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Geisinger Clinic Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The Geisinger Clinic Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) provides an exceptional opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct research under the mentorship of our nationally and internationally recognized scientists. This program is designed for undergraduates with a strong background in the sciences who are considering a career in biomedical research. Participants experience the joy of scientific discovery as well as the challenges inherent in scientific research while developing skills in scientific reasoning, research methods and scientific communication through interaction with our research staff. 

Internships are available in the following areas:

Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute - Students will participate in ongoing and novel research projects that align with ADMI’s innovative approach to investigating the causes and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders. Research is conducted across a variety of disciplines including genetics, neuroscience, psychology, developmental medicine, and high-performance computing. Opportunities to shadow our clinicians, including psychologists, behavior analysts, genetic counselors, developmental pediatricians, and speech-language pathologists are also provided.  

Center for Community Environment and Health (CCEH) - The mission of the CCEH is to understand how the natural, built, and social environments impact health across a range of health outcomes, including diabetes, respiratory disease, and COVID-19. Students will work with CCEH researchers to develop a summer project related to one of the ongoing research projects.  They will have the opportunity to participate in multiple aspects of CCEH studies, including participant recruitment, collection of biological samples, medical chart review, and data management. 

Center for Pharmacy Innovation and Outcomes (CPIO) - Students will gain insight into the sciences of implementation, dissemination, health services, and outcomes research. Focus will be on population health pharmacy, medication optimization, adherence, and pharmacy services. Past projects included the evaluation of naloxone prescribing, understanding the process of medication reconciliation in community medicine, and evaluating pharmacists’ activities as part of an at-home team-based care program. The expectations are that students will participate actively in the conduct of investigation, bring a positive attitude to the team, and present materials in a summer-end symposium.  Outstanding students will have the opportunity to publish research conducted. Those students with interest in data analysis, health services evaluation, qualitative and/or quantitative evaluations are encouraged to apply.

Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) - A research program funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute that supports central resources to define the clinical relevance of genes and variants for use in precision medicine and research (  Students will have the opportunity to interact with clinicians, clinical genetic testing laboratory staff, researchers, and genetic counselors from around the world as they support efforts to evaluate gene-disease validity, dosage sensitivity, and/or variant pathogenicity.  This opportunity may be either hybrid (with an in-person component at Geisinger Autism & Developmental Institute) or fully remote. Since ClinGen is a project within the ADMI, interns are able to take part in other learning opportunities including lectures from ADMI team, observations, and case conferences. 

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at The Weis Center for Research - Participate in Cardiovascular Research in close association with Physicians and Scientists; work on the projects that examine artificial circulation in the fetus to the adult and include ventricular assist device (VAD) design and development, mechanisms of VAD-associated bleeding and thrombosis, novel VAD therapies, and abnormal angiogenesis in children with single ventricle disease. The participant will gain “Wet Lab” experience in a variety of cell culture, molecular biology, histological assays, and microscopy. Towards the end of the summer the participant will be able provide a project summary report.

Department of Genomic Health - Students will work with the genomics team, including MDs, PhDs, Pharmacists and Genetic Counselors, to develop a summer project in genomics with the option to choose from a variety of research opportunities.  Students will have the option to complete some job shadowing of genetic counselors as part of the internship experience.

Department of Genomic Health; Mirshahi Lab – Students will be assigned to work with scientists using a combination of lab-based experiments and computational approaches to investigate the role of gene expression, cell signaling and genetic variation in health and disease. This work will use state of the art ‘wet lab’ techniques as well as advanced bioinformatic methods that leverage detailed genetic data on >175,000 clinic patients and their extensive clinical traits captured from electronic health records.  A major goal of these groups is to identify genes and genetic variants associated with specific disease areas and identify therapeutic targets. Students will be assigned a specific project and will provide a summary report at the end of the summer.

The Geisinger Clinic SURP is competitive, with acceptance based on grades, test scores, recommendations, and stated career goals. You may apply if you are currently enrolled in a four-year college or university, completed your first year prior to start of the program, and will not graduate prior to internship.  No previous research experience is required; however, applicants should have taken appropriate course work prior to application.   

Program eligibility and features:

  • Students entering their undergraduate Sophomore, Junior and Senior years are eligible to apply.
  • Pharmacy students in their first two professional years are encouraged to apply.
  • Paid program $11.50/hr., 40 hours per week, Tuesday May 30, 2023 – Friday August 4, 2023
  • To the degree possible, students are matched with research programs according to their stated interest and work on projects under the direct supervision of our staff and faculty.
  • Students are selected from diverse academic backgrounds.
  • Students are responsible for their housing accommodations and transportation for any in-person internships.
  • Some internships (TBD) may be remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation at the time of the program.
  • Geisinger does not sponsor OPT for this short-duration summer internship.
  • Geisinger does not participate in e-verify

Interested students should send the application form and all required materials in one complete packet to  

Applications will be accepted through February 1, 2023. 

(Note: Late submissions/materials will not be accepted.)