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Emergency Department Clinical Research Externship

The clinical research associate externship is a unique opportunity for students to directly participate in the performance of clinical research, such as enrolling patients in study programs, while also observing overall ED operations and interacting with physicians, nurses and other health care personnel.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this opportunity could be executed in a 100 percent off-site remote manner until further notice. As we get closer to summer 2021, we may determine the externship can be onsite, depending on hospital policy, and will transition accordingly to an internship.

The Summer 2021 externship begins May 24, 2021 and ends August 13, 2021; no exceptions

  • Students will gain research experience working in the emergency department that will strengthen their skills in developing a career in public health and/or medicine
  • Students will be exposed to the practical application of research to provide critical context and texture to research theory they may have received in the classroom
  • The ED Research Externship offers a broad diversity of research from basic observational studies to complex randomized controlled trials thereby exposing students to the full spectrum of research applications in a single clinical setting
  • Motivated students will have the opportunity to develop mentor/mentee relationships with faculty and clinical staff which, given appropriate motivation on the part of each individual student, could result in graduate school/professional recommendation letters from faculty, and the opportunity to develop an individual research project and/or work in an externship capacity with an individual faculty member on an existing research protocol
  • This is an unpaid learning experience

Eligibility and Requirements

To be considered for the Research Externship, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age and a sophomore in college at the time of application. Medical students, post-baccalaureate students, and graduate students are encouraged to apply
  • Be able/willing to commit a minimum of 32 hours per week (including some evening and/or weekend shifts)
  • Demonstrate strong academic standing
  • This externship is an eight-month commitment, although, under special circumstances (e.g., externship start date, etc.), alternative arrangements can be made in advance

Number of positions offered: 10-12 interns will be accepted for the Summer 2021 session. The final application deadline is 11:59 p.m. February 28, 2021; all items must be submitted by that deadline.

Terms of the Emergency Department Research Externship

The terms of an emergency department research externship are as follows:

  • The externs will work onsite or remotely, determined by hospital policy, with the Emergency Department Research Team on clinical research projects specifically focused on patient contact and administrative duties. Research externs are required to contribute at least 4 shifts/week for a minimum of 32 hours in the summer, starting May 24, 2021. Externs will be required to attend research, healthcare and clinical lectures conducted throughout the externship period and create a final poster project. Mentorship is available to each extern to help guide his/her progress. However, it is important to note that the breadth of exposure and experience for each extern will be driven by his/her own initiative and interest.
  • Beginning May 24, 2021, the required externship training for the externship is two full weeks of lectures, exams and shadowing. The training addresses research methodology relevant to ongoing/planned ED-based research projects; Good Clinical Practice (GCP) for research; hospital guidelines and ED etiquette. This training is mandatory. If any part of the training is missed, the research externship will be terminated.

How to Apply

Submit the following documents via email:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Unofficial academic transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation (one letter must be academic)

The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. February 28, 2021. Fully completed applications take preference.

Contact Information

For more information about the Emergency Department Clinical Research Externship, please contact:

Clinical Research Program Manager
Bobbe Thomas, CCRP
Children’s National Hospital
Division of Emergency Medicine | Children’s National Research Institute
111 Michigan Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20010