Boilerplate Language for Grants

The following boilerplate language has been developed by Penn State College of Medicine’s Research Concierge Service to assist in grant proposal creation. Investigators are advised to tailor boilerplate language to reflect the specific aims of their research project. In addition, the RCS strongly recommends that investigators directly contact the department/institute/center in question when seeking a more in-depth resource description, particularly if a specific resource is integral to the research proposal.

See more proposal development resources from the Research Concierge Service here.

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Career Development

Grants Academy Expand answer

Grants Academy is an eight-month, structured non-credit program designed to assist faculty members with the preparation and submission of an investigator-initiated grant proposal. Participation in Grants Academy requires approximately 10 percent release time. Meetings of Grants Academy are held once a month, generally from October through April. Participants are required to complete a considerable amount of out-of-class work and once enrolled, are expected to be active participants. Each Grants Academy meeting is accompanied by the required submission of a component of the final grant application. Class sizes are kept small (10 to 15 participants) to facilitate team-based learning.

Hanover Research Expand answer

Since May 2016, Penn State College of Medicine has contracted with Hanover Research to provide consultation and proposal support services to its faculty investigators.

The Washington, D.C.-based grant development firm has more than 150 years of combined grantsmanship experience that cuts across a wide range of foundations and federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health. The primary goal of the Hanover partnership is to increase the quality and success rate of extramural research proposals submitted by faculty investigators.

Several different services are available through the Hanover partnership, including individual consultation sessions, proposal review and proposal revision. Consultation sessions benefit faculty investigators seeking guidance on how best to frame a research project (new submissions and resubmissions), to explore best fit with the funding mechanism and/or IC, and to implement best practices with regard to funding sponsor communications and proposal development.

Proposal review and revision services benefit the faculty investigator with a targeted NIH submission deadline. These services pair a faculty investigator with a Hanover grants consultant who utilizes track changes and margin comments to identify opportunities throughout the proposal to achieve better narrative cohesion, alignment with funding sponsor requirements and scientific rigor.

In addition to direct proposal support, Hanover conducts on-campus workshops that have a strong focus on effective grantsmanship strategies for early-career investigators. Hanover’s services are coordinated by the College’s Research Concierge Service. The partnership is financially supported by the Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. There is no cost to the individual principal investigator or their home department for utilizing Hanover Research. In addition, an investigator who participates in the College of Medicine Institutional Mock Review of Grants program, a faculty-led program that provides peer review of research proposals prior to submission, is eligible for a Hanover proposal revision on an expedited timeline.

Learn More About the Hanover Partnership

Individual Development Plans Expand answer

On July 23, 2013, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a notice (NOT-OD-13-093) regarding required components of annual progress reports, which are required of institutions that receive research grants or cooperative agreement awards. Annual progress reports, commonly referred to as RPPRs (Research Performance Progress Reports) are a federal mandate. The NIH uses RPPRs to document grantee accomplishments and compliance with the terms of their award. NOT-OD-13-093 modifies the RPPR by requesting a statement from the institution regarding Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars supported by any NIH grant. IDPs are strongly recommended for all graduate students and postdoctoral researchers supported by NIH funding. This new NIH policy does not require IDPs be included within submitted RPPRs, but it does require that the RPPRs include a statement outlining current practices being used by the institution. Institutions were encouraged to begin reporting IDPs in all RPPRs submitted on or after October 1, 2014.

Since Fall 2013, the College of Medicine has implemented a policy that requires all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to prepare IDPs – regardless of the source of their funding support.

To assist investigators with this new NIH reporting requirement, the Vice Dean for Research & Graduate Studies has made the following boilerplate language available for inclusion in RPPRs:

Each year, all College of Medicine doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars will prepare or update an Individual Development Plan (IDP). This Plan will include at least one activity to be undertaken over the upcoming academic year in support of the trainee’s career development. The trainee is expected to update the IDP and submit for review to his/her advisor prior to the start of the academic year. Thesis advisors and advisors of postdoctoral scholars are expected to review the IDP with the trainee and both parties are expected to agree on a set of career development activities.

Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) Expand answer

The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) offers a holistic curriculum that serves as a model for faculty professional development programs nationwide. Each year, the program runs from September to May, with two-hour sessions each Friday morning. Sessions are led by senior faculty members or experts from other institutions. The JFDP consists of two components:

  • a comprehensive curriculum that includes topics on research, education, clinical practice, and academic/career development, and
  • a scholarly project completed under the guidance of a senior faculty mentor assigned by the Program.

Through written agreement, Department chairs must approve the junior faculty member’s participation in the JFDP and must also approve their proposed project.

Participation in JFDP requires approximately four hours per week, including class time.

Learn more about JFDP

Junior Faculty Research Scholar (JFRS) Award Expand answer

The Junior Faculty Research Scholar (JFRS) Award is unique to Penn State College of Medicine. Internal funds are used to support the JFRS Award – a competitive mechanism that receives, on average, 22 to 27 applications each year. The College of Medicine awards up to four investigators $200,000 over a two-year period for a research project and complementing career development plan.

K Grants Workshop Series Expand answer

Mentored career development awards (“K” awards) provide salary support and research funding to early stage investigators who need to undertake a sustained period (three to five years) of intensive, supervised career development experiences in order to transition to research independence.

Penn State College of Medicine is committed to supporting early career faculty members and trainees. To that end, the College of Medicine offers the K Grants Workshop Series – an annual four-week seminar series that provides participants the tools needed to craft a competitive mentored career development proposal. Key topics covered throughout the seminar series include:

  • Types of mentored awards
  • Determining when you are ready to apply for a mentored award
  • Overview of the proposal development process
  • Key ingredients to a competitive research plan
  • Selecting the right mentoring team
  • Integrating the career development plan and research strategy
  • Research resources critical to proposal development and submission
  • What to expect from the review and resubmission process

Several senior faculty members co-direct the workshop series, which is structured in the following format. Each session combines didactic training with group discussion. Each session focuses on a specific theme that builds upon the previous week’s session. Participants who attend all four sessions learn to develop a rigorous, well-defined mentored career development proposal.

Learn more about the K Grant Workshop Series

K Seminar Series Expand answer

Founded in 2007, the Penn State K Seminar Series is a monthly seminars open to KL2 scholars, individual K awardees and mentors.

Reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of K scholars and their mentor teams, the seminar series alternates between University Park and the College of Medicine in Hershey. Each session includes a networking lunch and a formal presentation by an internal or external speaker that is selected by the K awardees. These presentations provide an opportunity for K awardees to expand their professional networks by inviting experts in their fields from other universities to visit Penn State.

Seminar sessions are either a scientific talk or a professional development topic. Professional development topics have included strategies for effective time use, preparation of NIH resubmission applications, preparation of PCORI grants, promotion and tenure issues, and internal resources for pilot project funding and grant preparation.

The seminar series also provides an opportunity for K awardees to present their own research and to “workshop” draft manuscripts, posters, or grant applications. In workshop sessions, K awardees receive constructive feedback from their peers on works in progress. These workshop sessions have received overwhelmingly positive evaluations by K awardees due to the benefits of receiving feedback in a supportive, multidisciplinary context.

Mock Review of Grants (MoRe) Program Expand answer

The Mock Review of Grants (MoRe) program is a faculty-led effort at Penn State College of Medicine that provides peer review of colleagues’ research proposals being prepared for submission to the NIH and other external funding sponsors.

By exposing colleagues to peer review at critical stages in the proposal development process, the Mock Review of Grants program aspires to positively impact both the quality and success rate of externally submitted grants.

Established in June 2018, the program is guided by an interdisciplinary committee comprising faculty members who hold a variety of leadership positions within the College of Medicine, and who also have a great deal of experience as successful applicants and reviewers for the NIH and other funding agencies.

In the interest of cultivating a peer-mentoring culture and cross-disciplinary collaboration at the College of Medicine, the program is open to faculty investigators at all career stages. Each mock review cycle runs concurrent with the NIH’s three annual submission cycles, initiating four months prior to an NIH deadline with the submission of a specific aims page to be given a preliminary review by two content experts (internal and/or external). Approximately two and a half months before each NIH deadline, the Mock Review Committee hosts an open forum for all participating principal investigators, which gives the assigned primary and secondary reviewers time to present their views on the project’s overall impact and alignment with the funding sponsor’s review criteria. Similar to an NIH study section, the open forum is a confidential meeting where principal investigators, in a collegial and supportive atmosphere, receive suggestions on how to strengthen their proposals and/or redirect their specific aims.

After participating in the open forum, PIs who decide to continue the submission process for that cycle develop full proposals and participate in the final stage of the Mock Review program – an NIH-style peer review of their full draft proposal assigned to an ad hoc reviewer.

Physician-Scientist Training Program Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center are committed to becoming a destination for physician-scientists by cultivating a community and infrastructure that fosters a sustainable career development pipeline for physician-scientists at all career stages.

To that end, the College of Medicine launched the Penn State Physician-Scientist Training Program (PS2TP) in fall 2017 under the leadership of director is Valerie I. Brown, MD, PhD.

The mission of the program is to break down departmental/divisional silos and create an institution-wide program with sustainable “on-ramps” at all levels of training – medical school, residency, fellowship and junior faculty levels.

The inaugural Associate Dean for Physician-Scientist Development is Xuemei Huang, MD, PhD, professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Neurology. The position reports directly to the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and works closely with department chairs and institute and center directors at both the College of Medicine and University Park to promote physician research.

Dr. Huang was greatly influenced by the mentorship she received early in her career, which helped her win an NIH K23 that laid the foundation for a subsequent successful career as an independent clinician-scientist supported by multiple NIH awards. As Associate Dean for Physician-Scientist Development, Dr. Huang coordinates ongoing educational and training programs for physician-scientists and advises physician-scientists on grant writing and submission through NIH grant writing workshops, mock study sections and other career-development activities.

Under her guidance, the College of Medicine will continue to build the Physician-Scientist Training Program curriculum, which is focused on strengthening research and leadership skills and providing opportunities to form strong peer and extended mentoring networks, particularly among physician-scientist trainees and junior faculty members.

The program features a monthly PS2TP Scholar Series that allows trainees and junior faculty to gain the necessary tools to sustain a research career and to engage physician-scientist mentors. During these monthly meetings, time is set aside for PS2TP scholars to receive real-time feedback of their specific aims, abstract submissions and/or oral presentations.

The program encourages scholars to form an interdisciplinary mentoring team of three faculty members, one of which is from their own discipline, that meets three to four times a year. Furthermore, PS2TP scholars are encouraged to develop SMART goals and Individual Development Plans with input from their mentors.

Research Concierge Service Expand answer

In November 2013, the Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at Penn State College of Medicine, in collaboration with Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (Penn State CTSI), established the Research Concierge Service (RCS) to help investigators at all career stages and in all disciplines pursue extramural funding for research. The RCS enhances the research development infrastructure at Penn State College of Medicine by working with investigators to identify strategic funding opportunities, to build and nurture trans-disciplinary research teams, to provide editing and writing support, and to guide the development of multi-investigator proposals.

