Frequently Asked Questions

(click questions to see answers)

Eligibility Questions:

  1. Who is eligible for CRISSP?
  2. All undergraduate students and graduating seniors are eligible to apply, provided that they:
    • Are enrolled full-time in an accredited college/university
    • Have a minimum 3.3 overall GPA and a strong interest in biomedical research
    • Are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents
  3. I'm a freshman and won't have my first set of grades before I apply. What should I list for my GPA?
  4. Please list your anticipated overall GPA (provided it's over 3.3) and anticipated overall GPA in your major. A transcript will be required if you are selected to participate in an interview.
  5. I'm graduating from college in the Spring, can I still apply?
  6. Yes, full-time seniors graduating in the Spring are eligible to apply.
  7. I'm not eligible for CRISSP. Are there other ways for me to get involved in research at CHOP?
  8. Yes, in addition to the CRISSP program, a range of additional opportunities exist for undergraduate and high school students.

    Students interested in seeking internships or student employment at the CHOP Research Institute should browse our website to identify research groups in which they would like to work. Please first review the investigator profiles ( to identify researchers who are conducting research that you find interesting.

    Once you have identified an investigator whose research interests you, please submit a General Research Internship Inquiry (

    You may also want to browse the Hospital job search tool (, as internship opportunities are sometimes listed.

Application Questions

  1. Can I e-mail or fax my application?
  2. Applications must be sent electronically via the application link on the CRISSP Web site. Due to a high volume of applications, emails, faxes and standard mail cannot be accepted.
  3. How many recommendations do I need? How are they submitted?
  4. Each applicant must provide two letters of recommendation. One letter must be from a professor. The second can come from another professor or from a professional or personal reference. Recommendation letters must be submitted through the application site.
  5. Can I submit more than two letters of recommendation?
  6. No, you can only submit two letters.
  7. How will I know if my references have been submitted?
  8. Check the status of your references by logging into your application account, press "Add or Edit Recommendation Request" and verify if the recommendation letters have been submitted. You will NOT receive an email to confirm your recommendation letters have been submitted. It is your responsibility to make sure all required letters are received before the application deadline.
  9. When is the application deadline?
  10. All sections of the application must be received by January 31, 2014 (5pm Eastern Standard Time). Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  11. How does the selection process work?
  12. The selection process is as follows:
    • Your application, essay, resume, transcript and letters of recommendation will be reviewed by CRISSP Faculty.
    • Applicants will be notified if selected for an interview. Selected candidates will complete interviews with their prospective faculty mentor.
    • Formal offers will be extended in March. Notifications will also be sent to those not selected for this year's program.
  13. If I'm not accepted, can I apply again next year?
  14. We encourage all students to re-apply, if eligible.
  15. Can I pick the research group I will work with and/or the project I will work on?
  16. Candidates are asked to review faculty profiles and research descriptions and indicate a specific area of interest at the time of application. Matches to labs will be made by a Faculty Advisory Committee based on student interest, but exact matches cannot be guaranteed. Projects are determined by each faculty mentor.

Program Questions:

  1. What are the start and end dates of the CRISSP program? Are the program dates flexible?
  2. Students must attend orientation on Monday, June 2, 2014, and train full-time until the program ends on August 8, 2014. Participation in all CRISSP events (weekly lunches, supplemental programming, commencement, etc.) is required.
  3. How many hours per week would I be required to train?
  4. At a minimum, you will be required to train from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. Most students reported training approximately 50 hours per week for the full 10 weeks.
  5. I was planning on taking a summer class. Is this ok?
  6. Summer classes negatively impact research projects, shadowing opportunities, and other important events and are strongly discouraged. Any plans to take a class or other summer commitments that could impact full participation must be disclosed during the application or interview process. Failure to do so could disqualify you from the program.
  7. Will I be able to continue training with my lab/research group after my participation in the CRISSP program ends?
  8. A student may continue to train with their mentor following completion of the program at the mentor's discretion. Not all labs or research groups will have the room or funds available to hire additional personnel.
  9. How much is the CRISSP stipend?
  10. The stipend for 2014 is $4,000.
  11. Is housing provided?
  12. Students are responsible for their own housing. Information on cost of living and housing options in Philadelphia can be found at or at the Penn Intern housing site,
  13. If I'm selected to participate, can I live with another intern for the summer?
  14. Absolutely! We encourage CRISSP interns to live together over the summer. Once all candidates are selected, staff will distribute contact information for all participants as well as links to housing opportunities so you can reach out to make these arrangements.
  15. Who can I contact if I have questions?
  16. Please direct all questions to