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Pharm.D. Student Research Opportunities

PharmD student in Jacksonille

The University of Florida College of Pharmacy is one of the major research intensive Pharmacy Schools within the United States and, as such, is well-positioned to offer a wide range of research opportunities in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, engineering, agricultural or life sciences to its students. Our faculty understands that research is a cornerstone to the future of the pharmacy profession. In following, the faculty members have made a commitment to the professional (PharmD) students that, to the extent possible, research will be an integral component of the student’s education. The availability of research experiences for PharmD students is mandated in both our accreditation standards through the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) and in our new criteria for Academic Honors for our PharmD graduates.

All entry-level PharmD students in the college, regardless of their home campus, who wish to graduate with the academic distinction of Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude must complete a research project and have the project reviewed, as well as meet the required grade point average of the respective academic distinction.

With the initiation of the Distance Campus initiative in 2002, research opportunities have been identified, not only on the Gainesville Campus, but also on, or in close proximity to, our distance campuses in Jacksonville, Orlando and St. Petersburg. Research opportunities have been identified at each campus (see below under Research Opportunities at the College’s Distance Campuses). Students are encouraged to meet with their respective campus directors or directly with the identified research coordinators at each respective site.

Suggested steps to follow to secure a research opportunity/project

  • Any student interested in a research experience should first contact either their respective Campus Director or Dr. William Millard to express their interest or get additional guidance/feedback.
  • Determine whether the student would like to do research for course credit (see below under Research Courses Offered), and get paid during the summer months, apply for one of the research fellowships/scholarships available to PharmD students or a combination of any of the mentioned choices.
  • Investigate the research opportunities on or around their respective campus to get a feel for what the student might be interested in pursuing then make contact with a prospective faculty member.

Research Opportunities at the Gainesville Campus

  • Cardiovascular and Neural Pharmacology/Physiology
  • Drug Discovery (Anti-cancer, Heavy Metal, Orphan Drug)
  • Drug-Drug and Drug/Food Interactions
  • Gene Therapy (Cancer, Metabolic, Neural)
  • Herbal Medicines
  • Outcomes Research
  • Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics
  • Pharmacogenomics (Cardiovascular, Metabolic, Psychiatric, Transplant)
  • Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Modeling
  • Pulmonary Pharmacotherapy
  • Targeted-Drug Delivery
  • Toxicology (Environmental)

A major strength of the University of Florida is the size and breadth of the research programs within the institution. This myriad of research programs, in turn, permits UF-COP students to go outside the College of Pharmacy and find other research opportunities within the University. Students are encouraged to do so and Dr. Millard will gladly assist and guide any student in finding these other research opportunities at UF.

Students may also link to the video from Department Chairs in the College briefly discussing the faculty research interests in each of their respective departments.

For information concerning research at the Gainesville campus students are encouraged to contact:

William J. Millard, Ph.D.
Professor and Executive Associate Dean
Room 4-334, HPNP Building
Phone (352) 273-6311
Fax (352) 273-6306

Research Opportunities at the College’s Distance Campuses

Students in each of the UF-COP distant sites are encouraged to engage is research activities either on the Gainesville Campus (see above) or within their local areas. As research opportunities vary from amongst institutions, it is highly recommended that for those students who chose to stay within their local areas to engage in research, that they initially contact their respective campus director for advice. The campus directors have a better feel for what opportunities are available with their local region. In addition to each of the campus directors, the college has contacted research institutions and hospitals and identified individuals who have agreed to be the institutional point of contact for student research. These research coordinators are listed by campus:

Research Opportunities on the Jacksonville Campus

This is a list of individuals that have provided our students with research opportunities in the past; however, it is possible that they are not working on a research project at the moment.

  • Nemours Children’s Clinic: Dr. John Lima,, (904) 390-3483
  • UF Health Jacksonville, Tina Bottini Assistant Dean, Research Administration and Compliance, (904) 244-9478
  • Integrated Community Oncology Network: Dr. Melissa Rammage, Clinical Research Manager,, (904) 519-2731

Research Opportunities on the Orlando Campus

With the opening of our Orlando Campus at the Lake Nona Research and Academic Center in July of 2012, we have associated with the Orlando Campus a new research Center

Additional Orlando sites include:

  • Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona: Dr. Shi-Jian Ding, Lab Director, Biomarker Discovery & Development Laboratory,, (407) 745-2149
  • University of Central Florida: Dr. Otto Phanstiel, Professor of Medicine,, (407) 823-6545
  • Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC): Dr. Stacie Hudgens, Clinical Coordinator Pharmacy Services,, (321) 841-1987
  • Florida Hospital: Dr. Robert Vandervoort, Pharmacotherapy Faculty in Family Practice,, (407) 303-2800 ext. 2181
  • UCF: Dr. MJ Soileau, Vice President for Research and Commercialization,, (407) 823-5538
  • Pharmacy Specialists: Mr. Sam Pratt,, (407) 260-7002
  • Nemours: Dr. John A. Dougherty, Director of Pharmacy,, (407) 650-7677
  • Axium Healthcare Pharmacy/Kroger: Dr. Frannie McGowan, Senior Director of Strategic Development and Retail Operations,, (407) 865-7795 ext. 228

Research Opportunities on the St. Petersburg Campus

  • CoreRx, Inc: Mr. Brian McMillan, VP Product Development,, (727) 259-6950 or Jennifer Luther, Formulation Research Assistant,, (727) 259-6950 x 199
    • NOTE: All students interested in an internship experience at CoreRx it is required that they have a face-to-face interview with CoreRx before acceptance into any program.

Fellowships/Scholarships Available to UF-COP Students – All Campuses

Students are asked to link to each of the sites of interest to review agency specific guidelines and timelines as well as download the applications.

Research Courses Offered by the College of Pharmacy

Research Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience Rotations

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) requirements for the PharmD degree may include research experiences while working with a member of the research faculty.  This coursework will also meet graduate course requirements for students officially enrolled in the PharmD/PhD curriculum.  Students in the PharmD/PhD program may take a maximum of four research APPE rotations. Pharmacy students not in the PharmD/PhD program may take up to two research rotations among the eleven total clerkships required for the PharmD degree.

The course syllabus for a research rotation should include specific objectives for a research project. The research project should be limited in scope keeping in mind the four-week time frames for APPE rotation courses. The activities in research should be stated in terms of responsibilities, duties, expectations, and time frames. The faculty member responsible for the research activity should meet with the student at least twice weekly to gain insight into the progress of the student.  Evaluation of research is reported as a letter grade.  Specific criteria for assessment of research activities should be stated in the syllabus, e.g., performance on an exam (verbal and/or written); presentation of research to preceptor, faculty, and peers; and/or, a typed report on research. The preceptor should insure that adequate supplies and time are available to give the student an adequate exposure to research principles.

“Research in” Series

Pharmacy students not in the PharmD/PhD program may take coursework in research by taking one or more of the following courses as elective credit in the PharmD degree program. The course syllabus for the courses below should address specific objectives, activities, time frames, expectations, and methods for evaluation of student performance. Satisfactory and unsatisfactory grades are usually given in these courses.

  • PHA 5901 Research in Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy 1-3 credits
  • PHA 5902 Research Pharmacodynamics 1-3 credits
  • PHA 5905 Research in Pharmaceutics 1-3 credits
  • PHA 5906 Research in Medicinal Chemistry 1-3 credits
  • PHA 5907 Research in Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research 1-3 credits
  • PHA 5625 Pharmaceutical Industry Practical Training for Externs 2-6 credits