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APT Center Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Summer Internship Program


Located at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center (Cleveland, Ohio), the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center is a national VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Center created to capture innovations at the forefront of microelectronics and materials science and apply them to the clinical needs of disabled veterans. Along these lines, the core research activities of the center are concentrated in the following four major areas:

Prosthetics and Orthotics
Neural Interfaces
Health Monitoring and Maintenance
Activity-Based Neurorehabilitation

A distinctive feature of the APT Center is a focus on developing key enabling technologies for clinically-relevant applications. This approach leverages the technical expertise and world-class reputation of its collaborative partner, Case Western Reserve University, and makes the APT Center unique among the VA’s Research Centers.

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About the Program

The Advanced Platform Technology Summer Internship Program (APT-SIP) is for undergraduate STEM and PreHealth (Medical, Nursing, Physical Therapy) students who have completed at least their sophomore year of college. The 10-week program, under the guidance of Drs. Allison Hess-Dunning and Jeff Capadona, APT-SIP Advisors, is scheduled from May 28, 2024 to August 2, 2024*. Up to 8 interns will be selected. The internship will allow undergraduate STEM students to participate in cutting-edge biomedical research projects under the mentorship of world-class investigators at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic and other academic affiliates.

As part of the selection process, applicants will have the opportunity to indicate their preference for the investigator they will work with during the internship. Once selected, the investigator and intern will create a specific mini project. This mini project will constitute the core experience for the internship. In addition, students will receive mentoring, participate in group meetings, attend planned lectures and laboratory visits, and will present their research findings at the end of summer research symposium.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Criteria

The APT Center is committed to the VA Office of Research & Development’s efforts to promote diversity in the VA workforce․ The following underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply․ However, while these criteria are intended to increase the applicant pool, they will not be used as a final determinative factor in selecting participants for this program.

-US Veteran
-Sons or Daughters of US Veterans
-Individuals with a disability, defined as one with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended․
-Individuals from a racial / ethnic group that has been shown by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to be underrepresented in health-related sciences․ (Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander)
-Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+)
-Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet TWO or more of the following criteria:
  -Were or currently are homeless
  -Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for  Children and Families
  -Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years
  -Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor's degree
  -Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants
  -Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) as a parent or child
  -Grew up in one of the following areas:
  -A US rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) rural health grants eligibility advisor, OR
  -A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated low-income and health professional shortage areas


Applicants must have completed at least two years (4 semesters or 6 quarters) of undergraduate study in a STEM degree program by the start of the 2024 summer with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Applicants must plan to return to undergraduate school or start a graduate program in fall 2024.
Exceptional applicants who are interested, but may not meet all of the above criteria, should contact prior to submission.

How to Apply

Applicant will submit the following materials via the online application:

A completed APT Center SIP Application Form
A resume that contains information about your education, recent work/research experience, activities, awards and publications
An unofficial transcript detailing your university courses and grades
Two letters of recommendation preferred, one letter required. Letters should come from individuals who are familiar with your academic or work/research performance, such as faculty or supervisor, and who can comment on your suitability for this program.
If you have already discussed working with an APT Center Investigator, a letter of support from that Investigator should be included and can count as one of the recommendations.
Applicants may be contacted for a virtual interview
The intern selection process will be performed by a panel of APT Center Investigators using a scoring system based on the information submitted in the application.


APT-SIP Deadlines

Deadline for submitting the application and reference letters is January 31, 2024
Notification of selected interns will be on or about February 29, 2024
Intern must accept or decline by March 14, 2024
Compensation, Housing, and Travel Benefits

All interns will receive an hourly wage of $15/hr for the duration of their ten week, 40 hr/week internship. Housing (if needed) will be provided through Case Western Reserve University.  Students from universities outside of Ohio will receive travel assistance, up to $500.