Summer Research Opportunities - 2017

Summer Research Opportunities - 2017

These summer research opportunities have been gathered by members of the Teratology Society. These opportunities are designed for science and mathematics undergraduate and graduate students preparing for future careers in toxicology, regulatory science, or related scientific disciplines, in particular those in the field of birth defects research.

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Undergraduate Summer Research Internship (SRI)

Virginia Tech

https://www.maop.vt.edu/Undergraduate_programs/summer_research.html

Point of Contact:

Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program (MC 0276)

280 Stanger Street, Rm. 110

Blacksburg, VA 24061

Phone: 540.231.5023

Fax: 540.231.2618

maop.vt.edu

Applicable Academic Levels: Undergraduate 

Description of Research Opportunity: The Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program (MAOP), founded in 1993, is an academic success community founded upon the principles of self- efficacy, mentoring, and peer support. The MAOP Undergraduate Summer Research Internship (SRI) started in summer 1993, and since then has been a transformative experience for hundreds of students. Students from a wide variety of academic disciplines spend ten weeks during the summer (late May - late July/early August) working closely with a faculty mentor in a mentor/protégé relationship to design, conduct, and present a scholarly research presentation. 

Students interact with other student researchers, faculty, and graduate students in different areas of study, using state-of-the-art equipment, and attend seminars on the nature of graduate academic life.

Students also prepare to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and receive counseling on gaining admission to graduate school and available funding opportunities. In addition, the experience provides for a two day retreat at Camp Alta Mons, and provides students with the opportunity to enhance their personal growth and development. 

Students devote at least 40 hours a week on their respective research projects and scholarly activities. At the conclusion of the program, students will present their research to their fellow SRI peers, faculty mentors, and guests. The research is presented using a poster format and oral presentation. This research symposium is the culminating event of the experience, and takes place during the last week of the program.

Program Dates: May 21, 2017

Program Duration: May 22-July 28, 2017

Intern Support Includes:

  • Stipend of $3,000
  • Free on-campus room and board
  • Free and mandatory 10-week GRE preparation class
  • Participants are also provided with opportunities for weekend excursions and other activities 

Eligibility Requirements: The program is open to undergraduate students from any two-year and/or four-institution from around the United States and territories. Participants must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent U.S. Residents. Participants are selected on the basis of academic achievement, commitment to pursue graduate education, and match of interest with an available faculty mentor. 

How to Apply: https://www.maop.vt.edu/Undergraduate_programs/summer_research.html

Application Deadline: Application will be available December 2016


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Summer Veterinary Student Research Program (SVSRP)

Virginia Tech

http://www.vetmed.vt.edu/research/svsrp/

Point of Contact:

Inquiries about SVSRP should be addressed to rgsvms@vt.edu

540-231-1814

Applicable Academic Levels: A biomedical research training opportunity for first- and second-year veterinary students. 

Description of Research Opportunity:

The SVSRP is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Merial Veterinary Scholars Program (MVSP) and is a continuous 11-week summer research program:

  • One week of short courses in proposal writing, experimental design and analysis, humane care and use of laboratory animals, research ethics/management, common experimental techniques, and computer-based reports.
  • Funded travel to Washington, DC to meet with DVM/PhDs in research and policy positions at NIH, USDA, FDA, and HHMI.
  • Nine weeks of mentor-guided laboratory training in animal models of diseases.
  • Wednesday breakfast seminars on veterinary careers in research. 

Every effort is made to match the research interest of applicants to those of the mentors.

Qualifications: Students are selected by an Advisory and Selection Committee based on the likelihood that the student will pursue a career in research.

Selection criteria include:

  • Previous research experience
  • Academic excellence
  • References from veterinary medical college faculty 

Eligibility Requirements: Students in the first or second year of a DVM program at an accredited veterinary medical college. 

How to Apply: http://www.vetmed.vt.edu/research/svsrp/application_process.asp

Application Deadline: Early Spring 2017

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NCTR Summer Student Research Program

US FDA 

Point of Contact:

Laura Schnackenberg

(870)543-7986

laura.schnackenberg@fda.hhs.gov 

Applicable Academic Levels: Undergraduates, graduate students, and students accepted as an entering graduate or professional student at an accredited U.S. college or university.

