Written By: Sarah Michel, PhD, Professor and Director of the PhD in PSC Program
Each year, the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the School of Pharmacy hosts a summer internship program for undergraduates that brings chemistry and biology majors from colleges and universities across the United States to the School to participate in summer research opportunities. Thanks to a recent partnership between the President’s Office at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the Provost’s Office at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to help strengthen collaborations between the two campuses, this year’s program was able to incorporate a new “home grown” component.
Fostering the Next Generation of Local Scientists
With the inclusion of the new “home grown” initiative to our summer internship program, our department had the opportunity to expand the program to offer five talented undergraduates from UMBC the opportunity to spend eight weeks gaining hands-on research experience under the guidance of a faculty mentor. After a competitive selection process, the UMBC interns were matched with faculty mentors in PSC based on their research interests.
Once in the lab, interns were given a project to work on alongside their mentor and the postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in the lab. In addition to the lab experience, interns participated in PSC department events, including “PSC First Friday,” a social event to bring the department together once a month, as well as an exciting volleyball match that pitted faculty against students.
Showcasing Local Research
At the end of the eight-week internship, interns formally presented their work at a poster session, which was well-attended by faculty, staff and students at the School. It is our hope that the experience provided the interns with a glimpse into life as a graduate student in the PhD in PSC Program, and offered them a unique opportunity to forge lasting relationships that will help foster their continued success as undergraduates, progressing well into their post-baccalaureate endeavors.