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Paid Research Internships

Julia Rosen

Staff WriterScreen Shot 2013-02-27 at 12.15.10 PM

Long Island University will offer four paid research summer internships for students inter- ested in working alongside the nation’s top experts in biology, psychology and neuroscience.

The chosen students will receive $3,000 and up to $500 for research materials. The LIU Office of Academic Affairs, the Provost’s Office, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sci- ences and the Biology Department are sponsoring the internship.

The internships will consist of a 10-week research project, within these fields, from June 2 to August 12, 2013, with profes- sors from these three depart-ments. Internships are open to undergraduate students from LIU Post and from other univer-sities throughout the country.

Students at an undergradu- ate level nationwide are free to apply, according to Dr. Matthew Draud, chairperson of the Biol-ogy department and participat- ing faculty member.

The internships are self- funded by LIU Post with the goal of receiving a grant from The National Science Founda- tion, according to Draud. “The hopes are that this grant will be received within five years as a result of good research and hard work,” said Draud.

The participating faculty members are Dr. Draud, from the Biology department, who focuses on diamondback ter- rapins, a species of turtle; Dr. Grace Rossi, from the Psychol- ogy department, who focuses on the pharmacological char- acteristics of the opioid system through the use of molecular and behavioral techniques; Dr. Karin Melkonian, from the Biol- ogy department, who focuses on the antimicrobial testing of modified carbohydrate- and protein-based surfaces. The sev-en other leading scientists, who are professors from LIU Post, will also work with the interns in conducting the research.

This is the second summer that the paid internships are offered. Last year, Nichole A. Ginnan, a senior Biology major, was one of the four students who was part of the internship program. She worked with Dr. Kent Hatch, an assistant Biology professor at LIU Post, to re- search how toe clipping affects amphibians’ survival and/or growth rate. Hatch will also be a part of this summer’s research.

“[It] has been the number one best learning experience in my undergraduate career here at LIU Post,” said Ginnan. “The internship has led to other op- portunities and has given me hands-on learning experience that you cannot receive in a class room setting.”

Ginnan added that when she was conducting the re- search, she was unaware of the incredible opportunity she received and its benefits. “Not only did this research make my resume stronger, it gave me confidence and pride in my work,” she said. “I also hope to publish my research as a first author, which is a huge accomplishment as an undergraduate. It will look spectacular when I apply to graduate school.”

Melanie Bram, a junior Biology major, was also one of last summer’s interns. She worked with Dr. April Blakeslee, assis- tant professor of Biology at LIU Post, to research the influence of the trematode parasite cycle on the behavior and psychology of introduced populations of European Green Crab in eastern North America.

It was the first research initiative she ever participated in and she said that it taught her how experiments are con- ducted and the methodology behind them. She added, “The part I enjoyed most about this experience was not only investigating further into my topic of study, but also learning a lot about research being done by other students in the program. For instance, I learned a lot about turtles and frogs and how they’re being studied that I had no prior knowledge about.”

Last year, one of the four interns was from Miami Oxford University in Ohio and the other three from LIU Post. This year, the program expects around 30 applicants, compared to last year’s 11 applicants. “It is a very prestigious internship,” said Draud.

Applicants will also get their chance to choose which of the three different projects they are interested in. If more than one student wants to work with the same professor, they will be assigned to that professor.

The internship program is looking for ambitious, independent and passionate students who can work well with others and who can take criticism, according to Draud. He said it is important to have strong letters of recommenda- tion that will help the program see that interns will produce successful research.

Ginnan stated that the in- ternship is very demanding and it involves a lot of hard work. “I would recommend applying for the internship to hardworking and self-motivated mature stu- dents,” she said. “The internship was so much fun and I learned many valuable things, but it was a lot of hard work. You must enjoy science and research and be willing to put in the time and energy.”

Bram said that she would encourage students who would like to learn more about labora- tory and field research to apply for this internship.

For more information and the application, students may go to post/suri. The application is due by March 1, 2013, and it may be handed into the LIU Post Biology department. Can- didates will be notified of the status of their applications by March 15, 2013.

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