Description of the Research Opportunity: Selected individuals will participate in research projects on the biological effect of potentially toxic chemicals and the solutions to toxicology problems that have a major impact on human health and environment.  The appointment period is for 10 weeks beginning near the end of May 2017 through the end of July 2017. 

Qualifications: Student in good standing at an accredited U.S. college and university, or accepted as an entering graduate or professional student at an accredited college or university, with a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher.

Eligibility Requirements: U.S. citizen only.  At least 18 years of age at the time of appointment. Pursuing a degree in physics, life health and medical sciences, mathematics and statistics, other physical sciences, engineering, nanotechnology, or computer sciences. 

How to Apply: Applications will be submitted through Zintellect.  A complete application consists of the completed application, transcript, current resume/CV, and two educational or professional references.

Application Deadline: To be determined but will be mid-February 2017 

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Human Health Assessment Branch, Department of Pesticide Regulation, California Environmental Protection Agency 

*These positions are pending approval of funding. Please contact Dr. Marilyn Silva (916-324-3482, marilyn.silva@cdpr.ca.gov) if interested.

Point of Contact:

Marilyn Silva, Ph.D., 916-324-3482 marilyn.silva@cdpr.ca.gov

Svetlana Koshlukova, Ph.D., 916-324-3505 Svetlana.koshlukova@cdpr.ca.gov

Shelley DuTeaux 916-445-4268 Shelley.DuTeaux@cdpr.ca.gov 

Applicable Academic Levels: Undergraduate or graduate with some statistical and biological/biochemical, toxicological background.

Description of the Research Opportunity:

  1. The Department of Pesticide regulation’s Human Health Assessment Branch (HHAB) conducts risk assessments to evaluate human health effects resulting from pesticide exposure. These assessments involve analysis of the dose-response relationship between exposure and health effects to establish critical NOELs (No-Observed Effect Level). HHAB commonly uses the Benchmark Dose (BMD) approach for dose response analysis. The estimated BMDs are doses corresponding to specific response levels near the low end of the observable range of the data. This project will involve review of toxicology studies for non-cancer and cancer effects, selecting datasets for analyses and performing BMD modeling to estimate BMDs and cancer potencies.
  2. Systematic Review: In 2014 two reports by the National Academy of Sciences recommended that USEPA should apply systematic review methodology for pesticides in order to derive scientific evidence that identifies harmful effects to human health. This project includes an evaluation of the literature for an assigned compound to identify relevant studies that can be used in risk assessment. The studies will be rated based on quality and strength of the evidence for the selected outcome. Specifically, the project includes:
  • Formulate a question for an assigned pesticide
  • Select the evidence from available resources (study selection criteria)
  • Rate quality and strength of the evidence based on: a) Quality of body of evidence; b) Direction of effect; c) Confidence in effect (likelihood that a new study would change our conclusion); and d) Other compelling attributes of the data that may influence certainty). 

The studies selected for review will be of various exposure durations (acute, subchronic and chronic) and may include mechanistic, pharmacokinetic, mutagenic, carcinogenic, reproduction, developmental, nervous or immune system data. The student would not be expected to be competent on all those topics but it is designed to be a learning experience.

  1. The Toxicity Forecaster (ToxCast) and Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21) high-throughput screening methods that are used to evaluate chemical interactions with biological pathways. Positive in vitro results can then lead to analysis of correlation between the in vitro and in vivo results. In pesticide risk assessment we have the advantage of having relatively complete databases so that ToxCast/Tox21 results had help with the weight-of-evidence or provide mechanistic insights to effects observed in vivo. This state of the art methodology is designed to be used for chemical prioritization, mode of action determination, and chemical screening. The project involves learning ToxCast and Tox21 methods and evaluating data for an assigned pesticide.
  2. California is the largest agricultural state in the U.S.A. producing more than 400 food commodities including highly valued crops such as almonds, grapes, strawberries. The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is mandated to evaluate the risk of human dietary exposure to pesticides and HHAB has programs to calculate the exposure from pesticides residues in diet. Dietary exposure assessments: DPR has a wealth of data on pesticide residues in CA grown and imported foods and in CA surface and ground water. This project will include selecting pesticide residues on commodities from various monitoring databases, analyzing food consumption databases and learning to conduct deterministic and probabilistic dietary exposure assessments for various population subgroups using Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model - Food Commodity Intake Database (DEEM-FCID).

