Deans Summer Research Internships

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Every year, the Dean of Science offers 30 outstanding first-year science students a paid summer internship to work in the lab of a leading researcher on real scientific problems, an opportunity that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

Eligible students are invited to apply for an internship. Students can visit faculty members’ websites to see what kind of research is being conducted, or they can contact faculty members directly to discuss their research projects in more detail. When applying, they'll indicate the faculty member they'd like work with, and why. During the internship, the students will be paid for 12 weeks of full-time research work. Application forms are evaluated based on enthusiasm, professionalism and clarity of ideas.

The internships are funded jointly by the Faculty of Science Dean's office and the faculty member's research fund.

 

As a DSRI recipient, I am gaining an in depth understanding of the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD), as well as acquiring laboratory skills beyond my second year standing.  Working with Dr. Kristin Connor has given me the opportunity to be part of a research team and learn about the scientific process from start to finish.  With Dr. Connor’s guidance, I have learned how to perform systematic and scoping reviews in order to prepare a literature review of my own.  This review discusses the role of the placenta and fetal membranes in regulating transport of inflammatory mediators and xenobiotics to the fetus in conditions of maternal inflammation and we plan to submit the manuscript for peer review within the next few months, with an aim to have it published in a scientific journal. I have also gained new laboratory skills to answer the question: how does malnutrition in pregnancy affect the ability of the placenta to defend against microbes and protect the developing fetus? I hope to continue to work on this initiative throughout the year.  Although my research experience is still in its infancy, the experience and exposure to another domain in the area of health science has sparked my interest to potentially pursue a career involving maternal and prenatal health.

 

Elia Pallandino, 2016 DSRI recipient

Working alongside Dr. Kristin Connor has advanced my proficiency in a laboratory setting and further allowed me to hone skills required for scientific investigation. I was able to gain exposure to various techniques useful for molecular biology and histology, as well as learn how to appropriately synthesize data obtained from research into scientific literature. The laboratory work that I have been undertaking is part of a larger study that we hope to complete in the upcoming months. Being given the chance to write a literature review regarding the effects of early life dietary interventions on the intestinal, brain and microbial development of preterm infants, has taught me a great deal about the scientific writing process.  I will also have the opportunity to submit this review article for peer review and publication, which is an exciting opportunity for an undergraduate student! The skill set I have obtained this summer has prepared me well beyond my years and will be of great use moving forward in my academic career. Dr. Connor’s area of expertise was in perfect alignment with the subject matter I wish to study in the future. Her hands-on, collaborative approach teaching of research was an incredible experience and has ignited a deeper passion in me for scientific investigation.

 

Claudia Sendanyoye, 2016 DSRI recipient

How You Can Help

The Dean's Summer Research Internship program provides an invaluable learning experience for students while earning income to support their university education. This very special opportunity is made possible through the generous support of our donors.  To contribute to this program, please visit the Dean's Summer Research Internship section on FutureFunder.