The RCS’ overriding goal is to improve the quality and increase the number of extramural funding submissions. The RCS has a full-time administrator who reports to the Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Research. The Associate Dean guides the service area and also assumes the role of Director of Research Development. The RCS maintains online content that provides timely and robust guidance for finding funding, identifying collaborators, and developing proposals for external submission.

Penn State College of Medicine is leading the effort to establish a research concierge paradigm that can be replicated at other Penn State campuses as a vehicle for increasing the efficiency of connecting potential research collaborators, mentors and reviewers.

Learn more about the RCS

Responsible Conduct of Research Training (Mentored "K" Grant Applications) Expand answer

A required section of all NIH mentored “K” proposals is a plan to acquire instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).

The RCR plan for a mentored “K” proposal may include career stage-appropriate individualized instruction or independent scholarly activities. Whatever approach is chosen, NIH guideline stipulate that “… the selected RCR plan should enhance the applicant’s understanding of ethical issues related to their specific research activities and the societal impact of that research.”

Because the plan for RCR training should be unique for each individual, prepared within the context of each PI’s plan for career development, boilerplate language is not provided here.

It is important to keep this point in mind: RCR plans will not be well-received by NIH reviewers if an applicant’s RCR plan is limited to a standalone, one-time experience. Applicants should explore opportunities to integrate RCR training throughout all aspects of their career development program. In addition, the role of the mentor in RCR training should be described with a mentored K proposal. When preparing this section of a mentored K proposal, remember that the RCR plan must address the five required instructional components outlined in the NIH Policy on RCR Instruction:

  • Format
  • Subject matter
  • Faculty participation,
  • Duration of instruction
  • Frequency of instruction

Some of the formats available are:

CITI Course: The CITI course on RCR includes a basic course and a refresher course. The basic course consists of 11 modules covering: authorship, collaborative research, conflicts of interest, data management, financial responsibility, mentoring, peer review, plagiarism, research involving human subjects, research misconduct, and using animals in research. Supplemental modules are also available and include research, ethics and society. This course emphasizes the education of graduate students in RCR. The RCR refresher course reinforces concepts learned during the basic course and other training received from other sources. The same topics are included in the refresher course and the basic course. Students who conduct research with animal or human subjects must obtain additional training in these areas prior to commencing a research project.

Biomedical Research Ethics (BMS 591): The subjects covered by the 20-hour BMS 591 course Biomedical Research Ethics include the nine core instructional areas recognized as essential to RCR instruction: conflict of interest policies regarding human subjects; live vertebrate animal subjects in research and safe laboratory practices; mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships; collaborative research; peer review; data acquisition and laboratory tools, management, sharing and ownership; research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct; responsible authorship and publication; and the scientist as a responsible member of society. These face-to-face sessions complement the online CITI course to ensure that students have an in-depth understanding of RCR-related issues. BMS 591 utilizes team-based learning as the educational approach. The textbook “ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research” (Nicholas H. Steneck) is required reading for the course.

Research Ethics for Clinical Investigators (PHS 500): This is a one credit course offered on the College of Medicine campus through the Department of Public Health Sciences (PHS). It is a required course for all graduate-level students in PHS and addresses the five required instructional components outlined in the NIH Policy on RCR Instruction.

If proposing courses in the RCR plan (e.g. BMS 591), applicants should verify when the course will be offered. In most cases, you can contact the Office of Graduate Student Affairs to obtain a course syllabus to determine if the course you are interested in meets the NIH criteria.

Responsible Conduct of Research Training (Postdocs) Expand answer

The postdoctoral program at Penn State College of Medicine is designed to support the training and education of postdoctoral scholars and fellows, to promote postdoctoral research accomplishments across the University, and to foster a sense of community among its scholars. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs helps meet all these goals through a variety of resources and programs, including Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs coordinates all postdoc RCR training, which incorporates new NIH requirements for formal instruction in rigorous experimental design and transparency to enhance reproducibility.

All postdocs are required to complete RCR training within the first two years of their training period and must repeat the training if their appointment extends beyond four years. The training curriculum consists of online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) coursework and real-time discussion groups led by trainees and faculty. The CITI training must be completed within three weeks from the first day of employment. Postdocs who have had no prior RCR training must complete CITI’s RCR Basic Course, which addresses the following topics: authorship, collaborative research, conflicts of interest, data management, financial responsibility, mentoring, peer review, plagiarism, human subjects research, research misconduct, and animal research. CITI’s RCR Refresher Course is available to postdocs who have previously completed the Basic Course. In addition to receiving a certificate of completion for one of these CITI modules, postdocs must attend a minimum of eight workshops in the College’s Professional Development Workshop Series: “Lab Management and Research Survival Skills.” This monthly workshop series is intended for a culturally diverse trainee group. Each one-hour workshop is designed to bring focus to the unique roles of postdocs as laboratory personnel. Trainees select and present case studies from laboratory settings; case study presentations are followed by small group discussion between trainees and faculty. Participating faculty include postdoctoral mentors and general research faculty at the College of Medicine. Attendance is recorded and a certificate provided upon completion.

For additional details about RCR training for postdocs, contact the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

Woodward Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education Expand answer

The vision of the Woodward Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education is to be a community energized to grow together as educators and learners. The mission of the Woodward Center is to cultivate excellence in Health Sciences Education. The Woodward Center offers a variety of programs designed to promote educator development, including monthly lunch-and-learn sessions, workshops focused on educator development, and participation in the Harvard Macy Program for Educators.

Learn more about the Woodward Center

Core Facilities

Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) Core Expand answer

Established in 2010, the Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) Shared Resource of Penn State Cancer Institute provides services, education and consultation to foster culturally sensitive research that measurably reduces cancer risk and burden, especially among medically underserved communities in the 28-county catchment area (4.0 million population) of the Cancer Institute. The COE Shared Resource facilitates community-based, behavioral and health services/outcomes research. The primary offices of the COE Shared Resource are on the third floor of the Cancer Institute in Hershey, with an office on the fifth floor of the Ford Building at University Park.

Key services

  • Analysis of population-based survey and registry data
  • Mapping and visualization of health and healthcare data
  • Linkage to established community and clinical research networks
  • Development of research proposals and applications for human subject research
  • Administration of research in English and Spanish languages
  • Recruitment and retention of study participants
  • Development and evaluation of patient navigation interventions
  • Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based guidelines and strategies

Major Equipment/Technologies

  • Repository of population-based, cancer-related data
  • Esri, SAS, R and Stata software for geospatial data analysis and visualization
  • Recruitment informatics through Studyfinder, TriNetX, i2b2, ResearchMatch
  • LionVu interactive geospatial data visualization and server for Pennsylvania
  • The Story of Cancer in Central Pennsylvania story map of cancer, patient navigation and vulnerable populations in 28-county catchment area

Learn more about Community Outreach and Engagement

Flow Cytometry Core Facility Expand answer

Both clinical samples and research samples are routinely analyzed in this clinically (CAP)–accredited facility. The Flow Cytometry Core Facility routinely analyzes both Clinical samples and Research samples in this clinically (CAP)–accredited facility. Two 2-laser, 4-color Becton Dickinson FACSCaliburs, one 3-laser, 8-color Becton Dickinson FACSCantoII, one 2-laser, 6-color Becton Dickinson FACSCanto, one 4-laser, 15-color Becton Dickinson LSR II and one 4-laser, 16-color Becton-Dickinson LSR Fortessa are available for use by investigators.

In addition, a 4-laser, 16-color Becton Dickinson Aria III high-speed 4-way sorter housed within a biocontainment hood is available for operator-assisted live cell sorting.

Computer workstations equipped with multiple flow cytometry analysis software are available for data analysis.

Learn more about Flow Cytometry

Genome Sciences Core Facility Expand answer

The Genome Sciences Facility is a full-service facility and provides consultation, instrumentation, and services to both Penn State and non-Penn State investigators in genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic studies. The variety of instrumentation allows for capabilities ranging from highly focused analysis of candidate SNPs, and mRNAs to whole genome, exome, epigenome, and transcriptome sequencing.

Services are also available for a variety of study designs extending from a few laboratory samples to large (100s to 1,000s of samples) clinical projects. Full bioinformatics service is also available for data analysis.

The facility resides in 5,000 square feet of newly renovated space, encompassing separate “pre-amplification” and
“post-amplification” rooms to prevent any contamination of PCR-amplified materials to pre-processed input DNA/RNA samples. Four well-experienced staffs are available for assisting project operation. In addition, the lab space is available for investigators who need temporary room for sample preparation. The facility receives either tissue, DNA/RNA, or customer-generated NGS libraries. It processes samples according to prior consultation and agreement with the PI on experiment design.

The facility develops new applications to accommodate state-of-the-art NGS technologies. It also conducts sequencing reads alignment, secondary analysis (quantitation, variant calling, functional annotation, visualization, etc) and follow-up interpretation of results. The facility provides grant writing support and educates/trains students/post-docs with hands-on NGS processing.

Learn more about Genome Sciences

High-Performance Computing Expand answer

Penn State Health purchased a High-Performance Computing (HPC) system in July 2015. To comply with requirements for managing grant-supported research data, the HPC system is used for computational and storage services. The HPC system is dedicated for use by Penn State College of Medicine researchers. The HPC system was purchased to provide researchers the computational and storage tools needed to efficiently and effectively process data.

Penn State College of Medicine’s Research Informatics department provides full support of both the operation and maintenance of the HPC environment. The HPC system is physically located on the grounds of Penn State Health in Hershey. The data center was designed to Tier III data center standards. The system is ideal for processing genomic, DNA sequencing, imaging, and other scientific analysis. The system contains three administrative, 10 standard, and three high memory computer nodes. The system provides one Petabyte of enterprise storage that is divided into 100 Terabytes (TBs) of high-speed scratch space and 900 TBs of usable storage space.

The ten compute nodes provide 240 2.5GHz Intel v3 cores (480 threads) with a total of 2560 Gigabytes (GBs) of RAM and the three high memory nodes provide 2.3 GHz 96 v3 cores (192 threads) with a total of 2304 GBs of RAM. The total compute capacity and total RAM of the system is 4864 GBs with the standard and high memory compute nodes providing 10.5 GBs of RAM and 24 GBs of RAM per core respectively.

The cost for the HPC system is derived from charges for computational processing hours per core utilization and storage per GB per month.

Learn more about High-Performance Computing

Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Facility Expand answer

This facility provides multiple separation, digestion, chemical derivatization, mass spec, and database searching services for proteomic, carbohydrate, oligonucleotide, lipidomics, and small molecule analysis.

Analyses available including targeted methods for quantitation of pre-determined metabolites or proteins, data-dependent discovery methods to ID and quantitate hundreds to thousands of metabolites or proteins, and SWATH/Data-Independent Analyses (DIA) for simultaneous identification and quantitation.

Instrumentation includes an ABSciex TripleTOF 5600, an ABSciex MALDI TOF-TOF 5800; an MDS/Sciex 4000 QTrap (Hybrid Ion Trap); a Waters Synapt HDMS; and a Voyager DE-PRO MALDI-TOF; an ABI Tempo LC-MALDI Plate Spotter; Shimadzu, Eksigent, Agilent 1100, Waters Acquity and NanoAcquity HPLC and UPLC systems; and a Beckman- Coulter PF-2D system for whole protein level separations and quantitation.

