CSM SIP is one of eight divisions of SIP, which also includes SIP components from the Basic Science Institute, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Institute for Cell Engineering, Institute for Computational Medicine, Institute for NanoBioTechnology, Pulmonary Medicine, and Rosetta Commons. Overall, the entire SIP program receives applications from >1,400 undergraduates nationwide either directly or via the Leadership Alliance or outreach by our Office of Graduate Student Affairs. A few specific slots are funded by relationships with small or historically black colleges and universities in the Baltimore region. SARE and BRBT alumni are encouraged to apply as undergraduates to CSM SIP.
Structure: The centerpiece of this 10-week program is CSM SIP scholars’ full-time immersion in research in their chosen mentor’s lab. They do experiments, participate in lab meetings and seminars, and engage in discussions and activities that stimulate them to integrate knowledge, practice analytical and communication skills, and ‘think on their feet’. CSM SIP students prepare posters and present their research at an end-of-summer symposium attended by all ~120 summer students, including other undergraduates and high school participants in basic and clinical research programs. These posters are well received since the quality of work is extremely high and students demonstrate both knowledge and enthusiasm.
On day one, students have orientation and register as SOM trainees. To address issues in Responsible Conduct of Research, students read and sign the Graduate Student Honor Code, since courses are not available during the summer. Students attend a Biosafety training session during their first week, with other training (e.g., Radiation Safety) as needed. The SIP program provides a stipend to cover housing at the Hopkins undergraduate campus or off-campus housing.
Educational Opportunities: Three key activities enhance the SIP experience. Students hear an informal talk by MD or PhD faculty each week in our Health Professionals ‘Lunch and Learn’ series. Students learn how to navigate to their chosen careers by attending at least 4-5 professional development seminars each summer; these include an MD Admissions Panel (Paul White, Associate Dean for Medical Admissions), PhD Admission Panel (PhD program faculty), MD/PhD Admissions Session (Andrea Cox, MSTP Director), Mock Interviews (critiques; what to expect), a LinkedIn Session (for long-term tracking), and Student Roundtable (lunch with current MD, PhD, MD/PhD and MPH students). Students gain a variety of perspectives and insights about career development. Importantly students also get to know each other, ask questions and receive customized mentoring via Small-Group Discussions with the CSM SIP Director. These two-hour meetings with groups of ~3 students, both early (Week-2) and late (Week-8) in the summer, allow immediate feedback and greatly facilitate long-term longitudinal mentoring.