Extension of (BCH 491/492) Research in Biochemistry: Special Projects
The third component to the series of biotechnology education courses continues and builds on the experience from the previous courses. We have extensive experience offering extended research experience in the lab to qualified students in the form of internships. The internship program titled ” Research in Biochemistry: Special Projects (BCH 491/492) has been developed over the past twelve years with industry and federal grant support (Kausch). This program provides students with for-credit and summer paid internships and an opportunity for follow-up to the other courses. This internship program was created to extend the student’s laboratory and content course experience to include further research and the possibility to publish their results or continue to work on the project for a senior thesis research project. The interns also work with students in the two semester course previously described.
The URI students involved have highly endorsed the experience and have enjoyed a high success of subsequent job and career placement (over 90% placement rates) upon graduation; some have become graduate students in Plant Molecular Biology at, for example, Penn State, Stanford, and Yale, while others have become employees in industry, such as Amgen, Pfizer, Metabolix, Agrivida, Joule, Monsanto, and HybriGene. We recognize the value of the educational component of practical internships for the students and seek to continue and extend its development with the current proposal to NSF TUES by providing expanded laboratory experience. Together these course are synergistic curricular opportunities that provide a strong basis for a model program in science education program on biotechnology.