Qualifications: Individuals with training or degrees in toxicology, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, cell and molecular biology, chemistry, computational toxicology, physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling or related fields. They will have an opportunity to learn about the following as related to risk assessment:

  • Whole-animal toxicity testing and guidelines (e.g., FIFRA, OECD)
  • Analyze data from in vitro studies that evaluate changes in biological processes using cells, cell lines, or cellular components (e.g., high-throughput screening assays, adverse outcome pathways)
  • Physiology (e.g., the physiology of reproduction, endocrinology, neurophysiology, gastrointestinal and renal physiology, etc.), biochemistry, xenobiotic metabolism and carcinogenesis.
  • Biostatistics
  • Dose response modeling (e.g., Benchmark Dose Modeling, BMD)
  • Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling
  • Computational biology 

Eligibility Requirements: A registered student with willingness to work independently and on a team. Interest in environmental or public health, toxicology, risk assessment, and pesticide regulation a plus.

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Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy 2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program at Rutgers University

The Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy announces the 2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program at Rutgers University.  The program is intended for highly motivated undergraduates interested in a research career in the pharmaceutical and environmental sciences. Students are provided with an opportunity to conduct full-time research in areas related to Pharmacology and Toxicology, Environmental Health Sciences, Pharmaceutics, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology, and Clinical Pharmacy. The SURF program is open to undergraduate students currently enrolled at a university in the United States. Previous experience performing independent laboratory or clinical research is not required. Mentors are not needed to apply. 

Applicable Academic Levels: Undergraduate 

Description of the Research Opportunity: The 10-week program will run May 22 through July 28, 2017 and provides a competitive stipend. Students must be available for the entire 10-week period. Training includes hands-on research conducted in the laboratories or clinical practices of faculty members, round table discussions of research progress, and seminars on research careers and activities of the faculty. Students also participate in career development workshops, a field study sampling water in NJ, and a field trip to a pharmaceutical company. At the end of the fellowship, each student will provide a brief oral presentation on his or her summer research project.

For more information and a link to the application, please visit: https://pharm.rutgers.edu/content/summer_research_fellowship_program

Application Deadline: February 6, 2017

How to Apply: There are a limited number of positions available as part of the joint SURF-RISE program. To check your eligibility, go to http://rise.rutgers.edu/index.php and submit an application for a position that benefits from the SURF program as well as the RISE program (which includes housing, GRE prep course, etc).  

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Internship in the US EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection, Regulatory Support and Science Policy Division Project

Description: The Regulatory Support and Science Policy Division works on children's health issues with many EPA programs, including safe chemicals management, clean air, safe drinking water, and others.  The intern will work with the Division's health scientists on various projects focused on the incorporation of children's environmental health in EPA assessments, methodologies and policies. For example, the intern may work with staff to evaluate children's environmental health data and analyses applied in chemical-specific health assessments developed by the agency in support of regulations. The intern may also have a non-laboratory research project on a children's environmental health science issue; the specific topic of this project will be selected to be suitable for their skills and abilities.

This position is unpaid.  The experience students gain at this internship may also be eligible for course credit or scholarship, depending on the requirements of their academic institution.  Interns may be eligible for a public transportation allowance. 

Length of project: Up to three months during Summer 2017, full-time. Location of project: EPA Headquarters, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC. Skills needed to apply: Graduate students interested in children's environmental health and the translation of science into policy should apply. The candidate should have strong writing and analytical skills. Knowledge of risk assessment and environmental regulation are also desirable.  US citizenship or appropriate visa required.

Application deadline:  March 10, 2016

Interested students should send letter, resume and unofficial transcripts/relevant course work to:

Brenda Foos, US EPA Office of Children's Health Protection

foos.brenda@epa.gov

 

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Environmental Services Intern, Department of Pesticide Regulation, State of California

Points of Contact:

The Human Resources Contact is available to answer questions regarding the application process. The Hiring Unit Contact is available to answer questions regarding the position.