Learn more about Mass Spectrometry

Microscopy Imaging Facilities Expand answer

The Microscopy Imaging Facility (MIF) provides services in ultra-high resolution imaging of cells and tissues in fixed or live states. The MIF also provides expert services in quantitative image analysis and consultations on microscopy-related research projects.

The MIF houses:

  • a high end inverted confocal microscope system (Leica SP8 AOBS White Light Laser) and a sophisticated inverted wide field microscope with optical sectioning and deconvolution capabilities (DeltaVision Elite) which are capable of high resolution 3D or 4D fluorescence imaging of histological tissue sections (5-100 microns thick sections) or live/fixed cells;
  • a transmission electron microscope (JEOL 1400 TEM) capable of ultra-structural biological imaging;
  • a cryo-transmission electron microscope (JEOL2100 Cryo-TEM) capable of single particle and single macromolecular complex imaging;
  • image processing workstations (Bitplane Imaris and Huygens) for complex 3D or 4D fluorescence image processing and quantitative image analysis;
  • image processing workstations (auto3dem and EMAN2) for cryo-TEM image processing and 3D reconstruction.

Learn more about Microscopy Imaging

MRI, MRS and NMR Expand answer

The MRI Core Facility is located in the Center for NMR Research (CNMRR), which occupies approximately 6,500 square feet in the MRI building facing the Biomedical Research Wing of the College of Medicine.

The core provides both in vivo and ex vivo Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) services in animals and humans. These are particularly attractive techniques because they allow the viewing or measurement of closed internal structures or metabolism of living animals or cells in a completely noninvasive and nondestructive manner.

Magnetic resonance offers a wide variety of fundamental measurements of anatomy and physiology. These include detailed anatomical imaging in soft tissues, quantitative measurements of blood flow or perfusion, brain white matter fiber tracking, measurement of metabolism and kinetics in internal organs in situ, volume and staging of tumors, and functional MRI (fMRI) which can view the effects of specific stimuli on specific brain neurons or regions, allowing one a means to “see” the brain think.

The Solution Phase NMR Facility has a 500 MHz and a 600 MHz Bruker spectrometers with cryoprobes for macromolecular structure determination, small molecule structure elucidation and metabolomics studies.

Learn more about MRI, MRS and NMR

Zebrafish Functional Genomics Core Expand answer

The Zebrafish Functional Genomics Core at Penn State College of Medicine was established to provide the Penn State research community with a modern, centralized facility for housing, breeding and performing experiments with zebrafish, one of the fastest growing model systems in biomedical research.

The core includes a central housing room equipped with 32 racks of recirculating aquaria, an isolated quarantine room, a sentinel program monitoring each system for the presence of pathogens, a procedure room with microinjection stations, three independently controlled light-tight breeding cabinets, and two photo booths to provide bright field and fluorescent imaging.

Traditionally employed as a model of developmental biology, due to its optical clarity and regenerative capabilities, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become one of the preeminent models of human genetic disease, thanks in part to the availability of a high-quality, annotated genetic sequence.

Approximately 70 percent of human protein-coding genes and 84 percent of human disease-associated genes have functional genetic homologs in zebrafish.

Learn more about the ZFGC

General Information

Penn State College of Medicine Expand answer

Established in 1963, Penn State College of Medicine is one of the country’s leading medical schools. Comprising 25 academic departments – eight basic science departments and 17 clinical departments – Penn State College of Medicine contributes to an annual portfolio of more than $100 million in funded research.

The College is part of an academic medical center group that also includes: Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, a 551-bed, tertiary-care facility that serves central Pennsylvania; Penn State Children’s Hospital, the only Level I pediatric trauma center between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; and Penn State Medical Group, the academic physician practice and associated outpatient practice sites of our group.

Penn State College of Medicine is recognized for achieving several “firsts”:

  • The first medical school to develop a Department of Humanities (the focus on humanities remains an essential component in training students to become compassionate physicians);
  • The first medical center to develop an independent Department of Family and Community Medicine and a family and community medicine residency program;
  • The first researchers to discover a gene that suppresses the metastasis of melanoma;
  • The first scientists to map the gene for hemochromatosis, the most common genetic disorder in the United States; and
  • The first surgeons to perform a robotically assisted heart bypass on a patient.

Physicians employed at the medical center hold academic appointments at Penn State College of Medicine and many faculty members have close working relationships with clinicians at the medical center.

Learn more about the College’s mission and values

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Expand answer

Founded in 1963 through a gift from The Milton S. Hershey Foundation, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is one of the country’s leading teaching and research hospitals. It is the only medical facility in Pennsylvania to be accredited as both an adult and a pediatric Level I trauma center. The facility draws patients from a 27-county catchment area that includes more than 1.9 million people and several federally designated medically-underserved areas. In addition, it is a quaternary care referral center for Pennsylvania and neighboring states, with a referral base of more than 2.5 million people. This large referral base provides an ideal platform for researchers to examine novel diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to treat a diverse range of acute and chronic diseases.

In fiscal year 2016, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Children’s Hospital admitted more than 28,000 patients, logged more than 74,000 emergency visits, over 1 million outpatient visits, and performed in excess of 32,000 surgical cases. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has been designated as a Magnet hospital three times and achieved the highest level of recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) – a designation that is conferred on fewer than 7 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center employs more than 10,000 people and anchors a 550-acre health campus. The campus features the region’s only Children’s Hospital fully equipped to treat the most severely ill and injured children and the region’s only comprehensive cancer center.

Learn more about Hershey Medical Center

Penn State Children's Hospital Expand answer

Opened in 2013, Penn State Children’s Hospital is a five-story building that contains five pediatric operating rooms, a pediatric cardiac catheterization lab, blood banks and a pediatric cancer pavilion. All told, the Children’s Hospital has 128 beds to serve the community.

Currently under construction is a three-story addition that is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

The Children’s Hospital is supported by more than 200 pediatric medical and surgical specialists renowned in disciplines such as cancer, cardiology, orthopaedics, surgery and critical care. The Children’s Hospital is the region’s only children’s hospital fully equipped to treat the most severely ill and injured children with the highest-level neonatal intensive care unit (Level IV) and the highest-level pediatric trauma center (Level I). The Children’s Hospital also performs the region’s only bone marrow stem cell and kidney transplants for pediatric patients.

Learn more about the Children’s Hospital

University Technology Center (UTC) Expand answer

The University Technology Center (UTC) is a 46,000-square-foot state-of-the-art computer equipment facility that facilitates research discoveries involving the use of large datasets.

Located on the grounds of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the UTC is designed to be both energy efficient and expandable. Operated by Penn State Health, the UTC is monitored by a 24-7-365 operations staff.

Twenty-nine employees work at the facility to provide monitoring and support for the Penn State Health domain. The data center was designed to meet Tier III data center standards and houses data storage, computational servers, and a data backup system. The UTC data is backed up by, and is the data backup site for, University Park, Penn State’s main campus.

The UTC provides centralized administration, support, and security for medical, educational, and research data storage and computational processing. Located on site is a High Performance Computing Cluster, dedicated for research, that provides two Petabytes of storage and the processing power that is needed to solve complex problems. As Penn State University strives to improve education and research, and as the Medical Center strives to improve patient care, the demand for data capacity is increasing due to growth and novel state-of-the-art initiatives. The UTC continues to grow to handle increased data storage needs, computing capacity for research computing, increased resiliency, high-density computing loads, and disaster recovery capabilities.

Research Activity Expand answer

According to the 2018-2019 Center for World University Rankings, Penn State currently ranks in the Top 50 among 1,000 research institutions across the globe and 30th in the nation. These impressive rankings were determined from objective leading indicators of academic performance, including alumni employment, faculty honors/awards, research output, publications, and patents.

According to Penn State’s Annual Report of Research Activity issued by the Office of the Vice President for Research, research expenditures reached a record high of $863 million for the 2017 fiscal year – an increase of $27 million over the previous year. These record-setting expenditures reflect increases in support from a number of federal agencies, most notably the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense. In FY 2017, federal sources accounted for nearly $534 million – or roughly 62 percent of all Penn State research expenditures.

Penn State College of Medicine is a key contributor to the University’s research portfolio. The College of Medicine is affiliated with one of the country’s leading academic medical centers and strives to be a national leader in basic, clinical, translational and health services research. Penn State College of Medicine spent more than $105 million on research activity in FY 2017.

The College of Medicine’s research portfolio receives significant support from grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In FY 2017, the NIH released 206 awards to the College of Medicine representing a total investment of $62.09 million, or 62 percent of the College’s awarded research that year. Industry represents the second-largest source of research awards at $16.96 million.

Learn more about College of Medicine research

University Park Curriculum (MD Program) Expand answer

Established in 2011, the University Park Curriculum trains medical students in State College, Pennsylvania, the home of Penn State University Park. The primary mission of this curriculum is to create an educational environment for training the next generation of healthcare providers and to improve access to patient-centered, high quality, cost-effective health care for local residents in State College. This location is being developed on 165 acres owned by Penn State and Mount Nittany Medical Center, a 260-bed acute-care facility offering medical, surgical, diagnostic, and community services to help patients reach their healthiest potential.

One of the region’s top places to work, Mount Nittany Medical Center employs about 2,200 skilled healthcare professionals and support staff and credentials hundreds of employed and non-employed physicians in more than 60 specialties and subspecialties.

On January 2011, the corporate structure of Mount Nittany Medical Center transitioned from a hospital-based entity into a system organization. It also announced a major renovation and expansion of the Emergency Department, the construction of a comprehensive Cancer Pavilion, and the addition of 51 physicians to its physician group. Today, Mount Nittany Health has emerged as a regional health system that includes a parent organization, Mount Nittany Health, along with Mount Nittany Medical Center and Mount Nittany Physician Group, a practice with more than 120 healthcare providers, across 20 specialties, located in 15 convenient locations throughout the region as well as its fundraising and development entity, The Foundation of Mount Nittany Medical Center.

In July 2012, University Park Curriculum welcomed its first group of 13 College of Medicine medical students to begin their third- and fourth-year core clinical training, in collaboration with local Penn State College of Medicine faculty, Mount Nittany Medical Center faculty and other medical providers in the community.

In 2017, the University Park Curriculum began admitting first-year students.

Learn more about the University Park Curriculum

Institutes and Centers

Bone and Joint Institute Expand answer

Penn State Bone and Joint Institute is a leader in the care of patients with disorders of the bones, joints and spine, providing innovative care to adults and children with common to the most complex disorders. The institute embraces a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach with specialists in orthopedics, sports medicine, spinal disorders, hand surgery, metabolic bone disease and osteoporosis, rheumatology, radiology, chronic pain management and therapy services.

Learn more about Bone and Joint Institute research

Cancer Institute Expand answer

Penn State Cancer Institute is the region’s only comprehensive cancer center, with access to internationally recognized cancer specialists and scientists who deliver a multidisciplinary approach and advanced medical technology.

Penn State Cancer Institute has full accreditation with gold level commendation status from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC). This recognition highlights the Cancer Institute’s membership in an elite group of cancer programs committed to providing high-quality cancer care to patients in central Pennsylvania and beyond. It underscores the team’s commitment to excellence and plays an important role in advancing its mission to improve lives. As a CoC-accredited cancer program, Penn State Cancer Institute demonstrates an important commitment to providing all patients with access to services they need from diagnoses through treatment, rehabilitation, and survivorship care.

PSCI’s clinical mission in anchored at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, which is located in Hershey (Dauphin County), Pennsylvania. Each year, approximately 24,000 incident cancers arise among the 4 million people (85 percent non-Hispanic white) who reside in the 27-county PSCI catchment area within central Pennsylvania.

PSCI’s 27-county catchment area spans the rural-urban continuum, including metropolitan areas (Lancaster/York: population 507,766), small cities (Harrisburg: population 49,082), and rural communities (Lewistown: population 8,328). In 2015, the median age within the catchment area (40.1 years) was 2.5 years older than median age for the United States. With cancer being a condition of older populations, the burden from cancer within PSCI’s catchment area is higher on average than it is for the United States. The catchment area includes 18 counties (2015 population 1.4 million) immediately north of Hershey that are Appalachian, a population recognized by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as having substantial cancer health disparities associated with low levels of income and education, a high prevalence of behavioral risk factors, and less access to health care. The catchment area also includes unique opportunities to engage with vibrant farming communities of Amish and Mennonite populations. Of note, the largest United States settlement of Amish is located to the south of Hershey, in adjacent Lancaster County.

In addition to its rural populations, the PSCI catchment area includes communities that have a majority-minority population. For example, the City of Harrisburg, located just 12 miles west of Hershey, is a majority-minority city with 52 percent of the population being black/African American and another 18 percent being Hispanic/Latino. Importantly, 19.8 percent of Harrisburg’s population does not have health insurance. In addition to having a majority-minority population, Harrisburg is the Pennsylvania state capital, which presents unique opportunities related to statewide cancer policy and programs.

Located approximately 60 miles east of Hershey, the City of Reading (population 81,000) also has a majority-minority population, with a population that is 56 percent Hispanic/Latino and 14 percent black/African American. The diverse and at-risk communities situated proximate to Hershey, as well access to state government, provide PSCI investigators with unique opportunities for population, clinical, and dissemination research that will inform cancer prevention and control policies and programs.

The primary clinical location for PSCI is on the grounds of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. A standalone PSCI building opened in 2009 and includes 180,000 square feet on five floors – the top two of which are devoted to research and administration. From 2010 through 2014, the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center provided care for 9,631 invasive cancer cases, an average of approximately 2,000 cases per year, but with an upward trend of over 3,000 cases in 2014. During this time period, more than 95 percent of patients resided within the 27-county catchment area. Among males, 13.5 percent (n=679) were prostate, 12.1 percent (n=608) melanoma; 11.2 percent (n=564) lung/bronchus; and 6.8 percent (n=340) colon/rectum. Among females, 18.5 percent (n=852) were breast; 10.9 percent (n=504) lung/bronchus; 10.0 percent (n=459) melanoma; 6.9 percent (n=319) thyroid; and 6.2 percent (n=285) colon/rectum.

While Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center serves as the hub of clinical care, PSCI has also developed a network of cancer affiliate hospitals throughout its catchment area. Affiliate hospitals share the mission of excellent cancer care for residents of central PA through development of seamless patient referral as well as shared registry data, clinical trials operation, population research and dissemination network. Hospitals currently in the PSCI affiliate network include:

  • Carlisle Regional Medical Center (Carlisle, PA)
  • Heart of Lancaster (Lancaster, PA)
  • Lancaster Regional Medical Center (Lancaster, PA)
  • Mount Nittany Medical Center (State College, PA)
  • Susquehanna Health System (Williamsport, PA)
  • St. Joseph Medical Center (Reading, PA)

In addition to care for cancer patients, PSCI has active partnerships with clinical specialties within Penn State Health, especially those that focus upon cancer prevention, early detection, and survivorship.

In research, PSCI is positioning itself for NCI designation with an upward trajectory of the number of NCI-funded investigators in a broad cross-section of expertise areas. Experienced senior leadership, breadth and depth of its scientific programs, outstanding facilities and strong institutional support, as well as its important focus on medically underserved rural populations provide an important foundation for Center Support Grant application for NCI designation. With over 150 investigative members on either the Hershey or the University Park (State College, PA) locations, PSCI has three scientific programs:

  • Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis
  • Experimental Therapeutics
  • Population Health and Cancer Control

In addition, PSCI supports five shared resources:

  • Flow Cytometry
  • Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry
  • Organic Synthesis
  • Biostatistics
  • Community Sciences and Health Outcomes (CSHO) Core

Learn more about Penn State Cancer Institute

Center for NMR Research Expand answer

The Center for NMR Research was founded in 1988 by the Department of Radiology with continuing extramural funding including a Bioengineering Research Partnership grant through the NIH/NIBIB. The Center for NMR Research (CNMRR) is a state-of-the-art research facility of the Department of Radiology at the College of Medicine.

The research activities in the CNMRR focus on two fronts:

  • Methodology development of magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy, functional MRI and their clinical applications in human and animal models.
  • Radiofrequency magnetic field engineering.

There are four full-time research faculty members in the CNMRR collaborating with and supporting research activities within the College of Medicine.

Learn more about CNMRR

Center for Pediatric Cardiovascular Research Expand answer

The Center for Pediatric Cardiovascular Research dates back to 2003, when the Department of Pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine brought together a new multi-disciplinary team focused on reducing the adverse effects of cardiovascular operations at the Pediatric Cardiac Research Laboratories. The center combines basic science, engineering, and clinical applications under the unified mission of pediatric cardiovascular research.

Its main objective is the development of novel technologies and methodologies aimed at minimizing the adverse effects of cardiovascular operations, mechanical circulatory support systems, and cardiopulmonary bypass procedures in neonates, infants, and children.

Particular attention is focused on reducing the associated morbidities of cerebral, myocardial, pulmonary, and renal injury. The Center for Pediatric Cardiovascular Research was formally recognized in 2009 and has more than 20 faculty members from Departments of Pediatrics, Surgery, Bioengineering, Public Health Sciences, Pharmacology, Comparative Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Microbiology and Immunology, and Anesthesiology, as well as several national and international faculty members from China, France, Germany, Korea, Italy, and Turkey.

Within the first nine years, the Center’s pediatric cardiac research group generated more than 360 publications, more than 250 national and international presentations and invited lectures, as well as more than $7 million in grants. The Center has trained dozens of medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate biomedical engineering students.

Learn more about the Center for Pediatric Cardiovascular Research

Center for Women's Health Research Expand answer

The mission of Penn State Center for Women’s Health Research is to promote research on women’s health – and on sex/gender differences related to health – by supporting a network of faculty members in multiple disciplines who are interested in research collaborations to study various aspects of women’s health. The Center maintains information about active projects, datasets and funding opportunities; promotes the development of interdisciplinary research teams around specific topics; provides mentoring opportunities for junior faculty members; and facilitates preparation of grant applications. The goal is to advance the science and contribute to the development of health promotion, disease prevention, health services delivery, and health policy approaches to improving women’s health and well-being across the life span.

The Center was founded in 2004 as the Central Pennsylvania Center of Excellence for Research on Pregnancy Outcomes, with a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (nonformula tobacco settlement funds). The Center was re-named Penn State Center for Women’s Health Research in 2011 to reflect the expanded research and training agenda in women’s health.

The Center coordinates with Penn State BIRCWH Program, a KL2 training program funded by NIH that provides mentored research career development for junior faculty members interested in women’s health or sex/gender differences related to health.

Administratively based in the Department of Public Health Sciences of Penn State College of Medicine, the Center welcomes participation by Penn State faculty members and students interested in research on women’s health and sex/gender issues related to health. The Center offers opportunities for research collaboration, mentoring, datasets and measures, and other resources for developing and conducting women’s health research projects.

Penn State Center for Women’s Health Research has developed boilerplate language that describes institutional resources in women’s health. This language could be used in any grant application on a women’s health topic.

See Center for Women’s Health Research boilerplate

Clinical Research Center Expand answer

A key physical resource of Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute is the Clinical Research Center, the CTSI’s home for clinical research.

On a fee-for-service basis (with discounted rates for NIH funded studies and trainees), the CRC provides expert nursing care, equipment and state-of-the-art facilities that include approximately 6,800 square feet of space, five patient exam rooms, an interview/consult room, a DXA room, two procedure rooms, three infusion sleep rooms and an exercise room. Since 1995, more than 950 different protocols and 190 investigators have used the CRC facilities.

The CRC hosts investigators funded by NIH and other federal, state and local agencies as well as by the private sector.

Clinical Simulation Center Expand answer

The Clinical Simulation Center at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center centralizes clinical training resources for students, residents, and other health care personnel.

To advance the field of healthcare simulation, the Clinical Simulation Center conducts innovative research into simulation theory, practice and technology. In January 2010, the Clinical Simulation Center underwent a major renovation, nearly doubling its size and relocating to a more central location on the campus of Penn State Health – the second floor of the Harrell Health Sciences Library at Penn State College of Medicine.

A key feature of the 9,500 square-foot Clinical Simulation Center are the 10 small encounter rooms that support one-on-one or small group training with standardized patients (SPs), manikins or task trainers. Each room is equipped with two cameras and audio plus an auxiliary input for capturing signals from patient equipment or manikin monitors. Room layout is similar to a patient exam room with computers inside and outside the room that can be used for pretests, post encounter questionnaires or SP scoring. These rooms are ideal for the Standardized Patient Program, which uses actors and patient volunteers to help medical students develop and practice skills like history taking, physical examination, and patient communication, without risk to patients.

The Clinical Simulation Center also includes three larger bays that can accommodate a variety of layouts, such as an ICU or operating room with real equipment and monitoring or an ED trauma bay. Each bay can be used separately, or the partitions between the bays can be raised to create spaces large enough to house several manikins for triage scenarios or care team training. The bays can each be recorded and the largest bay is equipped with a large 54″ LCD display. Skills are practiced in one of two spaces: the virtual reality room is equipped with virtual reality trainers, phantoms and box trainers; the skills task training room has individual task trainers and non-anatomic models. There are several cameras set up in the skills room to record trainees performing procedures for competencies. The models can also be moved into the bays to create blended training sessions with manikins or SPs, or into the rooms to create multiple learning stations that students can rotate through.

Conference space and debriefing rooms are used for pretests, lectures in preparation for a hands-on session, debriefing videos of sessions, or post session questionnaires. Some of the rooms have smartboards and teleconference capabilities. All rooms can also be recorded for archiving lectures or for instructor quality improvement training. For large groups there is a lecture hall very close to the Center which holds approximately 150 students and a large classroom for approximately 80 students. Teleconferencing between the large classrooms and a debriefing space is possible. A computer lab located next to the Clinical Simulation Center is equipped with presentation equipment and computer stations for approximately 25 students. In addition, there are two small rooms adjacent to the Clinical Simulation Center that have audiovisual equipment, which supports an increase in the number of small encounter rooms from 10 to 12 when needed.

Learn more about the Sim Center

Clinical and Translational Science Institute Expand answer

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) was established in June 2011 with a $27.3 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In September 2016, Penn State CTSI received an additional $20 million NIH award to support its mission for an additional four years.

