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Advanced Platform Technology Center


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Wen H. Ko Summer Internship Program (SIP)

Located at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center (Cleveland, Ohio), the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center is a national VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Research Center created to capture innovations at the forefront of microelectronics and materials science and apply them to the clinical needs of disabled veterans. Along these lines, the core research activities of the center are concentrated in the following four major areas:

  • Prosthetics and Orthotics
  • Neural Interfaces
  • Health Monitoring and Maintenance
  • Enabling Technologies

A distinctive feature of the APT Center is a focus on developing key enabling technologies for clinically-relevant applications. This approach leverages the technical expertise and world-class reputation of its collaborative partner, Case Western Reserve University, and makes the APT Center unique among the VA’s Research Centers.

About the Program
The Advanced Platform Technology's Wen H. Ko Summer Internship Program (SIP) is for undergraduate STEM students who have completed at least their sophomore year of college. The 10-week program, under the guidance of Dr. Matthew Schiefer, SIP Advisor, is scheduled from June 4, 2018 to August 10, 2018. Up to 5 interns will be selected. The internship will allow undergraduate STEM students to participate in cutting-edge biomedical research projects under the mentorship of world-class investigators at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic and other academic affiliates.

As part of selection process, applicants will have the opportunity to indicate their preference for the investigator they will work with during the internship. Once selected, the investigator and intern will create a specific mini project .This mini project will constitute the core experience for the internship. In addition, students will receive mentoring, participate in group meetings, attend planned lectures and laboratory visits, and will present their research findings at the end of the summer internship.

  • Applicants must have completed at least two years (4 semesters or 6 quarters) of undergraduate study in a STEM degree program by the start of the 2018 summer with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Applicants must plan to be returning to undergraduate school or starting a graduate program in fall 2018.
  • Applicants must be present and able to participate in the entire ten-week program between June 4 and August 10, 2018.
  • Applicants must be either a student at Case Western Reserve University OR a US Citizen at another university.
  • Exceptional applicants who are interested, but may not meet all of the above criteria, should contact prior to submission.

How to Apply
Please submit the following materials to

  1. A completed APT Center SIP Application Form
  2. A resume that contains information about the your education, recent work experience, activities, awards and publications
  3. An unofficial transcript detailing your university courses and grades
  4. Two letters of recommendation: Letters should come from individuals who are familiar with your academic or work performance, such as faculty or supervisor, and who can comment on your suitability for this program.
    • If you have already discussed working with an APT Center Investigator, a letter of support from that Investigator should be included and can count as one of the recommendations.
    • Individuals providing recommendations on your behalf should directly email

The intern selection process will be performed by a panel of APT Center Investigators using a scoring system based on the information submitted in the application.

SIP Deadlines
Deadline for submitting the application and reference letters is January 31, 2018
Notification of selected interns will be on or about February 26, 2018
Intern must accept or decline by March 12, 2018

All Interns will receive an hourly wage of $12/hr for the duration of their ten week, 40 hr/week internship for a total of $4,800. CWRU students will be employed through the CWRU student employment office. All other students will be temporary VA employees.

The SIP Experience
“I realize that I learned a lot in 2 months - not only the science, but also the way to present the work.” “My work interested a researcher in the brain-computer interface field who would like to build future collaborations with our lab.” – Keying Chen, 2017

“I faced some setbacks in my own project, but was able to reach a strong completion point… I am happy with my ability to complete my work while given some autonomy and look forward to continuing this work throughout the school year.” – Keith Dona, 2017

“I did not even know I could do that [take the lead on  a project and work on it independently] before I started this summer, but now I have the confidence to continue this project and take on other challenges in the future.” – Fangze “Helen” Liu, 2017

“I had the opportunity to learn to use software such as Maxwell Electronic Workbench and how to utilize a supercomputing cluster for computational problems. I enjoyed my time in the APT-SIP and I hope to continue this project in the fall semester.” – Josh Rosenberg, 2017