  • Department Website: https://www.cdpr.ca.gov
  • Human Resources Contact: Stephanie Ota (916)322.­4553 stephanie.ota@cdpr.ca.gov
  • Hiring Unit Contact: Emily Thunen (916)445­.4233 emily.thunen@cdpr.ca.gov
  • Please direct requests for Reasonable Accommodations to the interview scheduler at the time the interview is being scheduled. You may direct any additional questions regarding Reasonable Accommodations or Equal Employment Opportunity for this position(s) to the Department's EEO Office. EEO Contact: EEO Office (916) 445.­3979 christina.bugai@cdpr.ca.gov
  • California Relay Service: 1­(800)­735.­2929 (TTY), 1­(800)­735.­2922 (Voice) TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Applicable Academic Levels: Graduate student or recent graduate

Description of Research Opportunity:

Appointment to this position is pending administrative approval.

The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), is a predominantly self­-funded department dedicated to protecting human health and the environment by regulating pesticide sales and use, and by fostering reduced-­risk pest management.

The Environmental Services Intern position is within the DPR’s Human Health Assessment Branch (HHA), which has three major functions: review of toxicology studies, evaluation of human exposure, and preparation of human health risk assessments.

This position offers a flexible work schedule. Also, located at 1001 I Street, the CalEPA building has many great amenities including on­site daycare, light rail, RT and suburban bus lines, transit incentives, cafe, fitness center with showers, and more. Department Website: https://www.cdpr.ca.gov

Job Description and Duties:

Under supervision of the Senior Toxicologist, the Environmental Services Intern (ESI) conducts analyses to evaluate human health effects resulting from pesticide exposure. As part of this process, the ESI performs the basics of a data review for pesticide risk assessment. This involves review of toxicology studies submitted to the DPR for pesticide registration and published studies. As part of this analysis, the ESI will gain practical experience in one or more risk assessment methodologies. The ESI will be expected to summarize results from the studies and make recommendations on the studies which may be useful for risk characterization.

The ESI may work on the following potential projects:

1. BMD modeling to estimate BMDs and cancer potencies: HHA conducts risk assessments to evaluate human health effects of pesticide use in California. These assessments involve analysis of the doseresponse relationship between exposure and health effects. HHA commonly uses the Benchmark Dose (BMD) approach to analyze dose response near the low end of the observable range of the data. This project will involve review of toxicology studies for non­cancer and cancer effects, selecting datasets for analyses, and performing BMD modeling.

2. Systematic Review: In 2014, two reports by the National Academy of Sciences recommended that US EPA apply systematic review methodology for pesticides in order to derive scientific evidence that identifies harmful effects to human health. This project includes an evaluation of the literature for an assigned compound to identify relevant studies that can be used in risk assessment. The studies will be rated based on quality and strength of the evidence for the selected outcome. Specifically, the project includes: formulating a question for an assigned pesticide, selecting the evidence from available resources (study selection criteria), and rating quality and strength of the evidence based on a) Quality of body of evidence, b) Direction of effect, c) Confidence in effect (likelihood that a new study would change our conclusion), and d) Other compelling attributes of the data that may influence certainty).

3. Toxicity Forecaster (ToxCast) and Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21) High­Throughput Screening Methods: These state of the art methodologies are designed to evaluate chemical interactions with biological pathways and are useful for chemical screening and prioritization. Positive in vitro results can then lead to analysis of correlation between the in vitro and in vivo results. In pesticide risk assessment, ToxCast/Tox21 results have assisted with the weight­of­evidence or provided mechanistic insights to effects observed in vivo. The project involves learning ToxCast and Tox21 methods and evaluating data for an assigned pesticide.

4. Dietary Exposure Assessments: California is one of the largest agricultural states in the US, producing more than 400 food commodities including almonds, grapes, and strawberries. HHA oversees a program to calculate the exposure from pesticides residues in diet. DPR has a wealth of data on pesticide residues in California­-grown and imported foods and in surface and ground water. This project will include selecting pesticide residues on commodities from various monitoring databases, analyzing food consumption databases, and learning to conduct deterministic and probabilistic dietary exposure assessments for various population subgroups using Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model Food assessments for various population subgroups using Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model ­Food Commodity Intake Database (DEEM­FCID).

Special Requirements:

If required to meet the minimum qualifications, you must include a copy of your degree and/or unofficial transcripts in order to be considered for this position.

Application Instructions:

Completed applications and all required documents must be received by the Final Filing Date in order to be considered.

