July 23, 2001
Internship program recruits technicians
By Michael Terrazas firstname.lastname@example.org
Principal investigators at Emory looking for research assistants will
have another option next summer, as Human Resources continues its new
Research Specialist Internship Program, launched this year with three
interns working for three PIs.
Unlike the existing Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program,
which is targeted toward students who plan to enter medical school, the
new internship program is geared more for individuals looking into careers
as research technicians, according to its director, Randall Cumbaa.
First off, its a recruitment strategy, another tool [PIs]
can use to identify potential [full-time] candidates, said Cumbaa,
HR senior recruiting specialist. This way, the evaluation of the
technicians performance is done before theyre hired as regular
employees. Hopefully, theyll come to us for the two summers before
they graduate, and the PIs can evaluate their performance instead of interviewing
somebody for an hour or two before they make them an offer.
The program was launched last year and promoted only to colleges and
universities in the area. The three interns this summerRichard Hite,
Heide Oller and Rebecca Sandersare students at Emory, Oglethorpe
and Agnes Scott, respectively. But next summer, Cumbaa plans to broaden
the programs umbrella to schools around the Southeast.
Cumbaa also hopes to recruit more investigators by asking department
heads or directors to earmark the roughly $3,000 needed to pay an interns
stipend rather than ask the PIs themselves to pony up money from their
For now, the internship program is enjoying a small but successful beginning.
I had the money, and I had a project that could be with a somewhat
inexperienced person, said Wolfram Siede, an assistant professor
in radiation/oncology who works in the Winship Cancer Institute. Siede
is working with his intern, Oller, in DNA re-search that examines how
yeast cells repair themselves. What I needed to see was motivation,
which [Oller] certainly has. The rest you can learn.
Hite is working with Rathnagiri Polavarapu, assistant professor of biochemistry,
and Sanders is an intern for David Guidot, associate professor of pulmonary
medicine. All three interns had good reviews for the eight-week program.
Id worked in a microbiology lab at Agnes Scott and had done
some molecular genetics, and I was interested in doing something that
wasnt completely foreign but still let me learn some new things,
Sanders said. Dr. Guidots really committed to this as a learning
experience and to my development as a scientist.
For more information on the internship program, contact Cumbaa at 404-727-7191.