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Research Education


Geisinger is committed to training and educating clinical investigators engaged in residency and fellowship programs; future scientists on both graduate and postdoctoral levels; and undergraduate and graduate students interested in exploring and developing their scientific careers.

Geisinger's research education programs also offer the highest caliber of training opportunities to help Geisinger faculty and staff keep abreast of current developments in the field and serve the public good. This is accomplished through internal development activities that include training in ethics and effective clinical practices and also includes a regular seminar series that covers a range of topics pertinent to Geisinger's research topics.

Educational training opportunities include:

  • A formal, 12-session course for clinicians who have a strong interest in research but may lack formal training in research methods and study design. Participants are selected based on level of interest and motivation, identification of a mentor and a commitment to attend. Running during the academic year, the program requires each participant to produce a research paper or poster by the conclusion of the course.
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) members and staff, and other personnel maintain continuing knowledge of, and comply with, their legal and ethical obligations to protect human subjects when conducting research, Geisinger's Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) offers IRB research staff orientation and beginning and ongoing training programs covering research review and human research protection. Geisinger's HRPP office outlines the education requirements regarding course completion and maintains the database of staff that complete the training requirements. Many courses are online and available through Geisinger's "GOALS" courses.
  • The Biostatistics Core is developing a series of lectures for clinicians (including residents and fellows), nurses and employees of Geisinger who have a strong interest in understanding biostatistical methods. Topics include study design, multi-group comparisons, regression modeling techniques, time-to-event analysis, analysis of electronic health record data for comparative effectiveness, sample size and power. The lectures are designed to include many examples highlighting the importance of interpretation of results. These lectures will be offered in succession over a two-month period. Date will be announced at a future time.
  • The Office of Clinical Research Operations provides all study coordinators with a half-day seminar three times a year to provide education and share best practices. All clinical research coordinators and other staff involved in clinical research, particularly clinical trials, are invited to attend.

Geisinger Research also offers paid and unpaid internships to qualified students pursuing biomedical, behavioral or social science health-related disciplines. In preparation for either a professional career or further academic studies, Geisinger's research internships provide opportunity to contribute to specific clinical, translational or basic science investigations, hone critical thinking skills, network and explore career choices and specialties. Internships are offered in areas such as obesity, biobanking, biostatistics, epidemiology, genomics and many others.

Students interested in becoming a Geisinger intern may work within any area of Geisinger Health System that offers student internship opportunities. For research internships, please contact Lisa Farr at


Current Programs

Geisinger Clinic Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)

The Geisinger Clinic Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) provides an exceptional opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct research under the mentorship of our nationally and internationally recognized scientists. This program is designed for undergraduates with a strong background in the sciences who are considering a career in biomedical research. Participants experience the joy of scientific discovery as well as the challenges inherent in scientific research while developing skills in scientific reasoning, research methods and scientific communication through interaction with our research staff. Internships are available in the following areas:

Department of Molecular and Functional Genomics - Students will work with bench scientists investigating topics in genomics, functional genomics, developmental biology or cell signaling. They will have ownership of the project and provide a summary report at the end of the summer.

Geisinger Obesity Institute - Students will work with a multi-disciplinary research team to develop a summer project in basic science, genomics and clinical or population-based pediatric or adult obesity research.

Imaging Science and Innovation – Topic 1: Medical imaging application of machine learning and computer vision. Students will assist in large scale medical data and image cleaning, scrubbing and preparation; analyze, process and transform data using various techniques and build scalable predictive models. Topic 2: Cardiac imaging of sub-clinical heart disease. Students will work with a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in radiology, engineering, and image processing to quantify heart function from medical imaging in relation to factors such as health outcomes, genomics, or obesity. Experience with technical computing software, such as MATLAB, is preferred.

Center for Pharmacy Outcomes and Innovation - Students will gain insight into conducting health services innovations/research intended to improve medication use. Focus will be on medication adherence, metabolic disease, behavioral health, addiction, pain and/or biologics. Candidates pursuing a degree in pharmacy are preferred, but this is not a requirement.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Science Research - Students will participate in community engaged research. Interns will have the opportunity to develop data collection tools and engage in data collection supporting the Community Health Needs Assessment activities of Geisinger Health System. In addition, students will participate in developing reports related to these activities and may participate in field training programs.

Environmental Health Institute - The mission of the Environmental Health Institute (EHI) is to understand how land use, the built environment, energy production and use, food systems and water systems may impact human health in central and northeast Pennsylvania. Previous EHI interns have worked on projects focusing on environmental epidemiology, including, but not limited to, primary data collection, data entry and literature reviews.

Genomic Medicine Institute - Students will work with the genomics team, including MDs, PhDs, and Genetic Counselors, to develop a summer project in clinical genomics with the option to choose from a variety of research opportunities.  Students will have the option to complete some job shadowing of genetic counselors or clinical geneticists as part of the internship experience.

Department of Biomedical and Translational Informatics - Students will work with our investigators to apply informatics technologies to link clinical data from the electronic health record to genomic data from the MyCode Community Health Initiative to make discoveries important to human health. Opportunities are available for self-identifying underrepresented minority students under a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.   

The Geisinger Clinic SURP is competitive, with acceptance based on grades, test scores, recommendations and stated career goals. You may apply if you are currently a sophomore or junior in a four-year college or university. No previous research experience is required; however, applicants should have taken appropriate course work prior to application.

Program features:

  • College sophomores and juniors are eligible for the 10-week program.

  • To the degree possible, students are matched with research programs according to their stated interest and work on projects under the direct supervision of our staff or senior scientists.

  • Students are selected from diverse academic backgrounds. Past participants represent more than 46 colleges and universities in 10 states.

  • Students may be provided opportunities to develop critical thinking skills through participation in a weekly journal club.

  • Students participate in workshops on ethical issues in research.

    Interested students should send a completed application form and resume, which is due February 3, 2017.

    Click for the internship application (2017 Summer Student Application)

    For additional information, contact Lisa Farr: