Summer Undergraduate Internship Program in Translational and Clinical Research
The summer undergraduate internship program is sponsored by the Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA). Internships provide mentored experiences in clinical and translational sciences to students from Bryn Mawr College, Franklin & Marshall College, Haverford College, Lincoln University, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania. Internships are 10 weeks in duration, and start the first full week of June (June 2 - Aug 8 2014). Preference will be given to students finishing sophomore or junior years, however students finishing the freshman year alone will be considered as well. Internships are carried out at the University of Pennsylvania, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, The Wistar Institute, The University of the Sciences, or in the Monell Center, depending on the mentor assigned to the student. Stipends are $3,900. The program provides a full housing supplement to CTSA interns who utilize Penn housing.
The application deadline for 2014 has passed. Visit this page in December 2014 for the 2015 application.
The CTSA also provides a portal for application to the Conte Center Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. The goal of this Center is to study brain circuitry related to symptoms of schizophrenia including diminished emotional and social drive. Clinical and basic studies are performed in humans and mice. The Conte program parallels the CTSA internship program in every respect, e.g. translational research, duration, and stipend, but does not provide a housing supplement and has as its specific focus schizophrenia. Students applying to this program are not limited to the above-listed institutions. If interested in the Conte Center program please specify your interest in the personal statement.
About the internship
Translational research refers to the attainment and transfer of new knowledge from the bench to the clinic — and from the clinic to the bench. Basic scientists provide clinicians with new tools for the diagnosis and treatment of patients and for assessment of impact. Clinical researchers make novel observations about the nature and progression of disease that engage basic investigators. Translational research is viewed as a medium for discoveries to be translated into practical diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
The CTSA-sponsored internship provides a substantial, mentored experience in translational and clinical approaches to understanding a disease and developing effective therapeutic modalities. The internship consists of research on a project of interest developed in consultation between the student and mentor. The project addresses a specific and meaningful question based on current insights relevant to the disease and therapy. The project may take many forms, with an emphasis on, for example, molecular biology, genetics, epidemiology, bioinformatics, or clinical interventions. The project may or may not involve work at the bench; however, it is usually linked to an established project and requires close interactions with personnel within the mentor's group. The internship also consists of several hours each week devoted to coursework and a seminar series highlighting methodologies in translational research. Time is spent as well evaluating literature relevant to the specific question. The internship culminates with a presentation describing the project in terms of the question asked, information obtained, and placement of the work within the larger context of clinical and translational research efforts.
CTSA Summer Undergraduate Internship
Students applying for the CTSA Summer Undergraduate Internship must have completed one year of college and must currently attend Bryn Mawr College, Franklin & Marshall College, Haverford College, Lincoln University, Swarthmore College, or the University of Pennsylvania. Students must demonstrate an interest and potential to pursue a career in the clinical or translational sciences.
Conte Center Undergraduate Research Scholars
Students applying for the Conte Center summer undergraduate internship must include a statement to that effect in the personal statement. Students applying to this program are not limited to the above-listed institutions.
Students from Bryn Mawr College, Franklin & Marshall College, Haverford College, Lincoln University, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania may apply to either or both CTSA and Conte Center programs.
Students may begin the application process online. Materials required for a completed application include:
- Application form
- Statement of personal interests and goals (submitted through the application form)
- Two letters of recommendation (sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Official copy of transcript
Statement of personal interests and goals
The personal statement should provide information regarding the student's interests and career goals. A discussion of scientific or clinical interests is important, of course, but that of other interests and experiences is useful as well. The CTSA leadership is most interested in how an exposure to clinical and translational sciences, such as that offered by the internship, relates to educational and career objectives. Students may, if they wish, describe areas of potential topics for the internship in the statement, but this is not necessary as interests will be fully explored following acceptance. The statement should be 500–1000 words.
Letters of recommendation
Letters of recommendation should be provided by two individuals familiar with the student's academic capabilities and potential for work in a biomedical setting. The recommendations should be sent by e-mail as attachments to Rachel Bastian at email@example.com directly from the writers.
An official copy of the undergraduate transcript can be sent to the following address or via email from the school to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CTSA Summer Undergraduate Internship Program
c/o Rachel Bastian
8035 Maloney Building
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
3600 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283
Evaluation of the application and acceptance into the program
Students will be notified by e-mail when the application package is complete. The package will be evaluated by CTSA leadership in consultation with the relevant undergraduate institution. We anticipate 12 CTSA and 10 Conte Center internships for summer of 2014. We request that students let us know their intent within two weeks of acceptance by the program.
Mentors for the CTSA-supported Summer Undergraduate Internship Program are drawn largely from the membership of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics. Membership comprises faculty from the majority of basic and clinical departments at Perelman School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, The Wistar Institute, The Unviersity of the Sciences, and the Monell Center who have identified strong interests in translational research. Areas of particular strength include cancer biology, diabetes and metabolism, regenerative medicine, human genetics, reproduction and women's health, pediatrics, neuroscience/neurology, cardiovascular biology, genomics, and bioinformatics.
On-campus housing is provided if needed to CTSA Scholars only. Students should let us know upon acceptance into the program whether they intend to use on-campus housing. If so, we will help make arrangements.