Academic Associate Program in Research


Academic Associate Program (AAP) participants work as research assistants to identify and enroll patients into clinical research studies in the Emergency Department (ED) at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Center City).  This is offered as a Jefferson non-credit program, but internship or course credit may be available through a participant’s home institution.  

AAP at Jefferson continues to provide an immersive and rewarding experience to the highly motivated health sciences student, placing emphasis on critical thinking, professional responsibility, and personal accountability.  It is designed to mirror the rigor of clinical rotations.  Participants are trained to carry out clinical research studies through a combination of didactic and hands-on learning.  Participants develop the necessary skills to identify potential study candidates, perform subject interviews, obtain informed consent, carry out data collection, and process specimens according to study protocols.

Program participants work closely with physicians, nursing staff, and research coordinators on a wide range of studies.  These studies include multicenter NIH-funded and industry-sponsored clinical trials, as well as PI-sponsored studies.  Active areas of investigation include congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, venous thromboembolism and clotting disorders, post-traumatic syndrome, and diabetes management.  Participants work on each one of the studies.

Through a series of talks delivered by Jefferson physicians and staff, participants gain an understanding of research design methodology, research ethics, data collection, and study-specific topics.  In addition to lecture-based and hands-on training, participants have the opportunity to attend a variety of clinical skills sessions taught by emergency medicine faculty, covering such topics as wound management, ultrasonography, as well as workshops on design in medicine hosted by JeffDESIGN faculty.


Participants must be over the age of eighteen, have completed at least one semester of college, and possess a strong command of written and spoken English.  Previous volunteering, shadowing, or other clinical or related work experience is desirable.

Participants must attend TWO (2) 5-hour clinical shifts per week and must commit to attending these shifts every week throughout the semester.  Shift times are 7:45 am to 1:15 pm, 12:45 pm to 6:15 pm and 5:45 pm to 11:00 pm, 7 days per week.  Shift changes must be arranged in advance by swapping shifts with other participants in the program. 

Participants must attend up to 6 mandatory meetings on Wednesdays throughout the semester, with the specific dates to be announced after the program start date.  The Wednesday meetings are 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, and Major Orientation on February 6th will be 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  Participants will be dismissed from the program for failure to attend any required meetings.  Two of these Wednesday meetings must be attended in-person: Major Orientation and the final lecture.  The remaining meetings you may attend in-person or via live webcast.  Optional topic-specific labs and workshops will be held on select Wednesdays throughout the semester and are only available in person.

Participants must attend ONE (1) Mini Orientation before the start of shifts.  For the Spring 2019 Semester, Mini Orientations will be held on Monday, January 21st from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, and Tuesday, January 22nd from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.


To be considered for a position, all applicants must first successfully complete a Skype interview with an AAP staff member. The interview is simply a chance for the research team to get to know applicants better, and it is meant to be a friendly and informative conversation. 

Applicants who successfully complete the Skype interview will be invited to attend an in-person sign up meeting.  To request a full information and application packet, or to schedule an interview, please email