Student Research Information

The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences vision statement affirms that we have an “obligation to advance the level of health care knowledge and practice through scholarly endeavors, incorporating the efforts of all who define its learning communities and embracing the scholarly functions of discovery, innovation, application, and teaching.” This means the faculty members of CPHS are involved in research… and you can be too!


There are multiple ways students in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to be involved in research. The easiest way is to ask! Many of our faculty members are open to having students assist in their research projects and often list their research projects on their faculty page. This might be:

  • “Bench” research – in a laboratory setting, possibly involving chemicals, drug delivery systems, tissue samples, or animal subjects
  • Clinical research – patient centered research that may be retrospective or prospective, dealing with
  • diseases, medications, or patient outcomes
  • Social/Administrative – dealing with perceptions, behaviors, ethics, and marketing in healthcare
  • Pedagogical – studying teaching and learning

While students can be involved in research as an extracurricular pursuit, students can earn academic credit when involved in research in the College through the following options:

  • Independent Study (Special Problems courses) - HSCI 164-166; PHAR 164-166:
  • An opportunity to be involved in research with faculty and earn course credit. These are 1-3 credits prearranged and approved by a specific faculty member through the completion of an Independent Study Form submitted to the appropriate department chair and Associate Dean.In addition to approaching individual faculty members, potential experiences are also listed in Career bluePrint and the CPHS Weekly Announcements. These courses may be used towards elective requirements in either the health sciences or pharmacy curricula.
  • Health Sciences Senior Capstones HSCI 196/197:
    For B.S. in Health Sciences students in their final year of study (see E*Value for details). During the junior year, students can indicate their interest in participating in a research based capstone project.
  • Research or Pharmacy Academic APPEs (Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences) PHAR 285:
    For PharmD students in their final year of study (see E*Value for details). During the P3 year, students can indicate their interest in participating in a research based 5 week APPE.


Participating in research has multiple benefits beyond adding lines to your résumé or CV.  You will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with CPHS faculty and contribute to the creation of knowledge in healthcare and education.  In addition, research can help you sharpen your critical thinking skills, extend your education beyond the classroom, and enhance your confidence in your professional abilities.  You will also be able to explore your own interests to help clarify your professional goals including preparation for graduate school, residencies, and fellowships.


  • "Within my first few years at Drake I realized I was interested in doing something with my future PharmD other than working in a traditional setting. I heard that pharmacists sometimes work in research so I contacted Dr. Wrenn to see if he was looking for students to help with his research. After working in his lab for a summer and an academic school year, I applied to do a summer internship with the National Institutes of Health to further development my laboratory skills and experience. Although I was not always directly working within the field of pharmacy, my research experiences have helped develop attributes that will make me a better pharmacist."
    -Caitlin Schaapveld,PharmD Class of 2013
  • “Throughout my time as a researcher under Dr. Mahajan I learned many lab techniques and the steps involved in the research process, but more importantly, I discovered the satisfaction that came as a result of contributing to the scientific community. This greatly impacted my career choice, and I changed from wanting to pursue a career in physical therapy to a more research oriented career, and am now at the University of Iowa pursuing an M.S. in Industrial Hygiene. The techniques and research values that I learned in Dr. Mahajan's lab have been very helpful as I begin my thesis project.”
    Madeleine Hornick,BS Health Sciences Class of 2011
  • “When taking a close look at the classes, projects, and extracurricular activities that motivate me, it became obvious that I am inspired by research and the creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking involved. Although intimidated by the initiative involved in contacting professors, I found the faculty to be receptive and encouraging. The professors I work alongside are now mentors furthering my research exposure. Drake provided me a rewarding opportunity to participate in a clinical research project which has since presented me with new and exciting career outlooks involving drug research and development.”
    Leah Marschall, PharmD Class of 2014


  • CPHS Faculty pages-/cphs/directory.php
    Many CPHS faculty list their current research projects and research interests here.
  • Career BluePrint- /career/career_blueprint.php
    This is an online career management system designed to help students, alumni, and employers. Some listed “jobs” are actually research opportunities for students! New listings are being added, so check back frequently. 
  • DUSCI- /dusci
    The Drake Undergraduate Science Collaborative Institute (DUSCI) promotes a culture of scholarship among students and faculty in science and math. Experiences for the summer and academic year can be found here.
  • DUCURS- /ducurs
    The Drake University Conference on Undergraduate Research in the Sciences (DUCURS) is hosted by the DUSCI every year. It features research presentations for students and faculty.
  • Drake IRB- /academics/irb/index.php
    The University’s Institutional Review Board helps ensure the rights, protection, and ethical treatment of human subjects in research. This webpage also provides a summary of the level of board review that might be required for your research.
  • NIH Human Protection Training- -http://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php
    The National Institutes of Health offers an online training program to help protect human research participants. This certification is highly recommended for any CPHS student wishing to be involved in research at Drake.
  • CITI Program-https://www.citiprogram.org.
    The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative offers an alternative online training program for research ethics. Drake has customized modules for students
  • IDPHhttp://www.idph.state.ia.us 
    The Iowa Department of Public Health often offers internships that may be related to research initiatives.


The Annual Scholarship Report provides information regarding faculty publications, presentations, and other scholarly works.  Faculty names are in bold. Student names are underlined.

July 17, 2015
Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs and Director of Experiential Education Cheryl Clarke, PH’86, was recently selected as a Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
June 30, 2015