Academic Research Associates

Offered in association with the UCSF Fresno Medical Education  Program, the Academic Research Associates (ARA) Program offers premedical undergraduate students a unique opportunity to observe clinical medicine and participate in biomedical research. The program takes place within the Emergency and Surgery Departments at Community Regional Medical Center, and participants may join the program through Fresno State as an elective course.

Our program was developed by Dr. Greg Hendey and Brandy Snowden and has been revamped by Jannet Castaneda. The ARA program is based on a similar program designed by Dr. Judd Hollander at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid-1990s.

The Academic Research Associate position is an important responsibility requiring maturity, initiative, diligence, and excellent interpersonal skills. In addition to gaining experience in conducting medical research and acquiring familiarity with how the emergency department functions, associates can learn about careers in Medicine from the doctors, nurses, and medical students.

The data collected by the Academic Associates are analyzed by the faculty doctors and their associates in support of many ongoing clinical research studies. Our goal is to publish each study in a medical journal, with the hope of increasing medical knowledge and improving patient care.


Application Process

All applicants are required to submit an online written application that will become available during each application cycle.

The initial application will consist of the following:

  • Submitting application (link found below)
  • Submitting copy of CV
  • Submitting unofficial Transcript
  • Submitting a copy of the CITI Program certificate stating you have completed the Human Subject Protection Training and the Good Clinical Practice Training. Register at under University of California, San Francisco (ID: 1215).

Upon Approval you will need the following:

  • California ID
  • Next Semester’s School Schedule
  • Copy of MMR-Rubeola, Mumps, Rubella-2 vaccines OR serological testing to demonstrate immunity or signed declination.
  • Copy of Varicella-2 vaccines OR serological testing to demonstrate immunity or signed declination.
  • Copy of Hepatitis B documentation of immunization (series of 3 doses) OR documentation of titer OR signed declination.
  • Copy of TB Skin Test (Students with a known positive TB test must provide a statement, dated within the 12 months prior to volunteering, from student’s physician stating the student is asymptomatic for TB and, if available, results of the positive skin test (including induration) or quantiferon test and the most recent CSR results.
  • Copy of Pertussis vaccination or signed declination.
  • Copy of Influenza (flu shot)– if student cannot provide proof of flu vaccine, student is not permitted to participate during flu season.
  • Background check.