HCMC Emergency Department Research Volunteer Program

The Research Volunteer Program in the Emergency Department (ED) at Hennepin County Medical Center hosts medical students, undergraduates, graduate students, and post-graduate students interested in medical careers to participate in data collection for academic research projects. As Research Volunteers (RVs), students are afforded the opportunity to learn basic methodologies in clinical research, interact with patients, and observe the practice of emergency medicine. RVs participate daily in the innovation of medical practice. The Research Volunteer Program runs year-round with students generally working 8-12 hours a week during the academic year. During all terms, RVs are also expected to work one to two overnight shifts every month. In addition to time spent in the ED, students are invited to attend lectures on selected topics in Emergency Medicine and research methodology.


The Research Volunteer Program began in 2000 with a group of ten undergraduate and medical students who were recruited to help collect data for headache, conscious sedation, overdose, and economic hardship studies. Over the past few years, hundreds of students have passed through the program and helped gather data on several studies ranging from shock to procedural sedation. Many past participants have cited the program as a pivotal experience when applying to medical school and EM residency programs. The RV program operates on a term-based system. The first term that you are invited to join the program is a “probationary” term, during which your performance will be evaluated in order to determine whether or not you are welcomed back to the program for future terms. 

For more information about the RV program, feel free to contact us at ED.Research@hcmed.org.