The Institute leverages resources from numerous colleges and departments across two Penn State locations – Hershey and University Park. Penn State’s CTSI is a member of a prestigious consortium of institutions, including Harvard, Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic, that are using the NIH funding to increase their infrastructure to support translational research. The institution’s commitment to the CTSI includes a 14,000-square-foot Clinical Research Center at the University Park campus, a 6,800-square-foot CRC at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and a 1,900-square-foot office at Penn State College of Medicine that functions as the administrative core. The CRCs are a key physical resource of Penn State CTSI.

Penn State CTSI helps to foster the career development of junior faculty committed to careers in translational research. CTSI achieves this objective through dedicated programs, such as the KL2 grant made available to junior faculty on both Penn State campuses to undertake additional mentored research and training.

Learn more about Penn State CTSI

Eye Center Expand answer

Penn State Eye Center consists of 19 full-time faculty members representing most ophthalmic specialty areas, including Ophthalmology, Physiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology and Neuroscience.

The Center’s interdisciplinary team of scientists seeks to characterize the cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to vision impairment in diabetes and to generate novel treatments to cure diabetic retinopathy. The Center’s clinical studies are conducted through the Clinical Research Unit, which provides high-quality, personalized and confidential care for patients who participate in clinical research. The Retina Research Laboratories represents a collective group of research facilities and scientists studying degeneration of vascular and neural cells in diabetic retinopathy. The Center has an active medical student education program.

Learn more about the Eye Center

Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) Expand answer

Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) participates in both clinical trials and investigator-initiated physiology research experiments that seek to understand neurovascular mechanisms of circulatory control and to determine cause-and-effect pathways relating to heart disease and how exercise impacts the cardiovascular system.

HVI pioneered the total artificial heart in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and continues to be at the cutting edge of cardiovascular device development and implementation.

When Penn State College of Medicine launched Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute in 2005, it brought together specialists and researchers previously housed in the clinical departments of medicine, surgery and radiology. HVI is a national model for comprehensive cardiovascular care that includes a team of more than 40 specialists who treat patients with the most severe heart and vascular conditions. HVI faculty participate in both clinical trials and investigator-initiated physiology research experiments that seek to understand neurovascular mechanisms of circulatory control and to determine cause-and-effect pathways relating to heart disease and how exercise impacts the cardiovascular system.

HVI researchers use Penn State CTSI’s Clinical Research Center to conduct all human studies. Within the last five years, HVI has continued to expand its presence in State College, not only in terms of preventative care and surgical intervention, but also with clinical trials undertaken in collaboration with the Hershey location.

Learn more about HVI research

Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences Expand answer

The Huck Institutes encompass a highly successful group of interdisciplinary institutes at Penn State.

Since inception, The Huck came to be regarded as a national model to share talent, resources and expertise, and to foster truly interdisciplinary collaborations. The Huck Institutes supports several intercollege graduate training experiences designed to provide future scientists from a variety of disciplines interdisciplinary and curricula and mentoring. The Huck encompasses a group of scientists from the Eberly College of Science, the College of Medicine, and the College of Information Sciences and Technology that use innovative tools to study and approach infectious diseases “from protein to pandemic.”

The history of The Huck exemplifies Penn State’s visionary commitment to interdisciplinary team science. The Huck is dedicated to strengthening research in the life sciences, preparing students for successful careers, and encouraging new perspectives across disciplinary boundaries. The institute co-funds many faculty members and graduate students, and provides administrative and technical support for research and teaching.

With completion of the Millennium Science Complex in 2011, the Pennsylvania State University gained an exciting interdisciplinary space inhabited by some of the best researchers in life and materials sciences. The 275,600 square foot facility, which was designed to LEED Gold standards, is shared between The Huck and the Materials Research Institute (MRI). At the Millennium Science Complex, researchers and students work side-by-side in a space designed to put everyone in constant contact with one another.

Detailed Description

The Huck is recognized as a national model to share talent, resources and expertise, and to foster truly interdisciplinary collaborations. The Huck supports several intercollege graduate training experiences designed to provide future scientists from a variety of disciplines interdisciplinary and curricula and mentoring. The Huck co-funds many faculty and graduate students, and provides administrative and technical support for research and teaching. The Huck and the Materials Research Institute (MRI) are housed in the Millennium Science Complex, an exciting interdisciplinary space inhabited by some of the best researchers in life and materials sciences. The 275,600-square-foot facility, which was designed to LEED Gold standards and provides an infrastructure the supports interdisciplinary endeavors. The Huck coordinates many of the shared resources at other centers and institutes and supports the education and research missions of the University by serving as the umbrella for University-wide centers and institutes that support the life sciences. The history of The Huck exemplifies Penn State’s visionary commitment to interdisciplinary team science. Founded in 1996 as the Life Sciences Consortium to encourage greater coordination and interdisciplinary collaboration in the life sciences, the Consortium was renamed in 2002 in recognition of the generosity of support from Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck. The Huck Institutes are one of several interdisciplinary research units supported by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research at Penn State.

The Huck encompasses a highly successful group of interdisciplinary institutes comprised of faculty from colleges and departments across the University system. The four institutes that comprise The Huck are supported by numerous Centers of Excellence, which concentrate on building the institution’s competitive strength within a defined area of research and education. The Huck and corresponding Centers of Excellence are as follows:

Genome Sciences Institute: The Genome Sciences Institute seeks to understand the function and evolution of genomes, how they interact with each other and the environment and the consequences for health and fitness. This mission requires a combination of new high throughput experimental techniques and innovative approaches to handling, analyzing and integrating the massive amounts of data produced by these techniques. This institute brings together researchers from across Penn State in the areas of bioinformatics, computational genomics, evolutionary genomics, functional genomics, and proteomics. The primary aim is to catalyze collaborations between researchers in the fields of genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics.

Projects within the Institute belong to four broad thematic areas:

  • algorithms
  • computational tools and bioinformatics
  • statistics and machine learning for high-throughput data analysis and integration
  • functional, evolutionary and ecological genomics, translation and biomedical applications

The Institutes comprise the following Centers of Excellence: Center for Comparative Genomics and Bioinformatics; Center for Computational Proteomics; Center for Eukaryotic Gene Regulation; Center for Medical Genomics; Center for RNA Molecular Biology; Center for Statistical Genetics; Center for Systems Genomics; Center for Cellular Dynamics.

Infectious Disease Institute: The Infectious Disease Institutes brings together theoreticians and empirical scientists in a wide variety of disciplines to collaborate and innovate in the area of infectious disease research. Comprising the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD) and the Center for Molecular Immunology and Infectious Disease, the Infectious Disease Institute and its faculty are at the leading edge of infectious disease research at Penn State. The Institute and its faculty also support the Huck Institutes’ Immunology and Infectious Diseases emphasis area in the Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biosciences Program graduate program.

Institute of the Neurosciences: Facilitating collaboration and networking between scientists and students in the areas of neuroscience at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State University Park. The Institute also provides oversight and coordination for neuroscience-related activities in education, research, patient care and outreach, while promoting an intellectual environment that enhances the interdisciplinary neuroscience educational experience from the undergraduate to postdoctoral levels. The Institutes comprise the following Centers of Excellence: Center for Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease; Center for Brain, Behavior, and Cognition; Center for Language Science; Center for Molecular Investigation of Neurological Disorders; Center for Motor Control; Center for Neural Engineering; Spine Center; Stroke Center.

Ecology Institute: Building and promoting ecological science and its application through interdisciplinary research. The Institute comprises the following Centers of Excellence: Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD); Center for Pollinator Research; Center for Chemical Ecology; Riparia; Center for Landscape Dynamics; The Polar Center; The Agriculture and Environment Center; Center for Climate Risk Management.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center Expand answer

Penn State Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center (IBD Center) was established in 1998 to investigate the causes of IBD as a means toward identifying novel therapeutic targets and improving patient care.

This nationally recognized facility is dedicated solely to the diagnosis, treatment and eventual cure of patients suffering with inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The IBC Center comprises medical experts from multiple specialties, all highly-trained and well experienced in the treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In 1998, the IBD Center established the area’s first IBD-dedicated BioBank, which consisted of an IBD patient registry that characterizes the clinical factors used to define subcategories of IBD. Today, the BioBank includes two additional components: a DNA bank derived from the blood samples of IBD registry participants and an IBD tissue library (established in 2006) from samples harvested at the time of surgery. The BioBank fosters strong academic and clinical collaboration. The Center’s basic research programs seek to identify and characterize the genes and epigenetic changes involved in causing IBD and related conditions.

The Center also offers patients the opportunity to participate in clinical studies of new, investigational drug therapies for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The IBD Center currently treats more than 5,000 IBD patients.

Learn more about IBD Center research

Institute for Cyberscience Expand answer

The Institute for CyberScience (ICS) was created in 2007 with the specific objective of coupling computing and information sciences with the core disciplines and exploring how cyberscience could enable connections between disciplines and promote large-scale collaborations. The catalyst for developing the ICS was a major research instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which positioned Penn State to purchase CyberSTAR, a shared system that has computing rates of 20 teraops (1012 operations/sec) and a half petabyte (1015) of storage.

CyberSTAR provides new capabilities, including hosting of the data-intensive Galaxy bioinformatics gateway and an observatory science gateway with real time sense-simulate-predict functions. CyberSTAR is used by more than 120 researchers across all institutes and colleges and in undergraduate and graduate courses throughout Penn State.

Institutes of Energy and the Environment Expand answer

Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment is the central coordinating structure for energy and environmental research, education, and outreach at Penn State. It is a dynamic, tightly coupled, intercampus network of expertise and infrastructure organized under the Office of the Vice President for Research. The mission of IEE, according to its 2012-2019 strategic plan, is “… to foster and facilitate interdisciplinary scholarship and collaboration to positively impact important energy and environmental challenges.”

IEE is organized around five working research themes:

  • Smart energy systems
  • Future energy supply
  • Health and environment
  • Climate and ecosystem change
  • Water and biogeochemical cycles

Learn more about IEE

Institute for Personalized Medicine Expand answer

Launched in early 2012, the Institute for Personalized Medicine brings together faculty, resources, and programs devoted to advancing personalized medicine. IPM uses a multifaceted approach to understand the correlation among a person’s biologic framework, the environment in which he or she lives, disease predisposition, and treatment options.

By pursuing translational research — the kind of research that directly applies the latest scientific technologies to a patient’s clinical condition – physicians and scientists can tailor health care to individual patients and help improve medical outcomes.

A major goal of IPM is to establish a large bank of genetic samples from patients and to use those samples for the conduct of research to develop more targeted treatments. IPM works in close collaboration with departments and institutes across the Hershey facilities to translate research into clinical applications.

Learn more about IPM

Institute for the Arts and Humanities Expand answer

Founded in 1966, Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities is one of the oldest and most distinctive interdisciplinary centers in the nation.

Over the past 50 years, major American universities have created dozens of advanced research institutes in the humanities and/or centers for the fine and performing arts, but because the arts and humanities are almost always housed in different colleges with different administrative structures, most universities have kept their arts and humanities centers separate.

Penn State, by contrast, is one of a handful of universities whose interdisciplinary institute was designed from the outset to bring together innovative work in the arts and humanities – under one roof, across two colleges.

Materials Research Institute Expand answer

The Materials Research Institute (MRI) was established in 1995 to promote, develop and integrate materials science across Penn State University.

A university-wide resource, the MRI is focused on facilitating interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration among faculty and researchers within and beyond Penn State through administration of core facilities for materials characterization and nanofabrication and pursuit of strategic research themes based on faculty expertise, grant challenges and funding opportunities, and partnerships with industry.

The MRI boasts extensive capabilities across broad areas of materials science that include:

  • electronic materials, devices and systems;
  • materials characterization and processing;
  • optics, photonics and imaging;
  • nanoscience, nanomaterials, nanostructures and nanofabrication; and
  • biomedical materials and devices.

All of the STEM disciplines are represented in the MRI’s diverse and distinguished faculty. As a centrally administered major research institute, the MRI effectively supports the research of faculty across several departments and colleges while pursuing joint initiatives with other major Penn State institutes, including, the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences (co-located with the MRI in the Millennium Science Complex), Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment and the Institute for Cyberscience.

The MRI is located in the Millennium Science Complex, a 297,000 square foot research building located in the heart of the science corridor at the University Park campus. The LEED Gold-certified building features 16,000 square feet of materials characterization space, 16,000 square feet of cleanroom, and 2,800 square feet of collaboration spaces. The building is shared with the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

Melanoma Center Expand answer

Penn State Melanoma Center offers a multidisciplinary approach to developing new treatments for melanoma patients. The Melanoma Center convenes researchers and clinicians from surgery, dermatology, medical and radiation oncology, pharmacology, orthopedics and other areas with a goal of identifying and evaluating new agents and clinical interventions.

Discoveries developed in the research portion of the Melanoma Center are tested through a portfolio of clinical trials offered to patients.

The Consortium of Pennsylvania Melanoma Centers was established on February 26, 2013 and includes melanoma centers/programs from Penn State, the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson, The Wistar Institute, St Luke’s Hospital, Temple University/Fox Chase and the University of Pittsburgh. The consortium is the first of its kind in the melanoma arena and is significantly advancing efforts to prevent and treat melanoma. The consortium serves as a resource for researchers, clinicians and melanoma patients and provides its members with opportunities to collaborate, calling upon complementary expertise and resources to address many of the obstacles associated with this disease. Clinicians from the consortium have access to melanoma patients from all sites for accrual to personalized therapeutic trials. Patients can also easily access up-to-date information regarding the latest clinical trials at each institution. The Consortium also addresses legislative issues related to the disease and interacts with grassroots organizations/foundations.

Neuroscience Institute Expand answer

Penn State Neuroscience Institute fosters collaboration among the neuroscience-related departments and divisions within Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine.

Learn more about Neuroscience Institute research

PRO Wellness Expand answer

Penn State PRO Wellness is committed to helping Pennsylvania communities live healthier lives using evidenced-based strategies for measurable and sustainable results.

With programs in nearly 1,000 schools across Pennsylvania, the Center is highly visible in the health and wellness arena and has a solid history in obesity prevention and whole child wellness solutions.

Since 2003, PRO Wellness has led statewide efforts to improve the health of children and their families. In 2013, a rebranding propelled the Center to work more heavily in public health. The approach of Prevention, Research and Outreach provides schools, communities, and like-minded organizations with program development and implementation, assessment and evaluation services, capacity building, technical assistance, collaborative partnerships and access to proven wellness interventions. Led by a physician and clinical-investigator, the PRO Wellness team consists of 11 full-time and two part-time staff with expertise in project management, community health education, dietetics, public health, school and community-based organization environments, marketing and communications.

The Center’s work has been supported by funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Department of Transportation, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Boy Scouts of America, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI), Children’s Miracle Network (CMN), Faulkner Nissan Harrisburg, and foundations such as Highmark Foundation and Kohl’s Cares.

One notable achievement is the launch of an expert-revised BMI screening letter. The Center’s parent-tested letter, notifying parents of their child’s BMI screening results, is now provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as the state recommended letter to Pennsylvania schools. In addition, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) features it as a national resource on their Healthy Schools website. The Center also has national presence with the Boy Scouts of America, currently providing programming in three states with plans for a national roll-out.

Penn State PRO Wellness is housed within Penn State College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. The college, one of the country’s leading medical schools, comprises 24 academic departments – eight basic science departments and 16 clinical departments. It is part of an academic medical center group that also includes Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the flagship hospital, a 551-bed, tertiary-care facility that serves central Pennsylvania; Penn State Children’s Hospital, the only free-standing children’s hospital in central Pennsylvania as well as the only Level I pediatric trauma center between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; and Penn State Medical Group, the academic physician practice and associated outpatient practice sites of the group.

Having close proximity to the knowledge base of the Penn State Health network uniquely positions PRO Wellness to access the latest advancements in clinical care, research, education and community services, as well as, receive comprehensive support on an institutional level.

Learn more about PRO Wellness

Rock Ethics Institute Expand answer

The Rock Ethics Institute was established in 2001 and is focused on developing tools to identify and deal with ethical challenges.

The Institute sponsors a bioethics lecture series that addresses research ethics, including the impact of industry and government funding on biomedical research. The multiple intersecting, yet often incongruent interests of scientists, individuals, communities, and industry engaged in biomedical research create complex conflicts of interest that can cause physical, emotional and economical harm to individuals and society. Open-minded, prospective and sensible consideration of ethical concerns is critical to take full advantage of new discoveries and knowledge.

Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) Expand answer

The mission of Penn State Social Science Research Institute is to foster novel, interdisciplinary research that addresses critical human and social problems at the local, national, and international levels.

In addition to its strong collaborative ties with the CTSI, SSRI is made up of nine core units:

  • Population Research Institute (PRI), which aims to advance the scientific understanding of human population dynamics and is one of only 24 NIH funded population research centers in the nation
  • Children, Youth and Families Consortium (CYFC), which promotes research on behavior, health, and development in diverse populations of children and families
  • Research Data Center (RDC), which provides researchers with a secure connection to data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics
  • Social, Life and Engineering Sciences Imaging Center (SLEIC), which provides equipment and support for human and animal MRI and EEG studies for researchers across the university
  • Survey Research Center (SRC), which provides high-quality, cost-effective survey research services to faculty around the University
  • Network on Child Protection and Well-Being, which is an interdisciplinary group of faculty dedicated to identifying the causes of child maltreatment and developing evidence-based approaches that will promote prevention, detection, and treatment
  • Quantitative Development Systems Methodology core (QuantDev), which provides consultation on measurement, study design, and analysis techniques for social scientists
  • Geographic Information Analysis Core (GIA), which provides services to facilitate the use of geospatial data and a spatial perspective in social science research
  • Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness, which provides expertise in the science of program implementation and evaluation and is a comprehensive
    resource for professionals working with military families

Research Administration

Center for Medical Innovation Expand answer

Penn State Center for Medical Innovation serves Penn State Health and the College of Medicine with a mission to deliver optimal economic and social value from Penn State medical innovations.

This mission is accomplished by positively influencing the research enterprise and moving innovative technologies along a development path through the commercialization pipeline.

CMI provides educational programming focused on entrepreneurship to support new ventures, fully engages the regional economic ecosystem, and has created strong partnerships within industry to encourage greater collaboration and licensing opportunities. Successful deployment of Penn State innovative technologies into the marketplace will ultimately improve human health and have a positive impact on economic development.

Learn more about CMI

Office of Research Affairs Expand answer

The Office of Research Affairs at Penn State College of Medicine works with investigators to promote, foster, and sustain excellence in basic and clinical research.

Major services include assisting researchers and staff with all pre and post-award activities, including budget and grant development, cost recovery, compliance, institutional reporting, and training mandates.

Learn more about ORA

Research Development Expand answer

Research Development helps to strengthen the environment for sponsored research at Penn State College of Medicine by providing leadership in several areas:

  • Serving as the central coordinating body for the distribution of funding information
  • Managing limited submission funding opportunities and down-select processes
  • Administering internal award programs designed to sustain the research programs of productive investigators
  • Working with research administration offices at other Penn State campuses to coordinate high priority funding initiatives

For faculty pursuing external funding, Research Development also offers targeted assistance through the Research Concierge Service. The RCS was established in November 2013 by the Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in collaboration with Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

The RCS supports the mission of Research Development in numerous ways. First, the RCS is a referral resource for investigators – facilitating access to institutional resources, connecting researchers with appropriate offices and staff, and matching research needs with faculty expertise. Second, the RCS provides grantsmanship guidance by developing workshops and special seminars that bring heightened focus to funding mechanisms and resources of special interest to investigators. Third, the RCS provides “virtual support” through material on this website, which functions as the front door to research resources at the College of Medicine. In addition to providing these services to the broader research community, the RCS provides targeted support to PIs who undertake complex funding proposals with the potential for broad institutional impact.

Research Support

Animal Use and Veterinary Care Expand answer

The Department of Comparative Medicine prepared text that may be used in grant proposals to describe the resources and veterinary care provided at Penn State College of Medicine.

Learn more about animal resources
(internal access only; login required)

Biorepository Expand answer

Established in 2004, the Penn State Health Biorepository offers investigators a resource to enhance research into cancer and other disease processes.

Tissue, associated blood, urine, buccal cell swabs and epidemiological data are available to conduct clinical and translational research studies that include genetic studies.

All Penn State University researchers can request tissue from the Biorepository with an approved Institutional Review Board protocol. Informed consent from donors is obtained through the Penn State Health Biorepository, thereby freeing investigators from that process.

The Biorepository collects a wide variety of tumor tissue as well as adjacent normal tissue from surgical resections done at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Additionally, select normal control tissue is available.

The Biorepository is a member in good standing with the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories.

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Expand answer

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center utilizes the Cerner Corporation’s Millennium electronic medical record system.

This system is CCHITsm-certified and meets the inpatient electronic health record (EHR) criteria. PowerChart, the viewing window for Millennium, allows physicians to access full inpatient and outpatient data, complete orders, and check test results all within one computer program.

Electronic medical records help to improve efficiency, safety, and coordination of medical care while reducing costs and errors. Staff enters all orders electronically except for chemotherapy.

In addition, through Penn State CTSI, the medical center added a computer interface with the EMR called i2b2, which allows data mining of the EMR for clinical and translational research studies.

Physicians at the University Park location and those who practice in the joint venture with the Mount Nittany Cancer Center have access to Mount Nittany’s EMR, which is provided by MediTech.

Hanover Research Expand answer

Since May 2016, Penn State College of Medicine has contracted with Hanover Research to provide proposal support services to its faculty investigators. The Washington, D.C.-based grant development firm has more than 150 years of combined grantsmanship experience that cuts across a wide range of foundations and federal agencies, including the NIH.

The primary goal of the Hanover partnership is to increase the quality and success rate of extramural research proposals submitted by faculty investigators. Several different services are available through the Hanover partnership, including individual consultation sessions to help frame a research project (for new submissions and resubmissions) and proposal review services focused on achieving cohesion in the grant narrative and aligning the proposal with funder requirements.

