Scholarly Concentration In Nutrition (SCIN)

Coordinator: Karen Bain RDN, LD, CDE

This scholarly concentration program was developed and first implemented in 2001 to provide an opportunity for one medical student per year to elect an enhanced four-year curriculum to obtain nutrition qualification recognition at graduation.

Description of SCIN Activities and Student Responsibilities:

The minimum time commitment for this 4 year scholarly concentration is eight weeks.


  • Complete an integrated educational experience that will promote an understanding of the role of nutrition in disease prevention and treatment;
  • Design and conduct a comprehensive research project starting in the summer between the first and second years of medical school;
  • Participate in all phases of the clinical research process from hypothesis generation to mastering an oral/written presentation at a student research meeting and/or at other professional meetings as appropriate;
  • Continue specialization in nutrition in the second, third, and fourth years of medical school.
  • Publish results of research project (optional)

SCIN Coordinator(s) and student will sign a brief contract delineating expectations of each other.
IRB, HIPAA and FERPA requirements will be honored.

By the end of the four-year experience, the student will have submitted/presented a scholarly product such as a poster or oral presentation, a peer-reviewed publication, or peer-reviewed patient education material (handouts, website, etc.).

The student will receive a Scholarly Concentration in Nutrition Award at the Awards Ceremony during graduation week. (Note: this award does not appear on the transcript or diploma.)


First Year (Summer – approximately 30 hours per week for 6-7 weeks):

  • Work with a faculty mentor to develop a research project;
  • If required, complete research application for approval from the UNR Office of Research Integrity (; and
  • Begin research project.

Second Year (40 hours):

  • Continue/complete research;
  • If completed, present research findings at research forum or professional meeting.
    Third Year (During Clerkships – 40 hours):
  • If not already completed, continue research, and if completed, present research findings at research forum or professional meeting
  • Complete and submit clerkship log documenting:
    • the use and evaluation of nutrition education handouts with at least three patients during your clerkships; and
    • completion of at least two on-line Nutrition in Medicine modules.

Fourth Year (Electives – 40 to 60 hours):

  • Enroll in Nutrition Elective: minimum of 1 credit or about 40 hours. The elective can be tailored to your interests and anticipated future practice specialty and will combine clinical experiences and independent study. It may be integrated with other electives;
  • If not already completed, continue research, and present research findings at research forum or professional meeting; and
  • Attend the Awards Ceremony to receive a SCIN award.
    If you would like more information, please contact Karen Bain RDN, LD, CDE at

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