Internship and Research Opportunities

Internship Opportunties

Applications are being accepted for summer 2021 research and internship opportunities. Our faculty collaborates with outstanding partners to offer experiences exclusively to student pharmacists at Mercer University who have a specific interest in pursuing nontraditional pharmacy careers, such as medical affairs and managed care. Research and internship opportunities allow students to work closely with individuals having expertise in these areas. Specific tasks and responsibilities vary by experience. A competitive stipend is offered for all experiences.

Collaborating Partners

  • UCB – Medical Affairs
  • North Georgia Rheumatology – Managed Care and Research (accepting 1-4 candidates)

Eligibility

  • All first- and second-year Doctor of Pharmacy students, except for January P1 students.
  • Preference will be given to students demonstrating an interest in the pharmaceutical industry, managed care or health outcomes research, including those who have completed or plan to complete elective course work in managed care or the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Students must remain in good academic standing throughout the entire academic year to be eligible to participate in these summer programs. Students needing to remediate any classes will not be eligible.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Leadership initiative
  • Future professional goals
  • Participation in student organizations
  • Academic standing
  • Good communication skills
  • Pro-active approach and ability to work collaboratively and independently
  • Literature evaluation skills

Application

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of Intent (addressing the points below)
    • Why is this particular practice or function (i.e. pharmaceutical industry, managed care, research) important with respect to health care delivery in the United States?
    • Why would this experience be beneficial in your professional goals and aspirations?
    • What makes you the best candidate for this experience?

Application materials should be submitted via this webpage by Weds., Jan. 27, 2021 by 4:59 p.m. Students will be selected to interview with a faculty panel at Mercer University. From these interviewees, finalists will be selected to interview directly with our external collaborators at which time a decision will be made regarding each candidate. For specific questions regarding the program, contact Dr. Jenn Nguyễn.

Internship sites

UCB — Medical Affairs

UCB is a global biopharmaceutical company, with a shared ambition to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases. UCB focuses on neurology and immunology disorders. UCB seeks a pharmacy intern for Medical Affairs — Neurology at its U.S. headquarters in Smyrna, Georgia.

The UCB/Mercer’s internship program offers the opportunity to experience UCB’s culture first hand by combining classroom learning with real world work experiences. The student intern will work closely with Medical Affairs team members on challenging work assignments and the management of daily workload on key deliverables while developing personal and professional skills by collaborating with UCB colleagues at all levels of the organization. This is a 12-week summer internship.

Specific Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Contribute to strategic review of medical literature to identify relevant data
  • Research, develop, and review standard medical response letters
  • Assist Medical Information with research for escalated cases
  • Collaborate on meaningful projects such as a Quarterly Report, industry research, proactive compendia review, insight compilation, slide deck development, style guide updates,
  • Gain an appreciation of the laws, regulations, and policies within the pharmaceutical industry to ensure legal and compliant interactions with health care professionals

Professional Development

  • Explore various functional areas of our US Medical Affairs department by meeting with key stakeholders
  • Identify areas of interest and seek engagement with projects
  • Participate in teams to deliver on goals
  • Training and professional development in a variety of areas including but not limited to; professional writing, presentation skills, public speaking, leading meetings, networking, giving and receiving feedback, and business etiquette

North Georgia Rheumatology Group

The North Georgia Rheumatology Group physician group is located in Lawrenceville, Georgia, on the campus of Gwinnett Medical Center. Comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services are provided to patients with autoimmune and connective tissue diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, scleroderma and vasculitis; all forms of arthritis including gout, pseudogout and osteoarthritis; bone disorders such as osteoporosis; and musculoskeletal disorders. Treatment is customized to fit each patient’s individual needs so that they can feel their best and reduce the risk of complications. The clinic is also a site for various clinical trials on biological and traditional pharmacologic therapies developed by the pharmaceutical industry. The intern will have the opportunity to be involved in the interactions between the medical practice and insurers gaining an appreciation for the complexity of specialty medicine. In addition, the intern will have opportunity to be involved in clinical research studies gaining an understanding of the regulatory and practical issues involved in conducting high quality interventional trials.

Specific Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Completion of prior authorizations and letters of medical necessity
  • Submission of clinical documentation to health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers
  • Submission of refill requests and prescriptions to pharmacies via EHR or via phone
  • Communication with medical assistants regarding best practices for refills, submission of prescriptions and documentation of clinical data
  • Identifying and locating a patient’s pharmacy benefit manager, health insurer or specialty pharmacy
  • Scheduling specialty pharmacy deliveries and submitting refill requests
  • Locating patient assistance programs and copay assistance for patients
  • Assist with obtaining pre-certification for procedures and infusions
  • Assist research coordinator in maintaining patient and study binders
  • Working with pharmaceutical assistance programs to obtain medication for patients
  • Attend pharmaceutical sponsored dinners/events
  • Research alternative medication options when medications are not covered

Additional Questions?

Please contact Dr. Jenn Nguyen

 

Summer Research Fellowships

The summer research program is a training program in the pharmaceutical, administrative and clinical sciences designed to identify promising students and encourage them to consider research-oriented careers. Fellowships are available to assist students who wish to be actively involved in research endeavors during the summer term.

Program Description

The summer research program is a 12-week training program in the pharmaceutical, administrative/social and clinical sciences. The program is available to any eligible Pharm.D. student at the College of Pharmacy. The purpose of the summer research program is to identify and encourage promising students to consider research-oriented careers by immersing them in independent research projects under the direction of a faculty member. Specifically, the goals of the program are to increase the number of students who pursue post-graduate residency or fellowship programs, as well as graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree in pharmaceutical, biological, chemical and administrative sciences.

Program Approach

To accomplish the program goals, eligible Pharm.D. students will:

  • Pursue research under the training and tutelage of a College of Pharmacy faculty member
  • Be supported through a stipend to permit full-time involvement in research activities
  • Prepare a final written report of their research results
  • Present a final oral presentation of their research results

Program Eligibility

The program is open to rising P2 and P3 Pharm.D. students. Students who have previously participated in the program are ineligible. Students MUST have a “B” average or better in all coursework completed. Students may not hold outside jobs during the 12-week summer research program that would conflict with their research involvement.

Program Timeline

Students are expected to be available full time to participate in the research under the direction of their faculty mentor during the 12-week period that lasts over the summer sessions I-II.

Training Grants

A $3,500 stipend will be provided to each student during the 12-week period. The stipend will be paid in two halves — at the six- and 12-week points. By accepting a stipend, the student agrees to this condition and understands that support will be terminated for violation of this agreement. The faculty member also will be allowed $500 to cover expenses related to the student’s research project.

Application

An application, along with a list of advising faculty, is emailed to all students. (Missed it? Email Dr. Nader Moniri) Applications will be judged on:

  • The student’s credentials and personal letter of interest (weight = 20%)
  • The clarity of the research plan (weight = 40%)
  • The significance of the project (weight = 30%)
  • The feasibility of the project to yield results within the program timeline (weight = 10%)