Research Blog

5 Best Clinical Research Courses
for Medical Students Seeking to PUBLISH

A handpicked list of the top clinical research courses for learning how to publish a research article as a premed/medical student.

As residency applications become more competitive and the value of research continues to rise (especially in the wake of USMLE Step 1 becoming pass/fail), many medical students and IMG applicants are looking to boost their CVs with research experiences.

While the most straightforward way of doing this historically was to reach out to potential mentors and learn how to do research on the job, there now exist a number of online courses that can provide students and applicants with the foundational skills needed to successfully ask appropriate research questions, design experiments and analyze data. Below we highlight five clinical online research courses that will help medical students and residents learn the skills to publish their research projects.

Best Online Clinical Research Courses

Harvard Online Learning

Harvard Online Learning provides a wide selection of research courses that provide valuable knowledge and skills for individuals applying for residency programs in the United States. A great introductory course that is highly reviewed is their “Foundations of Clinical Research” course.


  • 3x 14 hours of mandatory live online weekend workshops
  • Over 40 hours of live sessions led by university faculty
  • 6-month curriculum that includes 15 pre-course self-paced online lectures
  • Topics covered include epidemiology, biostatistics, statistical programming and study design, research ethics, scientific communication and clinical trials
  • Attendings receive a certificate of completion
  • The prestigious reputation of Harvard University adds credibility to the certifications earned upon course completion, making them impactful additions to a residency application.


  • Early application tuition is currently $6,900
  • Standard tuition is $7,900
  • These prices do not include additional educational materials that may be needed
  • Though courses may be cost-prohibitive, the investment may be worthwhile, considering the exceptional quality of education and the ability to obtain a verified certificate from an Ivy League University

Stanford University

Stanford University also offers a selection of online medical research courses through Stanford Online. The “Essentials of Clinical Research” is a highly rated online course aimed at professionals engaged in clinical research.


  • 10-session course introduces learners to basic principles of clinical research design, including biostatistics, design, and interpretation of diagnostic and predictive test studies
  • Regulatory aspects of clinical research, conduct and oversight, Good Clinical Practice (GCP), and ethical dimensions of clinical research are also covered
  • Option to take both live or on-demand courses
  • Certificate of completion is available provided learners meet certain criteria
  • Taught by experienced faculty members from Stanford University School of Medicine, these courses were designed to accommodate various learning styles, combining video lectures and interactive assignments.
  • Focuses more on designing research protocols and research conduct than publishing research articles


  • The average cost of Stanford’s online medical research courses might vary depending on the specific course and enrollment options; however, most courses are in the range of 1 unit/credit which is ~$1400
  • Participants typically found the investment worthwhile given Stanford’s academic reputation and the high-quality educational content provided

The University of Chicago

The University of Chicago has a robust library of online courses, bootcamps, lectures and articles on a wide range of clinical research topics. A great introduction course is their “Statistics and Research Methods Bootcamp.


  • Topics include research question formulation, literature review, IRB approval and statistical concepts
  • Participants can benefit from interactive learning experiences, including hands-on projects and peer discussions, fostering a deeper understanding of the subject matter


  • Current pricing is $495 for this bootcamp
  • Is also available as part of a larger 2-year master of science in threat and response management for users looking for an advanced professional degree

The Match Guy Research Course

The Match Guy Research Courses aim at providing medical students and residents with the knowledge and skills necessary to hit the ground running and publish their own research projects. The Comprehensive Research Course From Idea to Publication is a good start if you would like to learn how to publish clinical research projects.


  • This 14-hour online course focuses on the practical aspects of how to publish a research project
  • Suitable even for those with no research background
  • Covers major aspects of clinical research including literature reviews, IRB submissions, data collection, manuscript writing (there is a detailed lesson for each section of the manuscript) and 100+ interactive quizzes and exercises. You can find the detailed curriculum here.
  • A big plus of this course is the money-back guarantee. After you buy the course, if you are not satisfied, you can get your money back (if you watched <20% of the course).
  • The Match Guy Research Course can be bundled with a detailed statistics course (which is essential if you want to do your own statistical analysis for your research projects) and a systematic review course (which covers how to do a systematic review and meta-analysis).
  • Upon completion of this course, participants will receive a certificate of completion which can be included in their CV and shared on LinkedIn.
  • The Match Guy has a dedicated customer support service to answer any questions you have about the course. You can schedule a free consultation HERE.


  • Pricing of this course is also very competitive starting from $49.00 for unlimited access for one month
  • Other packages include longer access to the research course or bundling the research course with the statistics or the systematic review courses.
  • You can explore the different packages HERE.


Coursera offers a diverse range of research courses that cater to the needs of aspiring medical students and IMGs applying to residency programs. A great-entry level course that covers the fundamentals of clinical research is offered with the “Understanding Research Methods” course offered by the University of London.


  • This course is ~5 hours and consists of 4 core modules that can be completed on the learners’ timeline.
  • Focused on understanding research questions, literature reviews, planning/management and self-evaluation.
  • Does not teach you how to design a research study and how to publish a research article.


  • Learners can enroll for free
  • Upon completion certificates can be purchased for ~$30
  • If you are planning on taking multiple courses, there is also Coursera Plus which is a monthly subscription plan that runs $59/month or a flat annual fee of $399.

Final Thoughts

That wraps up our overview of the best online clinical research courses.

There are many research courses out there, but only a few of them will teach you the skills to publish a research project. We hope this blog will help you select the most suitable course for your needs.

However, if you are still doubting which course to start with, we recommend scheduling a free consultation session (click HERE) with our customer support team who will guide you on the best course to achieve your goals.

We wish you the best of luck on your research journey.

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