Research in Medicine (RIM)

Impact of RIM

Research In Medicine (RIM) fosters a high level of critical thinking and to create a culture of inquiry among Dalhousie Medical School learners. RIM inspires graduates to continue their involvement in research throughout their professional lives.

With the growing need to train and educate physicians who can contribute to health and health care beyond clinical medicine, it is the goal that RIM students will develop an appreciation of their capacity to potentially pursue a career that integrates clinical and research activities.  We need mentors like you to help ensure our success.

What does being a RIM mentor entail?

The following gives a brief overview of the RIM program. For detailed information on becoming a RIM mentor please read the Mentor Guide or contact the RIM office.

Time Commitment

Mentors taking on a student are agreeing to a 4 year commitment.

It is estimated that the bulk of intensive research activity for those choosing a summer of research will likely take place over the summer period (each summer consisting of a minimum of 12 weeks with two weeks incorporated for personal vacation).

The expectation is that students will continue to work on their project over the remainder of their degree.

Ongoing research activity may include dissemination of research findings through publication and presentations, knowledge translation activities, participation in research meetings, research modules and/or professional development relevant to research/scholarly activities.

The four year research span is designed to allow students and mentors to develop a close working relationship and to facilitate student appreciation and understanding of research as an ongoing process that impacts all aspects of medicine.

Role of mentor

To supervise and guide students through the scientific method and help develop and hone critical thinking skills. RIM mentoring is also part of a larger Dalhousie process that provides knowledge and career and/or professional support to medical students of relevance to their future clinical, research and education career paths. Mentoring is invaluable and beneficial for both the mentor and student, advancing career development and personal growth.

Mentor/Student agreement

A formal agreement between a student and a mentor; this Agreement clarifies the roles and responsibilities of students and mentors. 

RIM curriculum

The student curriculum in the RIM Unit will introduce research design concepts and provide resources for self-directed learning to help support completion of their RIM project.

Core curriculum components include three small group tutorial sessions in Med1, and six self-directed online learning modules completed by students over Med1-Med2 (see the ‘Introduction to CREO’ video below).

Unit objectives

The objectives of the RIM Unit are created and modified over time by the RIM Unit Governance Committee. The objectives are intentionally-connected to the education outcomes of the Faculty of Medicine and are mapped to the overall objectives of the faculty’s curriculum map. 


RIM Mentors are expected to adhere to Dalhousie University’s professionalism policy issue by the Undergraduate Medical Education Office.

Governance Structure

The RIM Unit is governed by eight unit directors from a broad range of disciplines within the Faculty of Medicine. The unit directors are responsible for oversight and governance of the RIM Unit and are supported by a dedicated unit manager and administrative clerk.

Hospital policies & processes

Each hospital that students conduct their research in or through (e.g., NSHA, IWK, Horizon Health) has its own policies and processes for gaining access to databases and patient information. Students are required to receive organized training from the hospitals their research projects are associated with in order to gain such access.

Ethics/Research Ethics Board approval

Students are expected to discuss ethics aspects/dimensions of their research projects with their mentors and to receive assistance from them in submitting research proposals for Research Ethics Board approval as necessary.

It can take six to eight weeks to receive approval from the specific REB that the student applies to.

No access to hospital databases and the personal health care


Questions on being a RIM mentor?

You may have questions about becoming a RIM mentor. The following videos can help answer questions you may have. The videos feature faculty, students and subject matter experts.

What is RIM - Dr. Brian Wheelock [3:23]
RIM mentor responsibilities - Dr. Brian Wheelock [3:33]
A mentor's experience - Dr. Sarah Gander [4:41]
RIM mentors: A student's experience - Ricarda Konder [3:32]
Experience of being a mentor - Dr. Timothy Christie [2:42]
How is the program organized? - Dr. Brian Wheelock [4:30]
Program requirements & funding - Dr. Brian Wheelock [3:57]
Research Services support - Denaldo Canales [3:04]
Library support services for RIM - Courtney Boudreau [3:15]
CREO online modules - Dr. Jill Hayden [9:42]