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. My school year overlaps with the program dates. Can I still apply?
  4. Any conflicts that prevent full program attendance must be disclosed on the application. Some limited overlap (i.e. Drexel University) is generally allowable provided the applicant is able to make up time missed while in class. These situations are handled on an individual basis. Students with conflicts of any kind are encouraged to contact for guidance prior to applying.
  5. I'm a freshman and won't have my first set of grades before I apply. What should I list for my GPA?
  6. 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.
  7. I'm graduating from college in the Spring, can I still apply?
  8. Yes, full-time seniors graduating in the Spring are eligible to apply. Students in high school, post baccalaureate programs, and medical school are not eligible. Ineligible applications will not be reviewed.
  9. I am currently working in the lab of a CRISSP faculty mentor. Can I select this mentor when applying to the program and continue my work as part of CRISSP?
  10. To avoid any bias in the selection process, prior relationships (professional or personal) with selected faculty are discouraged. Any prior relationship must be disclosed to the CRISSP Advisory Committee, who may re-assign students. We request that applicants avoid these conflicts by selecting a CRISSP faculty mentor that they do not know.
  11. I'm not eligible for CRISSP. Are there other ways for me to get involved in research at CHOP?
  12. 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. When is the application deadline?
  2. All sections of the application must be received by 12:00 am (EST) Sunday, February 1, 2015. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  3. Can I e-mail or fax my application?
  4. 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.
  5. I have attended classes at more than one undergraduate institution. Which transcript should I include with my application?
  6. Please include your most complete transcript which provides the most comprehensive review of the classes you have taken. If you are invited to interview, you may be required to provide additional transcripts.
  7. I have a double major. How should I list my GPA in my major?
  8. Please provide the average GPA based on all classes in both majors.
  9. How are transcripts submitted?
  10. Transcripts must be uploaded into your application per the instructions on the application form. We cannot accept transcripts via fax, email, or regular mail. Please work with your school's Registrar and IT departments directly if you are unsure how to upload these documents.
  11. How many recommendations do I need? How are they submitted?
  12. 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 uploaded through the link sent via email to your recommenders. Letters of recommendation WILL NOT be accepted via email, fax, or any other method.
  13. How should I have my recommenders address the recommendation letter?
  14. Letters of recommendation can be addressed to the CRISSP Advisory Committee.
  15. How do I verify my recommendation letter has been submitted by a recommender?
  16. To confirm your letter of recommendation has been successfully uploaded, please log back in to your application portal and click “Add or Edit Recommendation Requests.” Here you can check the status of a request and resend the email request to your recommender if needed.
  17. Can I submit more than two letters of recommendation?
  18. No, you can only submit two letters.
  19. How does the selection process work?
  20. 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.
  21. Can I pick the research group I will work with and/or the project I will work on?
  22. 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.
  23. If I'm not accepted, can I apply again next year?
  24. We encourage all students to re-apply, if eligible.

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 1, 2015, and train full-time until the program ends on Friday, August 7, 2015. 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 2015 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