In addition to direct proposal support, Hanover conducts on-campus workshops that have a strong focus on effective grantsmanship for early-career investigators. The Hanover partnership is coordinated by the College’s Research Concierge Service and is fully funded by the Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. There is no cost to the individual PI or their home department.

Harrell Health Sciences Library Expand answer

Harrell Health Sciences Library – Research and Learning Commons collections and services support the informational needs of Penn State users engaged in patient care, research and education, including interlibrary loan, search services and instruction. The library currently employs 10 faculty librarians who hold, at minimum, a master’s degree from an American Library Association-accrediting library program. Full-time and part-time staff are also employed. Library faculty members teach literature searching, information literacy, basic database search skills, evidence-based medicine and bibliographic software programs (e.g., Endnote) in course-integrated instruction or workshops to all members of the Penn State community. A suite of services and training opportunities are available as requested or on a recurring basis. The library provides members with access to an audio and video recording studio, 3-D printing options and multimedia services.

Harrell Library is part of Penn State University Libraries, allowing member access to more than 6.8 million books and ebooks, approximately 180,000 online full-text journals and more than 850 databases. Penn State University Libraries are increasingly electronic, allowing 24-hour access from anywhere. Most digital platforms are compatible with mobile devices. Penn State provides access to many of the major scientific journals, highly used scholarly databases and point-of-care clinical tools.

Learn more about the Harrell Health Sciences Library

Investigational Drug Service Expand answer

The Investigational Drug Service at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is charged with the control and management of investigational (research) drugs used in clinical (human) research trials throughout the institution.

The service currently controls the procurement, storage, blinding and dispensing of study medications in more than 250 studies.

Current practice areas for study involvement include, but are not limited to, pediatric and adult oncology, cardiology, asthma and allergy, neurology, rheumatology, dermatology and biologics.

The service also provides pharmacy services for multiple national cooperative investigating groups, including the Children’s Oncology Group, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-American College of Radiology Imaging Network, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, PrECOG and NRG-Oncology.

The Institutional Review Board of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center/Penn State College of Medicine reviews and approves protocols for use in the facility. Pharmacists serve on the IRB. The Investigational Drug Service only dispenses medications for protocols that have undergone IRB review and approval. The service can assist investigators with the development of drug blinding/dispensing plans for investigator-initiated trials within the institution.

The service has a 1,008-square-foot pharmacy. Access is limited to pharmacy personnel with badge swipe access. The drug storage room within the Investigational Drug Service pharmacy is locked with a key. Only investigational medications and study-related supplies are stored in the service pharmacy drug storage room.

This pharmacy maintains the following critical equipment: medication refrigerators (2 to 8 degrees C), -20 degrees C freezer, -80 degrees C freezer and controlled room temperature storage (20 to 25 degrees C). Access to laminar airflow hoods and biosafety cabinets is provided by the inpatient pharmacy and the chemotherapy pharmacy. Critical equipment is plugged into red outlets that are connected to the backup generator.

Temperature monitoring of study medications is accomplished using a system called AmegaView for continuous, wireless, electronic temperature monitoring. Each area (refrigerator, freezer or room-temperature space) where investigational medications are stored has its own temperature probe. Temperature readings are monitored continuously, and a recording is made every hour. Monthly, the service’s pharmacy prints a graph of the temperature readings from each temperature probe. If an excursion occurs, a detailed list report of the time of the incident is printed for review. Temperature probes are calibrated yearly. Refrigerator set-points are 2 degrees to 8 degrees C and room-temperature set-points are 20 to 25 degrees. When temperatures reach a pre-alarm or alarm level, the system begins contacting pharmacy personnel via phone and pager, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Current staffing is provided by three pharmacist FTEs, two certified pharmacy technician FTEs and one PRN pharmacist.

Laboratories Expand answer

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has approximately 1,150 laboratories in eight basic science departments and 16 clinical departments that total more than 371,000 square feet of assignable laboratory and research space.

At University Park, there is 1,303,240 square feet of assignable laboratory and research space.

Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) Expand answer

REDCap is a secure, web-based application that supports data capture and management for research studies. The system was developed by Vanderbilt University in collaboration with a multi-institutional consortium which includes Penn State University.

REDCap is maintained by a consortium composed of 1,875 active institutional partners in 100 countries who utilize and support REDCap in various ways. REDCap is made available to the Penn State community through Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Penn State University’s license of REDCap is hosted at and validated within the data center of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine. REDCap allows real-time data entry, post data collection data entry, importing data from other sources, or the administration of web-based surveys or questionnaires to participants via manual or automated e-mail invitations.

REDCap incorporates all the features of a secure, web-based data entry system: data encryption on a secure server located behind an application firewall with reverse proxy; processes to eliminate breach attacks; HIPAA-compliant; user and password authentication; role-based access; logging of all user activities; and a data audit trail.

Any participant protected health information (PHI) that needs to be stored in REDCap can be protected using role-based permissions incorporated within REDCap that prevent the viewing or exporting of these identifiers. Source documents can be uploaded into REDCap for effective remote data monitoring. Performance reports can also be created and executed in REDCap to monitor study accrual, protocol implementation, protocol violations or deviations, participant safety, and data quality.

The Penn State CTSI website provides drop-in text for investigators to include in Institutional Review Board (IRB) submissions.

See CTSI IRB drop-in text

The REDCap Consortium maintains a website that provides a detailed discussion of the software and technical overview – both of which can be utilized as drop-in text for funding proposals.

Learn more about the REDCap Consortium

Zoom Videoconferencing Expand answer

Zoom is a secure, user-friendly, cloud-based enterprise videoconferencing service that Penn State implemented in July 2017. Zoom is accessible to faculty and staff at all Penn State campuses via

This multifaceted video and audio conferencing system supports video and audio conferencing across multiple platforms, including room systems, mobile devices, desktops and telephones.

The Zoom platform at Penn State has two main features: Zoom meetings and Zoom webinars.

Designed to support collaboration, Zoom meetings support up to 500 video participants. By default, any participant in a meeting can share their video and audio and utilize the chat feature to exchange messages with participants. The meeting host controls all meeting features, which include mute/unmute participants, screen sharing, recording options, video sharing, remote screen control and participant annotation. Annotation allows participants to draw and highlight on the screenshare. Zoom webinar provides access for up to 500 view-only attendees and features live question-and-answer, polling, registration and post-webinar reporting.

Penn State Zoom offers both local recording and cloud recording and has a storage capacity of 0.5 GB per user. Cloud recording includes an option to produce an audio transcript for a meeting or webinar. The transcript is saved to the cloud as a separate .vtt text file, and the host can elect to display the transcript text within the video itself, similar to a closed-caption display.

Zoom is accessed via Penn State’s single sign-on solution, which provides an environment in which users can authenticate/log in at one time to a central server and connect with web-based services via Penn State WebAccess, which features two-factor authentication.

Effective Jan. 18, 2019, Penn State Health implemented a HIPAA-compliant Zoom platform at, which includes encryption and recording settings that are fully compliant with HIPAA regulations. The Penn State Health Zoom instance is the only approved video/web conferencing solution for all Penn State Health and College of Medicine faculty, staff and students.

Wells Fargo Philanthropic Funding

Overview Expand answer

Wells Fargo utilizes an online application process to accept grant proposals that are submitted for funding consideration to the private and family foundations administered by Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services.

Investigators are welcome to use this boilerplate language (drop-in text), at their discretion, to prepare such grant applications.

Note: Financial information contained in this document was obtained from Penn State’s Budget Office and Controllers Office via their websites. Current fiscal year finances reflect budget detail taken from Penn State’s FY 2017-18 budget, which was approved by the University’s board of trustees July 21, 2017. Prior fiscal year finances were obtained from Penn State’s most recently filed tax return for the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2016 (most current available).

IRS Information Expand answer

Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN): 246000376

Organization Name: The Pennsylvania State University

Tax Exemption Date: Sept. 9, 1949

Entity Type: IRC Section 170(c) and IRC Section 170 (b)(1)(A)(v)

Additional Exemption Status Comments (Optional): The Pennsylvania State University has a Tax Determination Letter under IRC Section 115 of the Internal Revenue Code. For federal income tax purposes, contributions to the Pennsylvania State University are deductible against the income of individuals under IRC Section 170(c) and IRC Section 170 (b)(1)(A)(v).

The original Tax Determination Letter from the IRS is dated Sept. 9, 1949. This status is reviewed and verified annually by the University’s Office of General Counsel.

Fiscal Agent or Sponsor: Grant funds will be administered by and used by Penn State College of Medicine, a college of The Pennsylvania State University that is based in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Contact Information Expand answer

Organization Name: The Pennsylvania State University

Also Known As/Doing Business As: Leave this field blank

Mailing Address: Office of Research Affairs
Penn State College of Medicine
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Mail Code H138
500 University Drive

City: Hershey
State: Pennsylvania
ZIP Code: 17033

Physical Address: Leave this field blank

Main Phone: 717-531-8495


Email Address for General Inquiries:

Primary Contact for This Application Expand answer


Note: Research funding proposals to be submitted to an external funder must be reviewed by the Office of Research Affairs (ORA) prior to submission. The ORA is the entity with the legal authority to bind the College of Medicine to a research grant/contract. Stephanie Johnson, Director of Grants Administration for the ORA, must be listed as the “primary contact” for this application.


Prefix (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., etc.): Ms.

First Name: Stephanie

Middle Name/Initial: Leave this field blank

Last Name: Johnson

Suffix: Leave this field blank

Title: Director of Grants Administration

Email Address:

Office Phone: 717-531-8495

Mobile Phone: Leave this field blank

Request Summary Expand answer


This section is to be completed by the PI.


Requested Amount: Enter requested amount

Type of Support: Select from drop-down menu

Request/Project Title: Enter project title

Request Summary: Describe specific purposes for which any grant funds awarded from this foundation will be used (e.g., specific equipment, overall project funding, etc.). This field is limited to 150 words.

Common Goals: Why do you believe a grant to your organization would further this foundation’s mission and priorities of our foundation? This field is limited to 150 words.

Demographics Expand answer


This section is to be completed by the PI.


Program Area Served: Select from drop-down menu

Geographical Area Served: Select from drop-down menu

Population Served: Select from drop-down menu

Age Group Served Select from drop-down menu

Gender Served: Select from drop-down menu

Demographics Comments: This field is optional

Request Detail Expand answer


This section is to be completed by the PI.


Describe the objectives of the project or program to be funded. This field is limited to 150 words.

Describe the implementation plan for the project or program. Include at least three specific actions your organization will take in order to achieve results. This field is limited to 150 words.

What criteria does (or will) your organization use to measure the success of the project or program? This field is limited to 150 words.

Collaboration: Briefly describe any formal or informal collaborative ventures your organization has established (or will establish) with other entities serving similar purposes that may be relevant to this grant request. This field is limited to 150 words.

Project Background: If this grant request relates to an ongoing project or program, how long has the project or program been operating? This field is limited to 150 words.

Timeline Expand answer


This section is to be completed by the PI.


Start Date: If a grant is awarded, when does your organization anticipate being able to begin using the funds for the requested purpose?

