Penn State’s Clinical Research Training Program is a collaborative effort shared between multiple campuses with its’ home base being at Penn State Greater Allegheny. With support from the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), undergraduates at Penn State Greater Allegheny, University Park, Penn State New Kensington, and Penn State Harrisburg have an opportunity to enroll in the program during their 5th semester. The program partners with Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Research Institute, Penn State College of Medicine (CoM; in Hershey, PA.), and Clinical Research Strategies LLC (CRS), to provide Clinical Research experience and internships to interested students.
Penn State Greater Allegheny is the only college in the region to have this program.
Penn State Greater Allegheny students majoring in either Biobehavioral Health (B.S.) or Psychology can pursue hands on training in Clinical Research. The program is also offered at University Park to students majoring in Health and Human Development or Biology. This program is designed to provide an in-depth experience and the essential framework of clinical research topics in order to prepare our undergraduate students with the necessary training for a successful career in clinical research.
This experience includes a 3-credit capstone course in Clinical Research practice offered exclusively by the program director, Andrea Stevens, PhD, as a shared course during the Fall semester, additional professional development opportunities in the Spring semester and an optional internship in the Summer semester. During the internship, students will have a choice of working with AHN, CoM, or CRS clinical research scientists in a number of ongoing clinical trials. This is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable research experience and explore a potential career path.
An undergraduate program that strives to train the next generation of clinical researchers by preparing them with a detailed clinical research practice, core curriculum, and hands-on internship opportunities, whilst networking with peers and fellow professionals in clinical research
At the end of the Clinical Research Program, students will have:
- A detailed understanding of clinical research practices including regulatory requirements, the essential elements of patient and data management, and the financing of clinical trials.
- The ability to demonstrate good clinical practices and understanding of the informed consent process
- Familiarity of current research topics in the practice of academic medicine, including but not limited to, oncology, cardiovascular disease, orthopedics, and the neurosciences.
- The ability to demonstrate proficiency in clinical data management, clinical documentation and approaches to health outcome-centered research.
- The ability to identify socio-political and policy factors impacting clinical research.
- Hands on experience performing clinical research
- Presentation of original research at a professional symposium
- Must be a 5th semester standing in BBH, science, or psychology programs
- Prerequisites: BIOL162 or KINES203 and STATS200 or STATS250
*Note: Acceptance into the course and program may require an application and direct approval by the Program’s campus liaison.*
- Enroll in HHD410/BBH471* Clinical Research Practice course (3 credits, offered in Fall only and must gain entry approval)
- Professional development opportunities in the Spring semester
- Semester internship opportunities at AHN, Penn State College of Medicine and other community partners
*upon enrolling in the capstone course HHD497, students will be considered a member of the program and be given the opportunity to participate in all program-related events, including multiple internships, networking events, and professional conferences
Neila Raveen, a transfer student from Toronto, Canada, and a fourth year Biobehavioral Health student, took advantage of the two-step partnership program. In her third year, Raveen enrolled in the Clinical Research Practice course (HHD 497). After completing the course, she entered the second part of the program, an internship with AHN Research Institute and will be interning at the Penn State College of Medicine following graduation this summer. Raveen will also be presenting original research obtained during her experience in the program at Translational Sciences 2023, a national conference of clinical and translational research professionals this spring, as a part of the professional development arm of the program.
Admission into the program requires a short letter of interest. All interested students should contact the Program Director: