Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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IBR Summer Student Volunteer Program

03/16/17

The mission of the IBR Summer Student Volunteer Program is to introduce high school and college students to the field of Developmental Neuroscience and Developmental Disabilities, with the goal of inspiring them to pursue careers in this field. 

To accomplish this mission, the program offers the following: 

  • Undergraduate student placements in an IBR laboratory: Students are matched with the laboratory based on their academic background, interests and career goals. Students spend approximately 20 hours a week in the laboratory during the 6- to 8-week placement. The summer placement includes training in the ethical conduct of research, background reading relevant to the research, participation in ongoing laboratory experiments and exposure to the analysis and reporting of scientific research. Regular meetings and discussions between the student and mentor allow the students to integrate the information obtained from the readings with the knowledge gained from their experiential learning opportunities in the laboratory. 
     
  • High School Summer Science Experience: High school students interested in developmental disabilities learn about laboratory safety and the ongoing research in developmental disabilities at IBR. This is accomplished through tours of IBR laboratories and the Jervis Clinic and small group learning activities conducted by IBR scientists.  The Summer Science experience includes observation of laboratory techniques that are used to learn more about developmental disabilities from a wide range of fields including behavioral neuroscience, infant development, molecular biology, biochemistry and neuroanatomy. Some hands-on experience is also incorporated into the program.  
     
  • Summer Student Seminar Series: In addition to the above programs, all summer students are expected to attend a weekly seminar series intended for those beginning to learn about research in Developmental Disabilities.  IBR scientists give presentations that include background about their field of research, with updates about current findings, and discuss the applications to the field of Developmental Disabilities. The scientists also share what drives their interest in developmental disabilities and research as well as how their careers developed. This allows the students to learn about other types of research at IBR beyond the labs that they have been assigned to, and to form connections that will last well beyond their summer at IBR.
     
  • IBR Annual Panel Discussion on Developmental Disabilities: To give students another perspective on developmental disabilities, a presentation by a group of professionals who have experience working with and advocating for individuals with developmental disabilities, many of whom have family members with a developmental disability, was introduced in the summer of 2017. 
     
  • Student placements in an IBR laboratory: Students are matched with the laboratory that seems most appropriate based on their academic background, interests and career goals. With an IBR scientist serving as a mentor, students will be trained in the ethical conduct of research, be provided with background reading relevant to the mentor’s research, will observe the research techniques used in the lab, and will develop a range of different research skills. Regular meetings and discussions between the student and mentor will allow the students to integrate the information obtained from the readings with the knowledge gained from their experiential learning opportunities in the laboratory. 
     

Admission

The IBR Summer Student Volunteer Program is particularly well-suited for students who have interests in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and other Neuroscience-related disciplines. Students interested in other ways to support people with developmental disabilities through clerical or the graphic arts are also encouraged to apply.

Interested students should complete the application form and email it along with a cover letter and resume to Dr. Kathryn Chadman ([email protected]).

Undergraduate applications are due on March 15th each year.

High School Summer Science Experience applications are due April 15th each year.

 

Contact

For further information on the IBR Summer Student Volunteer Program, please contact:

Kathryn Chadman, Ph.D.

Chair, Student Coordinating Committee
Head, Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory
NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities
Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities
1050 Forest Hill Road, Staten Island, NY 10314
[email protected]

Elizabeth M. Lennon, Ph.D.

Director, Programs in Developmental Neuroscience and Developmental Disabilities (PDNDD)
Head, Laboratory of Social Communication Development
NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities
Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities
1050 Forest Hill Road, Staten Island, NY 10314
[email protected]