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Summer Pediatric Research Scholars

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Summer Pediatric Research Scholars

Akron Children's Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute offers college students opportunities to gain clinical research experience at northeast Ohio’s largest pediatric hospital through the Summer Pediatric Research Scholars (SPRS) program.

Summer scholars work closely with mentors - physicians or other healthcare practitioners - in one of several pediatric medical specialties. Mentors help define research projects that could focus on enhancing patient safety or quality of care; evaluating effectiveness of new treatments, technologies, or methods; or improving the healthcare experience for patients and families. Professionals at the research institute offer additional training, guidance and support to the students and their research efforts.

Summer research scholars also have opportunities to observe bedside patient care by shadowing medical and surgical teams interacting with patients and colleagues. Lectures and classroom activities provide additional familiarity with the environment of a large pediatric hospital. At the program’s conclusion, summer research scholars present their findings to members of Akron Children’s medical staff, professional researchers, peers and guests.

Eligibility and Evaluation Criteria

  1. At the time of application, candidates must be enrolled in good standing at a college or university and be in your sophomore or junior year. 
  2. Candidates must demonstrate interest in a healthcare career. In addition to students in a pre-medical school program, those considering careers as nurses, physician assistants, physical or occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dietitians, pharmacists, healthcare administration, or allied healthcare fields are encouraged to apply.
  3. Candidates are assessed based on academic excellence demonstrated by grade point average, coursework, scholarships and reference letters, as well as extracurricular activities, community service or other non-academic interests and accomplishments. 
  4. Previous formal research experience is not required. 
  5. Personal interviews are conducted with selected candidates to learn about their experience, accomplishments and motivation to complete the program.
  6. A stipend towards college scholarships or tuition is awarded to participating students.

Student Commitment

  • 20-24 hours per week allotted to research and mentor consultation
  • Mandatory weekly Wednesday lectures and discussions focused on research methodology
  • Open invitation to attend morning report, grand rounds, teaching conferences, and observe medical staff and caregivers at the bedside.

Applications are accepted in October. Here are some upcoming program dates and deadlines:

March 2 Email notification of decision sent to all applicants
March to May 2018 Participants complete Volunteer Services and Research Institute administrative and educational requirements
June 4 Program Orientation Day
August 8 Student presentations of research findings and graduation

Note: Summer scholars are responsible for obtaining appropriate housing accommodations.