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YCCI Exposures Pilot Program

Empowering the Next Generation of Clinical & Translational Scientists
The Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI), in collaboration with our Yale Cultural Ambassadors, is offering a new voluntary summer research internship pilot program, that will provide the opportunity for highly motivated high school, undergraduate, and professional students to work with and learn from a multidisciplinary team of scientists, including internationally renowned investigators. The goal of the broader program will be to include internships across the entire spectrum of YCCI research. However, this year’s pilot will focus on the areas of technology, mobile apps, patient engagement, disparities, and data science in health care. This year all the interns will be trained and will work and learn remotely. The primary aim of our internship program is to train and prepare youth with diverse backgrounds and interest to become future leaders in the realm of clinical and translational research.

2021 YCCI Exposures Pilot Program/ Virtual Student Research Internship Summary

In the summer of 2021, the Yale Cultural Ambassadors asked YCCI to consider the development of a summer internship program for high school students age 15 and older and undergraduate students that would spur an interest in healthcare, medicine, and clinical and translational research at a young age. On June 30th, the center received Yale approval for the YCCI Clinical and Translational Research Exposures Summer Pilot Internship Program, a four-week virtual educational experience focused on the areas of technology, mobile apps, patient engagement, disparities, and data science in health care.

Although there were only ten days to advertise and receive applications to the program, YCCI received over 900 inquiries from around the world with more than 200 completed applications with letters of recommendation for participation in the internship. The decisions were very difficult, but YCCI leadership worked with community partners to narrow the list to 36 interns, age 15-20, from fourteen different states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Of those, we estimate 30-40% were minority, ~50% female; and 20% from rural areas with limited similar opportunities. Further, for many of the students this was their first internship experience.

The internship provided the opportunity for this group of highly motivated students to work with and learn from a multidisciplinary team of scientists, including internationally renowned investigators and leaders. The program included course work, lectures, journal club, a group project, and virtual lunches with clinical and research leaders.

Overview

Internship Objectives

  • Gain knowledge of and exposure to current topics in clinical and translational science, including the basis for common and complex traits and diseases in humans, as well as the integration of mobile technologies to monitor and improve health care.
  • Learn more about technology, mobile apps, patient engagement, disparities, and data science within health care.
  • Observe the various steps of proposing, designing, undertaking, and analyzing clinical trials, particularly those evaluating telehealth and mobile monitoring of patients with disease.

Based on the intern’s individual interests, he or she will be assigned a primary mentor. It is the mentor’s responsibility to advise and guide the intern with respect to achieving the aims and requirements of the program. The mentor will also provide information and insights regarding career options in health care and clinical research. Although each intern will work primarily with his/her individual mentor, they will meet and interact with other leaders and interns within YCCI. At the end of the internship, each participant will present their final project to a group of institutional and community leaders.

Internship Requirements

  1. Seminar Attendance: Interns will attend weekly seminars and prepare for these seminars accordingly (e.g., read assigned journal articles). They will participate in Clinical Research Brown Bag Roundtable Lunch with Faculty, Clinical Research Journal Club, and Clinical Research Meeting.
  2. Research Proposal: Interns, together with their mentors, will each develop an independent research project or participate in a group project to be completed by the end of the internship.
  3. Presentation of Research Project: Present results of the independent/group research project during the second half of the internship period at a virtual YCCI Research Meeting, which may include Yale and community leaders and intern’s family/guest. If appropriate, interns may submit abstracts for presentation at a scientific meeting mutually agreed upon by the intern, his/her mentor, and a senior faculty member.

Who Can Apply

Highly motivated students in high school or college may apply. The primary criterion for admission is an interest to learn more about careers in clinical research or health care.

Please note that high school students must be at least 15 years of age before the start of their internship.

Selection Process

  • Candidates will be selected based on enthusiasm and desire to learn more about health care and clinical research.
  • After all applications are reviewed, elected applicants will be notified of program acceptance.
  • Interns will receive a certificate of completion. Interns may also receive school credit or transcript notation for participation in our summer research internship. Please check with your guidance counselor or department dean about whether this will be possible.

Funding

Currently our summer internships are unpaid positions, available for academic credit, but not supported by a stipend or living expenses. Should funding opportunities change, we will update accordingly.

Important Dates

Internship Dates
July 19-August 13, 2021

Hours
The internship hours will be 10AM – 2PM, Monday – Thursday from July 19 - August 13.

Application Deadline
July 13, 2021

Please note: During the summer of 2021 pilot, all interns will be trained and will work and learn remotely.

Exposures Pilot Administration

The Cultural Ambassadors partnership was founded in 2010 with a vision to catalyze the achievement of equity and diversity in clinical research locally, nationally and beyond through shared leadership and enduring partnership between community leaders, patients, healthcare providers, and researcher. The Cultural Ambassadors collaborate with Yale researchers on trial design, recruitment, and reducing access barriers for the community. The Cultural Ambassadors also engage in advocacy and education efforts in the community, driving awareness of the importance of clinical research.