Education and Training

Hartshorne Mudd Summer Research Intensive

The Penn Center for Women's Behavioral Wellness (PCWBW) currently has hourly-paid, full-time (40 hours per week) and part-time (20-30 hours per week) positions available with the Summer Research Intensive (SRI). Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply for the SRI for the opportunity to work as research assistants during summer holiday. Selected candidates will assist with several ongoing patient clinical trials. Individuals awarded a position with the SRI will have the opportunity to work in a fast-paced academic research environment currently conducting over 20 active clinical trials.

Student Testimonials

The SRI program was the perfect intersection of my undergraduate major and minor, and my areas of interest. As a nursing student, there isn’t much opportunity to work with niche populations, outside of designated clinical settings. Furthermore, nursing usually doesn’t allow me much time to explore my minor: psychology. In the program, I could see how clinical care in the hospital transferred to psychological research and care in my population of interest: pregnant women. The project manager went above and beyond in allowing us to work where we were not only needed, but also interested.

In addition, the SRI taught me skills I could not have learned otherwise. I was trained in psychological assessments such as the TLEQ, ACE, and others; phone screening; REDCap and Excel data entry; data extraction; and EPIC electronic medical record navigation. In addition, I got a head start on my phlebotomy and blood processing training. We could shadow visits – both research and clinical – and help conduct some of the research visits. I was even allowed to attend some home visits. I saw firsthand what a Clinical Research Coordinator did every day, and was given appropriate responsibility in assisting with the studies.

Perhaps most importantly, the SRI showed me the role teamwork within clinical research. I participated in clinical rounds to learn about patients, journal clubs to learn about societal impact, and research meetings that taught me about every study at the center. Interns received seminars on resume writing, professionalism, and a variety of other topics. I formed close bonds with my fellow interns and the coordinators, that continue to this day. The SRI program showed me the effectiveness of a team in coordinating projects and care. 

For me, the benefits of the SRI were not isolated to the summer. Working with the project manager, I continued my role into the school year. In that way, the SRI has taken me full circle: as intern to mentor-of-interns. This is an opportunity that I could not have had elsewhere, am extremely grateful for, and that will continue to benefit my education for the years to come. I will take the knowledge and personal connections I’ve gained as I enter the medical profession. 

SRI Student, Summer 2016 

As someone looking to learn the ropes of human subjects research, the SRI program gave me that perfect opportunity and training to transition my research experience from bench to bedside. I had the experience of working hands- on with the experienced and very friendly staff of clinical research coordinators to understand their daily operations, along with training to resolve unexpected circumstances that may arise when working with vulnerable populations.

Some of the training involved undergoing certification to independently administer behavioral assessments for study visits, draw and process blood samples, learning to track and back- check research data on softwares like REDCap and EPIC and ensure overall compliance with research regulations. There were added opportunities to shadow psychiatrists on staff, sit-in and network in staff meetings and external research presentations at Penn. Working full time in this position gave me a good taste of life and culture on the Penn campus. Claudia, our project manager always went out of her way to mentor me and other interns whenever we had questions or simply needed any guidance or feedback. Her support along with the other coordinators made sure I had a wholesome experience at the beginning of what I call, my path to working as a clinical research coordinator myself.

SRI Student, Summer 2016 

I would describe my experience in the SRI with 3 words: formative, fulfilling, and fun. I spent my summer working on a diverse variety of tasks. I was able to recruit participants in waiting rooms, enter data, write articles for the PCWBW blog, process blood, administer psychological assessments, and interview potential participants over the phone about their mental and physical health to determine if they could be eligible for our studies. 

Most of these tasks involved direct interactions with participants. This was invaluable to me, as I am on the path to obtaining graduate training in clinical psychology or mental health nursing in the future. I know that the skills I gained in interacting with participants at the PCWBW will fortify my work as a clinician in the future. In weekly journal clubs and clinical rounds, I learned from our senior researchers and clinicians about the way the research done at our center has the capacity to impact society at large. This made every day feel rewarding, and solidified my plans to pursue a career in the field of mental health. 