End Date: If a grant is awarded, when would the requested funds likely be exhausted?

Timeline: Provide any other relevant dates relating to the project or program for which grant funds would be used (milestones, interim check-ins, etc.). This field is limited to 150 words.

Project Finances Expand answer


This section is to be completed by the PI.


Project Budget Total (U.S. Dollars): Enter total budget.

Project Budget Detail: Provide a concise budget for the project listing major expense categories (if requesting general operating support, enter “not applicable”).

Other Project Funding: List other sources that may fund this project. Include other pending grant requests, providing entity name, amount requested, and current status of each. If these sources do not fully fund the project, what other sources of funding will your organization pursue?

Organization Summary Expand answer


This information comes from Penn State University’s Strategic Plan.


Organization Type: Select “health” from the drop-down menu

Mission: The Pennsylvania State University is a multi-campus, land-grant, public research University that educates students from around the world, and supports individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service. Our discovery-oriented, collaborative, and interdisciplinary research and scholarship promote human and economic development, global understanding, and advancement in professional practice through the expansion of knowledge and its applications in the natural and applied sciences, social and behavioral sciences, engineering, technology, arts and humanities, and myriad professions. As Pennsylvania’s land-grant university, Penn State provides unparalleled access to education and public service to support the citizens of the Commonwealth and beyond.

People Expand answer


The Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University is the corporate body established by charter with complete responsibility for the government and welfare of the University. Penn State’s 38-member Board of Trustees consists of six ex officio members who serve by virtue of their position within the University or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, six Governor-appointed members, one undergraduate Student Trustee, one Academic Trustee, three At-Large Trustees, nine trustees elected by Penn State Alumni and Former Students and 12 other elected members from the business and agricultural communities. Most trustees serve staggered three-year terms. All elected trustees’ terms begin July 1 the year of their election. The Student Trustee and the past President of the Penn State Alumni Association, who is considered an ex officio voting member, each serve two-year terms. With the exception of ex officio trustees, all trustees are subject to a term limit of 12 years. Trustees are separated into three groups of substantially equal numbers so that the terms of one third of the Board of Trustees expires each year.

The current composition of the Board of Trustees is listed below. The date in parentheses following each name indicates the year in which their term will expire.

Data on staffing are from Penn State Fact Book – Fall 2017.

Regarding volunteers, each year, more than 16,500 Penn State student volunteers participate in fundraising efforts to support THON, whose sole beneficiary is Four Diamonds at Penn State Children’s Hospital. THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, both in terms of revenue and volunteer participation. In addition, there are approximately 400 adults who actively volunteer at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.


Board Members:

Ex-Officio Non-Voting Members (2)

  • Eric J. Barron, President, The Pennsylvania State University, Secretary of Board of Trustees
  • Thomas W. Wolf, Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Note: William Shipley, III, Chairman, Shipley Group, Serves as the Governor’s Non-Voting Representative)

Ex-Officio Voting Members (4)

  • Pedro A. Rivera, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • Cynthia A. Dunn, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
  • Russell C. Redding, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
  • Kevin R. Steele, Immediate Past President, Penn State Alumni Association (two-year term)

Trustees Appointed by the Governor (6)

Each year, the Governor appoints two members to the Board of Trustees.

  • Abraham Amoros, President, Amoros Communications (2021)
  • Daniel J. Delligatti, President and Owner/Operator, M&J Management Corporation (2020)
  • J. Alex Hartzler, Managing Partner & Founder, WCI Partners, LP (2019)
  • David M. Kleppinger, Chairman Emeritus, McNees Wallace & Nurick, LLC (2019)
  • Terrence M. Pegula, CEO, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, and JKLM Energy, LLC (2021)
  • Stanley I. Rapp, Partner, Greenlee Partners, LLC (2020)

Trustees Elected by Penn State Alumni (9)

Nine trustees are elected by Penn State Alumni and Former Students. Each year, three members are elected to the Board of Trustees as terms expire.

  • Joseph V. “Jay” Paterno, President, Blue Line 409, LLC (2020)
  • Robert C. Jubelirer, Partner, Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel (2020)
  • Edward B. “Ted” Brown, President & CEO, KETCHConsulting, Inc. (2019)
  • Barbara L. Doran, Portfolio Manager/Private Wealth Advisor, Morgan Stanley (2019)
  • William F. Oldsey, Educational Publishing Executive (2019)
  • Alice W. Pope, Associate Professor, St. John’s University (2020)
  • Brandon D. Short, Vice President, Round Hill Capital (2021)
  • Laurie A. Stanell, Dentist, Laurie Anne Stanell, D.M.D., PC (2021)
  • Robert J. Tribeck, Chief Legal Officer, Post Acute Medical, LLC (2021)

Elected by Delegates from Agricultural Societies (6)

Six trustees are elected by organized agricultural societies or associations within the Commonwealth. Two members are elected each year as terms expire.

  • Donald G. Cotner, Officer, Cotner Farms, Inc. (2021)
  • M. Abraham Harpster, Co-Owner, Evergreen Farms, Inc. (2019)
  • Keith E. Masser, Chairman and CEO of Sterman Masser, Inc. (2020)
  • Chris R. Hoffman, Vice President, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (2021)
  • Lynn A. Dietrich, Retired Professional Engineer (PE) (2020)
  • Valerie L. Detwiler, Vice President, Senior Business Banker, Reliance Bank (2019)

Representatives of Business and Industry – Elected by the Board (6)

Six trustees are elected by the Board of Trustees representing business and industry endeavors in the Commonwealth. Two members are elected each year as terms expire.

  • Mark H. Dambly, President, Pennrose Properties, LLC (2020)
  • Richard K. Dandrea, Attorney, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC (2019)
  • Robert E. Fenza, Retired COO, Liberty Property Trust (2021)
  • Ira M. Lubert, Chairman and Co-Founder, Independence Capital Partners and Lubert Adler Partners, L.P. (2019)
  • Mary Lee Schneider, President and CEO, SG360° (2021)
  • Walter Rakowich, Retired CEO, Prologis (2020)

At-Large Trustees – Elected by the Board (3)

Each year, one new at-large member is elected by the Board of Trustees as terms expire.

  • Kathleen L. Casey, Senior Advisor, Patomak Global Partners, LLC, KLC Consulting Group, LLC (2019)
  • Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO, North American Meat Institute (2021)
  • Matthew W. Schuyler, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hilton Worldwide (2020)

Student Trustee – Student Body Representative (2-year term)

  • Michael Hoeschele, student, The Pennsylvania State University (2019)

Academic Trustee – Faculty Representative (3-year term)

  • David C. Han, Professor of Surgery and Radiology; Vice Chair for Educational Affairs, Department of Surgery, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine (2021)

Number of Paid Staff, Full-Time: 18,542

Number of Paid Staff, Part-Time: 5,659

Number of Volunteers: 16,900

Current Fiscal Year Finances Expand answer


The following budget detail was taken from the FY 2018-19 budget, which was approved by the University’s full board of trustees on July 20, 2018. Budget information can be accessed online through the University’s Budget Office.

The budget encompasses the entire Penn State system, including the main campus at University Park, 23 Commonwealth campuses, Penn State Law, The Pennsylvania College of Technology, Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health. The Penn State Health system is a subsidiary corporation within Penn State.


Total Annual Budget: $6,502,590,000

Organizational Budget Detail:

Penn State’s operating budget comprises four fund groups:

General Funds: General Funds cover operations related to teaching, research and service. General Funds also encompass academic and administrative support and maintenance of the physical plant. Income to support the general funds budget comes from: tuition and fees paid by the student; state appropriations; and other income including facilities administration, investment income, and sales and services of departments.

Restricted Funds: As the name implies, Restricted Funds are targeted for specific projects and cannot be used for other purposes. Restricted Funds include grants and contracts from private sources, restricted gifts and endowment income, primarly for research. It also includes other philanthropic gifts, such as privately funded student scholarships

Auxiliary Enterprise Funds: This fund group is self-supporting and encompasses income derived from sales of services or products, primarily to individuals (e.g., students, faculty, staff, general public). Examples include the Nittany Lion Inn, intercollegiate athletics, housing and food services, and the Bryce Jordan Center – Penn State’s 15,261-seat multi-purpose arena located in State College, Pennsylvania.

Agricultural Federal Funds: This fund group represents federal appropriations authorized by the Smith-Lever Act, the McIntire-Stennis Act and the Hatch Act. These funds are appropriated by the federal government to support agricultural research and cooperative extension programming within each state through the state’s designated land-grant university.

General Fund expenses represent 43.1 percent of Penn State’s total operating budget. The Penn State Health system represents the second largest operational expense at 38.4 percent of Penn State’s operating budget. The balance of Penn State’s budget is supported by Restricted Funds (10.7 percent), Auxiliary Enterprise Funds (7.5 percent) and Agricultural Federal Funds (0.3 percent).

The FY 2018-19 operating budget for Penn State College of Medicine is $277.6 million – 4 percent of the total operating budget for the University. More than half (64.5 percent) of the College’s operating budget is derived from General Funds.

Budget Changes: The University’s FY 2018-19 operating budget was approved by the full Board of Trustees on July 20, 2018. For 2018-19, the budget includes reductions in operating budgets made possible through cost savings initiatives totaling $36.5 million. This amount is composed of salary and benefit savings as a result of the Voluntary Retirement Program, a combination of capping and reducing the subsidy provided to the World Campus and University Outreach, increasing the tax that applies to the prior year’s revenue from Auxiliary Enterprises, and reductions from a review of central budgets that could be closed without having negative effects on operations.

What percentage of your budget is allocated to administrative expenses? 5 percent of Penn State University’s operating budget is allocated to administrative expenses (i.e., institutional support).

Penn State’s operating budget is based on the functional expense classifications established by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).

Functional classifications group expenses are based on their purpose. In functional budgeting, administrative expenses are best captured by the institutional support category, which includes expenses for central, executive‐level activities concerned with management and long‐range planning for the entire institution (e.g., governing board, planning and programming operations, legal services); fiscal operations; administrative data processing; space management; employee personnel and records; logistical activities that provide procurement, storerooms, printing; transportation services to the institution; support services to faculty and staff that are not operated as auxiliary enterprises; and activities concerned with community and alumni relations, including development and fundraising.

Institutional support includes the following subcategories: executive management, fiscal operations, general administration, administrative information technology, public relations/development.

Prior Fiscal Year Finances Expand answer


These data were obtained from Penn State University’s Right-to-Know Law Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.


For Fiscal Year Ending: June 30, 2017


Contributions and Grants: $384,301,000

Program Service Revenue: $5,371,316,606

Investment Income: $388,791,000

Other Revenue: $63,649,394

Total Revenue: $6,208,058,000


Program Services: $4,226,056,278

Administration: $1,448952,524

Fundraising: $68,789,198

Other Expenses: $2,167,535,765

Total Expenses: $5,743,798,000

Revenue Less Expenses: $464,260,000


Total Assets: $14,030,291,000

Total Liabilities: $5,187,793,000

Net Assets or Fund Balances: $8,842,498,000

Additional Finance-Related Comments (Optional): The aforementioned data reflect end-of-year numbers from the University’s Form 990 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.