The Translational Research Internship Program is designed to provide UConn undergraduate students with greater insight into the physician-scientist career path (combined M.D./Ph.D. program). First and foremost, the internship gives participating students the opportunity to perform basic science research under the direction of a faculty member in a University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) laboratory. Further, students will gain a better understanding of the clinical side of medicine by shadowing a physician/surgeon. Students will have the opportunity to see firsthand the interplay of biomedical research and clinical medicine: how clinical medicine influences and inspires basic research and how basic research translates into therapies used in the clinic. In addition, students will be mentored by an M.D. /Ph.D. student, allowing for more informal discussion about research and life as an M.D./Ph.D. student.
The program will support 2-6 undergraduate students from the University of Connecticut to participate in a 10-week summer research internship under the direction of Dr. Pramod Srivastava, Ph.D., M.D. Selected students will work in the labs of Dr. Srivastava, Dr. Suzy Torti, Ph.D., or another participating researcher at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
- Dr. Srivastava is Professor of Immunology and Medicine, and Director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center.
- Dr. Torti is Professor of Molecular, Microbial and Structural Biology and a faculty member of the Center for Molecular Medicine.
Within the assigned laboratory, interns will have the opportunity to work either with other researchers on a current lab project or on their own project. Students will be expected to present the results of their research in a lab meeting at the end of the summer. They will also be expected to share the results with a wider audience by presenting a poster at the Frontiers in Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition in October 2014 or April 2015.
Although the majority of internship time will be spent in the assigned lab (approx. 85%), another key aspect of this internship is the opportunity to shadow a physician/surgeon in the cancer clinic at the UConn Health Center. Interns will benefit from regular meetings with an assigned mentor who is a M.D./Ph.D. student. All students who are selected for this internship will attend departmental seminars, journal club presentations, research in progress talks, and public Ph.D. thesis defenses as a means to better understanding the physician-scientist program.
- must be University of Connecticut undergraduate students who plan to graduate no earlier than May 2015
- should have an interest in both medicine and research
- must possess a strong background in science, having completed at least two semesters each of college biology and college chemistry
- must have a minimum GPA of 3.5
Prior lab experience is preferred. Applicants must arrange for the submission of two letters of recommendation, including at least one letter from a UConn faculty member.
- The internship will run from Monday, May 26, 2014 through Friday, August 8, 2014 (start and end dates are approximate). Students will work 40 hours per week.
- Students will receive a stipend of $350 per week over the course of the internship.
- Additional funding (up to $500 per month) may be available to students who require housing in the Farmington area.
The Summer 2014 application is now closed.
How to Apply
The Summer 2014 application is now closed.
Applicants should review the application prior to completing it online in order to draft responses to the questions. Note that applicants must attach a current resume or CV.
In addition, please ensure that two letters of recommendation are emailed (from the recommender’s professional email address) to email@example.com by the February 3, 2014 deadline. At least one letter of recommendation must come from a UConn faculty member.
If you have questions about the Translational Research Internship Program or the application process, contact the Office of Undergraduate Research at (860) 486-7939, firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule an appointment with an OUR Advisor via AdvApp.uconn.edu under “Enrichment Programs.”
Information for Recommenders
A complete application to the Translational Research Internship Program includes two letters of recommendation that address the applicant’s qualifications for this program. At least one of these letters must be from a UConn faculty member. Please address the following points in your letter:
- Your knowledge of and familiarity with the student’s academic work;
- Your estimation of the student’s academic and personal traits which would contribute to a successful summer research internship experience;
- Your estimation of the student’s commitment to the physician/scientist career path;
- Your assessment of the student’s chances for success and why this research opportunity would further his or her development as a scholar/researcher.
Please send your letter (from your professional email address) to email@example.com with the subject line: Translational Research Recommendation – Applicant’s name. Letters of recommendation should be received no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, February 3rd, 2014.
Any questions or concerns about recommendations should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact OUR by calling 860-486-7939 – we are happy to answer any questions you might have!
Criteria for Review and Selection
All applications will be reviewed by a small review committee convened by the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. By the end of February, up to six candidates will be recommended to Dr. Srivastava and Dr. Torti for evaluation and possible placement. Final decisions will be made by Dr. Srivastava and Dr. Torti as quickly as possible thereafter.
The review committee’s initial review will be based on the following criteria:
- The student demonstrates an interest in both medicine and research.
- The student possesses a strong background in science, as evidenced by his/her UConn transcript.
- The student has prior lab experience.
- The letters of recommendation provide strong support for the student’s candidacy.
Specific courses are not required in order to be eligible for this program. The mentoring faculty are looking for a “strong background in science,” which you can build by taking a range of relevant courses. A track record of academic achievement in these courses will make you a strong candidate for this opportunity.
At this time, the only confirmed participating labs are those of Dr. Pramod Srivastava and Dr. Suzy Torti.
You may submit applications to both programs simultaneously. However, if you are offered both opportunities, you will need to choose between them as there is insufficient time during the UConn summer break to complete both. The Translational Research Internship is a full-time commitment for the duration of the internship.
If you have questions about the Translational Research Internship Program or the application process, contact the Office of Undergraduate Research at email@example.com, 860-486-7939, or schedule an appointment with an OUR Advisor via AdvApp.uconn.edu under “Enrichment Programs.”