Finally, the sense of community developed among the SRI interns and the PCWBW staff made me excited to go to work each day. I ended up staying on at the PCWBW as a full time Clinical Research Coordinator, and I have the wonderful SRI program to thank for that! 

SRI Student, Summer 2016

Participating in the Hartshorne Mudd Summer Research Intensive has been an invaluable experience. I learned not only how to conduct research but I also gained hands-on experience interacting directly with participants. Over the past two summers I have worked on a variety of projects and developed many useful skills. I recruited patients in waiting rooms, conducted patient interviews, performed data entry, and literature reviews. I also had the opportunity to interview participants in their homes as a part of a longitudinal study.  

The SRI allowed me to participate actively in the research and gain exposure to a variety of tasks within research.  Throughout the program I learned about potential careers within the medical field and had the opportunity to talk to members of the research team about their experiences. In weekly journal club meetings and research meetings, I heard from members of the senior staff and connected with the larger research community. I developed relationships with members of the PCWBW team and the other interns and I feel very fortunate to have worked in such a productive environment which has given me immeasurable exposure to clinical research.

My experience in the SRI prepared me for future roles in research, such as participating in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in health informatics. 

SRI Student, Summers 2015/2016 

My experience at PCWBW was extremely fulfilling. I was a summer intern after my sophomore year of college after deciding to major in Psychology. I appreciated the opportunity to not only learn about how to conduct research but also to interact directly with research participants. The Summer Research Intensive is very hands on. I made screening phone calls to potential research participants, sat in on diagnostic interviews and study visits, shadowed PCWBW psychiatrists, and presented scientific articles to the team. While there were many ongoing studies, I studied the relationship between estrogen and cognition in menopausal women. I was able to learn about this topic in depth and work with the lead research investigator and coordinator. Prior to the Summer Research Intensive I had little knowledge about women’s health issues. At PCWBW I learned about women's health by reading articles and speaking one-on-one to members of the PCWBW team.

The PCWBW Summer Research Intensive is a perfect balance between research and medicine for anyone looking to pursue a profession in health care. The program helped me cultivate my interests in women’s health and neurology which I have continued to pursue. The clinical research skills I obtained at PCWBW helped me with my honors thesis and prepared me for my current position as a research coordinator in New York City.  

SRI Student, Summer 2013 

Learn more about our students

• Able to work legally in the United States
• Are in good academic standing
• Are willing and able to provide 20-30 (part-time) or 40 (full-time) hours of work per week
• Demonstrate interest in women's behavioral health and psychiatry

• Subject recruitment and screening via Ob/Gyn waiting rooms
• Administer/score mood and behavioral assessments
• Certification as a confederate to sit on a social stress test panel
• Data entry and back-checking entered data for accuracy
• Assisting the Center's Clinical Research Coordinators with study visits and other duties as needed

These tasks will provide the ideal candidates with on the job experiences that may be beneficial in future job searches and/or graduate school applications.

The 2019 application is now live!

To apply for for the SRI, please go to our online application portal. There you will be able to submit:

• Completed application 
• Letter of intent for the position that demonstrates research interest(s)
• Proposed schedule for either full-time (40 hours) and part time (20-30 hours) for 8-10 weeks
• Resume including all relevant work and research experience
• One (1) reference who can be contacted if you are chosen for the second round of selection for a position

The SRI grants entrance to the program on a rolling admission basis; therefore it is best to apply early. 

The positions for the SRI are usually filled by the end of March for that coming summer. 


In some cases, students may receive funding from their college or university to complete a summer internship. Note that if you are planning to apply for a summer stipend through your school or program, you will have to submit through their application process separately. If you need any materials from the PCWBW to apply for funding through your school or program, please give us ample time to provide you with such information. 

How early should I apply?

Applications are reviewed and interviews are scheduled with qualified candidates on a rolling basis, so candidates should apply as early as possible.

What if I am taking classes? Can I still have a position in the SRI? 

All SRI members are expected to work 40 hours per week M-F unless they are taking classes. There are places to indicate your preferred schedule in the application page. 

How long does it take for us to review the applications?

Once your application is received we will review it within 8 weeks and will let you know if you have been chosen for an interview. Feel free to ask any questions you have before submitting.

Joanna Marks

Clinical Research Coordinator