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Joshua’s Wish is dedicated to supporting medical research toward a cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). In order to encourage undergraduate students to pursue a career in medical research on this devastating disease, we are offering two $5,000 summer internship awards for 2013. One studentship will be awarded to an undergraduate student from Mercer University while the second will be open to students from institutions across the United States and Canada. The research project may be basic, translational or clinical in nature but must have direct relevance to DIPG.
What is DIPG?
DIPG is a primary brain tumor of the brainstem and represents approximately 10-15% of pediatric brain tumors. DIPGs are aggressive lesions that are not amenable to surgical resection. Prognosis for these tumors has remained dismal with a median survival of one year; less than 20% of patients survive to two years after diagnosis. The current standard of care is focal irradiation. Indeed, radiation therapy has been the only treatment thus far that has led to clinical improvement and a delay in tumor progression in patients. Clearly, a better understanding of the biology of this disease and novel therapeutic options are required to improve the outcome for children with DIPG.
Students will be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at an accredited postsecondary institution in the US or Canada and will not graduate before July 1, 2013. The research will take place in the US or Canada under the supervision of a faculty mentor but need not be in the institution where the candidate is enrolled. The student will be engaged in research full-time for a period of not less than 10 weeks to take place in 2013 between the end of the spring term and the start of the fall term at the candidate’s home institution.
The deadline for receipt of all application material is May 15, 2013 at midnight EST.
Application should be single-spaced in 12-point type with a minimum one inch margin and consists of the following components:
1. A cover page to be completed by the candidate and signed by the research mentor.
2. A personal statement to be completed by the candidate which should indicate the student’s motivations and qualifications for biomedical research and state how this award will help the student achieve his/her future goals (one page).
3. The project summary which should include the following information: brief background, hypothesis, aim of study, methods, and relevance to DIPG (one page). If the proposal involves work with animal and/or human subjects, a statement indicating the appropriate Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and/or Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval should be included. References can be on a separate page.
4. A lay summary on a separate page (maximum 250 words).
5. A copy of the student’s academic transcript (scanned PDF is acceptable).
6. An NIH-style biosketch of the research mentor (four page maximum).
Note: Mercer University undergraduate students should complete as much of the item 1 (cover page) as possible and are not be required to submit items 3, 4 and 6. They should instead expand their personal statement to two pages to include previous research experience and to indicate their preference for basic, translational or clinical research. If necessary, the Medical Advisory Board will help place the Mercer University student awardee in a lab for the summer.
Assemble all components of the application as a single PDF file and e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All applications will be evaluated by the Medical Advisory Board according to the following criteria:
Candidate: While previous research experience on the part of the candidate is not required, the potential for a future career in research is essential.
Proposal: Proposals will be evaluated according to scientific merit, relevance to DIPG and potential for completion in the time allotted.
Mentor: Mentors of all levels are accepted however in the case of otherwise comparable applications, junior faculty (Assistant Professor) will be favored.
The Committee provides a recommendation to the Board of Directors, with whom the final decision rests.
Conditions of Award
All grant applications will be treated as confidential information and decisions by the Board are final. Applicants and mentors will be notified of the decision by e-mail. The names of the awardees/mentors and the lay summary provided in the application may be used for promotional purposes by Joshua’s Wish. Any presentation or publication resulting from the research should acknowledge support from Joshua’s Wish. A summary of the student’s experiences during the summer internship (maximum 250 words) will be submitted to Bethany Bresnen within 30 days of completing the research period. This report may detail scientific findings of the research or inspirations/ideas for the student’s future career gained from the internship. This report will not be used for promotional purposes by Joshua’s Wish without the express written consent of the student and research mentor.
For further information, contact Bethany Bresnen at email@example.com.