: Tal Salz
  • Bronze: Harald Messer
  • Bronze: Mini Manchanda
  • Bronze: Kamil Nowicki

2014 Advancement to Candidacy Winners

  • Douglas Bennion
  • Colleen Cole-Jeffrey
  • Kimberly Hawkins
  • Monica Santisteban

Past winners

  • 2013: Ranjan Batra, Stephan Jahn, Hyun Min Jung, Mayank Aggarwal, Cristina Banuelos, Chao Liu
  • 2012: Serena Giovinazzi, Marci Mitchell, Brandon Sack, Joeva Barrow, Karlie Bonstaff, Nikolett Molnar
  • 2011: Sonisha A. Warren, Chen Ling, Sushama Kamarajugadda, Alex Cuenca, Bing Yao, Sarah E. Mondello
  • 2010: Emily Smith, Sarah Szarowicz, Adam Mecca, William Donelan, Katherine Sippel, Travis Jackson
  • 2009: Sunitha Rangaraju, Songqing Li, Andres Acosta, MD, Brittney L. Gurda, Jihae Shin, Sushrusha Nayak
  • 2008: Allyn Spear, Jason O’Rourke,Jeffrey Brower,Stephen Fernando,Jason Weinstein
  • 2007: Pui Lee, Roxana Coman, Zane Zeier, Kwon-Ho Hong, You-Lin Tain, Kim Van Vliet
  • 2006: Valerie Crusselle Davis, Christina Pacak<, Michael Godeny, Amar Singh, Nicole Tester, Bei Wang
  • 2005: Antonio Amelio, Stephanie Amici, Christina Norris, Padraic Levings, Ann Griswold, Sean Kearns
  • 2004: Karen Vieira, Rahul Kanadia, Eric Sandberg, Edgar Rodriguez, Mary Ann Checkley, Alaric Falcon
  • 2003: Stormy Chamberlain, Jared Wilsey, Erin Keen Rhinehart, Chris Williams, Steve Guthrie, Jin He
  • 2002: Angela Starkes, Brian Raisler, Kelly Leach, Mike Thomson, Jason Coleman, Yi Tang
  • 2001: Matthew Simmons, Don Latner, Sung-Hae Lee Kang, Keith Bahjat
  • 2000: Vincent Leveque, Harveen Dhillon, Susan Blaydes, Lingyun Li
  • 1999: Yuan Clare Zhang, Darwin Ang, Kristin B. Moon, Yujiang Shi
  • 1998: Jeff Martens, Jill Miller, Kelly McDonald, Pei Wu
  • 1997: Annette Oberdorf, Stephen T. Nowicki, Mary Catherine Bowman, Miduturu Srinivas
  • 1996: Scott Wilson, Tiffany Alley, Steve Munger, Chris Robinson