Learn important dates for your scholarly project

The table below summarizes the requirements and the timeline for all community engagement scholarly projects.

Complete no later than

May 1 of penultimate year

Submit your Scholarly Project Concept form to the OSE.

Community Engagement Projects only: Submit Letter of intent (LOI) to OCCME OSE committee outlining interest. The purpose of the LOI is to initiate collaboration with the OCCME regarding your intended community engagement scholarly project. Please still submit a LOI even if you do not yet have a fully formed project idea and/or if you do not yet have a CBO partner in mind - the OCCME team will work with you to refine your ideas.

 Include the following in your LOI:

  • Description of community engagement topic/project you’re interested in pursuing. Has this project been co-created with or under the guidance of community members?
  • Preferred CBO (or type of CBO) you’d like to work with and whether or not you have an existing relationship with that CBO
    • Optional: Describe how your proposal fits in the CBO's priorities, and how you will balance the scope of your project with HMS’s longer-term engagement with the community.
  • Additional optional elements to include in LOI:
    • Name of Faculty Mentor (Harvard-affiliated) if identified
    • Name of co-Mentor (CBO-affiliated), if a relationship exists. Note: if the CBO has not been identified, please work with OCCME to establish it.

The OCCME OSE Committee will be composed of OCCME Core faculty and staff, as well as a panel of supplementary reviewers.  These supplementary reviewers will be community-based participants and faculty who will ensure that projects are developed by centering communities and in partnership with communities.  These supplementary reviewers will be asked to review a subset of project proposals as needed to ensure that reviewers are not overly burdened, and that they may remain neutral.  Their goal will be to evaluate proposals based on their merit, on efforts made to center community partners, and on the sustainability and impact of proposals.


Feedback from OCCME OSE committee returned to students

May - July

  • If not complete, identify CBO-affiliated mentor who will support you through the project. Ask CBO to complete a letter of support (per provided template) and submit to OCCME OSE committee.
  • Work with OCCME OSE team and mentors to create project proposal in partnership with CBO

May - July

Write and submit your proposal and CBO Letter of Support (created in collaboration with community-based organization) to both occme@hms.harvard.edu and scholarsinmedicine@hms.harvard.edu.

The final deadline to submit your proposal is August 1 of your penultimate year, though we strongly encourage you to submit your proposal as soon as possible so that you can begin collaborating with your chosen CBO.

May - July

OCCME Staff to provide feedback and recommendations for proposal as needed, with final feedback no later than the beginning of August.

Ask the LMA ORARC if your project requires IRB approval: Contact Elizabeth Ehrlich, 617-432-8382, eehrlich@hsph.harvard.edu for next steps, even if you are obtaining IRB approval through your mentors’ institution.

August 1 of penultimate year

Last day to submit your project proposal and final mentor information to occme@hms.harvard.edu and scholarsinmedicine@hms.harvard.edu.  

Once your project is approved by OCCME

OCCME OSE Committee will act as a proxy for the Scholars in Medicine Review Committee, and projects approved by the OCCME OSE Committee will be accepted upon submission to the Scholars in Medicine Review Committee.

Upon project proposal approval from the OCCME OSE Committee, students will submit the following to scholarsinmedicine@hms.harvard.edu to finalize the process and initiate project work:

Coordinate with the OCCME OSE Committee to attend workshops to prepare you for community-facing work.

February 1 of graduating year

Submit a draft report to project mentors for review and approval.

February 26 of graduating year

Submit proof of mentors’ approval (screenshot of an email or forward the email) of the draft report to scholarsinmedicine@hms.harvard.edu and occme@hms.harvard.edu.

March 1 of graduating year

Submit mentor-approved scholarly report to occme@hms.harvard.edu and scholarsinmedicine@hms.harvard.edu for review.

April of graduating year

Submit proof of community event/dissemination plan for the project to occme@hms.harvard.edu.

For information on Community Engagement Funding, please visit the Office of Scholarly Engagement’s Funding Page.

Optional SIM500 credit

Also known as SIM credit or SIM months, SIM500 is an optional course that students may enroll in to earn credit for work on their Scholarly Project. You may request one to four months (or equivalent) of credit for full-time or part-time work on your scholarly project.

SIM500 application

Further information and application instructions are accessible through your SIM550 home page in Canvas.