The Summer Student Research Program (SSRP) of the Harvard Program in Neonatology (HPN) is administered by the Division of Newborn Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital. The SSRP provides undergraduate and medical school students with an intensive laboratory and clinical research experience under the guidance of Faculty and Fellow mentors. Students who enroll in the Program select a mentor and an area of study from a list of participating Newborn Medicine Faculty and Fellows and their areas of research interest.
Summer Program students conduct work on a clinical, epidemiologic, or basic science research project under the direction of a mentor. Areas of study include developmental biology (vascular biology, nervous system development, molecular genetics), clinical research, and epidemiology/public health policy. The mentor guides the student through a summer long experiment, at the end of which, the student is required to provide a summary of research that includes a hypothesis, methods, and results. Presentation of the research at the Newborn Medicine Poster symposium is highly encouraged.
As a supplement to the research experience, students are given the opportunity to observe the HPN's health care teams care for patients in the newborn nurseries, labor and delivery, neonatal intensive care units, and infant follow-up clinic at Boston Children's Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. At each hospital a Faculty member or Fellow is available to precept the student.
In addition to laboratory experience, students have the opportunity to attend weekly conferences. The conferences cover topics in Newborn Medicine in the areas of Basic Science and Clinical Correlation, Newborn Epidemiology, and the topics presented at the Newborn Medicine Research Seminar.
Clinical Case Presentations/Bedside-to-Bench Rounds
These are held weekly and are prepared by the students under the guidance of Faculty or Fellow mentors. This highly interactive tutorial is designed to provide students with insight into how basic, applied, or epidemiological research can be used to enhance our understanding of complex clinical problems
The Summer Student Research Program runs eight weeks, between June 1 and August 31, with a 30- to 40-hour commitment per week. Scheduling conflicts may be worked out with mentors on an individual basis.
Stipend amounts are determined by education level and the availability of funds. The stipends are provided for the eight-week period, and are paid bi-weekly. Students are encouraged to apply independently for funding.