Final Filing Date: 4/12/2017

Who May Apply

This is a non-­testing Classification, therefore, anyone meeting the Minimum Qualifications listed on the Classification Specification may apply for this position. Individuals in specific programs, such as the Welfare to Work Program, are encouraged to apply and will be given priority according to the applicable Laws and Rules. Please note on your application your current participation in these programs.

Applications will be screened and only the most qualified applicants will be selected for an interview.

How To Apply

Complete Application Packages (Applications and any applicable or required documents) must be submitted electronically through your CalCareer account at www.jobs.ca.gov.

Required Application Documents

Please submit the following items with your application. Applicants who do not submit the required items timely may not be considered for this job:

  • Electronic State Employment Application through your Applicant Account at www.jobs.ca.gov. All Experience and Education relating to the Minimum Qualifications listed on the Classification Specification should be included to demonstrate how you meet the Minimum Qualifications for the position.
  • Supplemental Application ­- The following supplemental questions are intended to provide more detailed information about your goals and experiences, and will allow the hiring unit to better assess your qualifications for this position. As writing skills are critical to this position, answer questions 1 and 2 in a concise manner. The answer to each question should be no more than ½ page in length (12 pt. font, single spaced).
    • 1. Describe how the Environmental Services Intern position will help you meet your education, research, or career goals. Give specific details on how this training opportunity will help you attain those goals.
    • 2. Describe an area of interest you have in environmental health, public health, or toxicology, and what your training in this area has been thus far.
  • Resume is required and must be included.

Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for the hiring interview process must request the necessary accommodations if scheduled for a hiring interview. The request should be made at the time of contact to schedule the interview. Questions regarding reasonable accommodations may be directed to the EEO contact listed on this job posting.

Desirable Qualifications:

In addition to evaluating each candidate's relative ability, as demonstrated by quality and breadth of experience, the following factors will provide the basis for competitively evaluating each candidate:

  • Recent graduate or attending graduate school pursuing a Doctoral Degree in the field of toxicology, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, chemistry or a related field
  • Knowledge of whole-­animal toxicity testing
  • Knowledge or experience in in vitro methods that evaluate changes in biological processes using cells, cell lines, or cellular components (e.g., high-­throughput screening assays)
  • Knowledge of toxicological principles, including xenobiotic metabolism, exposure, carcinogenesis
  • Knowledge of biostatistics
  • Knowledge of cellular or molecular biology, systems biology, physiology, or biochemistry
  • Knowledge or experience in computational biology
  • Strong oral/written communication, organizational, analytical, and decision­making skills

Critical Job Competencies:

Takes Action and Shows Initiative: Works well independently and is self­motivated to meet program goals. Sets and monitors own objectives and standards and follows through without prompting or close supervision. Demonstrates strong work ethic.

Relationship and Partnership Building: Builds and effectively uses co­worker relationships and professional networks to achieve goals. Shares knowledge among scientific colleagues and lead scientists and management.

Effective Communication: Clearly conveys and receives information and ideas through a variety of media. Translates complex or technical information to lay audiences or stakeholders. Facilitates the exchange of ideas and opinions.

Organization and Planning: Prioritizes tasks, establishes sequential activities, will request assistance when needed.

Technical Credibility: Understands and appropriately applies procedures, requirements, policies, and regulations related to specialized expertise. Integrates technology into the work to improve program effectiveness. Possesses up-­to-­date knowledge in the profession and can access other expert resources when needed. Translate concepts and ideas into strategies and action steps.

Additional Information:

This is a deep class position; candidate's experience/education will determine which range they will be placed in.

This is a non-­testing classification, therefore anyone meeting the minimum qualifications listed on the classification specification may apply for this position. Individuals who are, or have been, a dependent child in foster care, a homeless youth, or a formerly incarcerated youth as defined by Government Code section 18220 are encouraged to apply and will be given priority. If you are applying under this eligibility status, please note on your application your eligibility by stating “preference under Government Code section 18220”. Please note that prior to appointment, individuals claiming preference under one of these categories will be required to furnish documentation establishing their eligibility.

Applicants on public assistance under the Calworks Program will also be given priority. A letter from the County Welfare department verifying Calworks status must be submitted with your application. If verification is not submitted, your application will not be processed.

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