Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Reflecting on Our First Virtual REU Program

September 9, 2020

The Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) recently wrapped up its first virtual Injury Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program. Despite COVID-19, our training team and mentors took swift action to convert our on-site program to a fully virtual program in just one month. We remained devoted to our REU program and to our trainees by offering virtual programming through interactive workshops, seminars, and journal clubs. This past summer, our virtual programming covered topics from injury science and community-based participatory research, to research outreach and statistics, to work-life balance and resume writing. Our curated programming enabled our trainees to connect with and learn from CIRP researchers, staff, graduate students, and alumni.

In addition to our own programming, our REU trainees also had the opportunity to participate in The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Research Institute’s Summer Scientific Research Colloquium. During these sessions, CHOP Research Institute faculty discussed career paths in Human Genetics, Biomedical and Health Informatics, Emergency Medicine, Autism Research, Neurology, Allergy and Immunology, and Protective Immunity.

Although this year’s Injury Science REU Program was different than the past eight summers, we’re grateful we were still able to provide our trainees with valuable networking opportunities and learning experiences on diverse topics.

Virtual REU Program
REU Virtual Seminar

Hear from the Injury Science REU Class of 2020

Here's what a few of our REU students had to say about their virtual summer internship experience:

Anthony Frazier-Armstrong, Lincoln University

“The REU program allowed me to grasp a better understanding of how researchers go about gathering information, funding, and presenting their findings to their audience.”

Emily Brown, Arcadia University

“While this summer wasn’t what anyone expected, I am so glad to be able to work with CIRP staff. Chelsea Ward McIntosh and Elizabeth Walshe have really made sure I’m still very much connected and learning, while working with the Neuroscience of Driving team!”

Kaila Daza, Colgate University

“Although the program was virtual, I was able to gain a great deal of knowledge about the injury science field and to speak with mentors who connected me with other researchers. I was even able to gain connections with peers and graduate students who provided me with advice for post-baccalaureate positions and PhD programs. I'm very grateful to have worked with CIRP and the mentors who made sure that the REU students had a meaningful and educational summer experience.”

Kathryn McLaughlin, Stockton University

“Being able to participate in CIRP’s Injury Science REU was the highlight of my summer! I enjoyed learning valuable skills from the virtual seminars and creating long-lasting mentorship connections.”

Sarah O’Brien, University of Delaware

“Even though the in-person program was cancelled, Thomas Seacrist, Carol Murray, and other members of the CIRP team made it a priority for us to gain experience and connect with our REU peers. I couldn't be more grateful for having the opportunity to retain some normalcy of my original summer plans!”

We’re proud to be designated as an REU site by the National Science Foundation, and we wish our Injury Science REU 2020 class the best of luck in their future careers.

Click here to read more about this year’s virtual REU program and the accepted trainees.

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