Wen H. Ko Summer Internship Program (SIP) - Advanced Platform Technology Center
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Wen H. Ko Summer Internship Program (SIP)

2022 Wen H. Ko Summer Internship Program (APT-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 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
  • Activity-Based Neurorehabilitation
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.

For more information go to: http://www.aptcenter.research.va.gov/

About the Program

The Advanced Platform Technology Summer Internship Program (APT-SIP) is for undergraduate STEM students who have completed at least their sophomore year of college. The 10-week program, under the guidance of Drs. Allison Hess-Dunning and Jeff Capadona, APT-SIP Advisor, is scheduled from June 6, 2022 to August 12, 2022. Up to 8 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 2022 summer with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Applicants must plan to return to undergraduate school or start a graduate program in fall 2022.
  • Applicants must be present and able to participate in the entire ten-week program between June 6 and August 12, 2022.
  • The APT Center is committed to the VA Office of Research & Development’s efforts to promote diversity in the VA workforce. The following underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. However, these criteria are intended to increase the applicant pool but will not be used as a final determinative factor in selecting participants in this program.
    • U.S. Veterans
    • Individuals with a disability, defined as one with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.
    • Individuals from a racial / ethnic group that has been shown by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to be underrepresented in health-related sciences. (Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander)
  • Exceptional applicants who are interested, but may not meet all of the above criteria, should contact sip@aptcenter.org prior to submission.

How to Apply

Please submit the following materials to sip@aptcenter.org

  • A completed APT Center SIP Application Form: Application portal coming soon
  • A resume that contains information about your education, recent work/research experience, activities, awards and publications
  • An unofficial transcript detailing your university courses and grades
  • Two letters of recommendation: Letters should come from individuals who are familiar with your academic or work/research performance, such as faculty or supervisor, and who can comment on your suitability for this program.
    1. 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.
    2. Individuals providing recommendations on your behalf should directly email sip@aptcenter.org.

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.

APT-SIP Deadlines

Deadline for submitting the application and reference letters is February 15, 2022

Notification of selected interns will be on or about February 28, 2022

Intern must accept or decline by March 11, 2022


All Interns will receive an hourly wage of $15/hr for the duration of their ten week, 40 hr/week internship for a total of $6,000. 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

"I definitely learned a lot this summer. This was my first time working in a non bio lab so I got a lot of hands on experience with the devices and instruments." "[My mentor, Dr. Allison Hess-Dunning] taught me a lot about the research process and presenting scientific findings." – Hayden Koerwer, 2018

"I applied to this program, because of the emphasis on the mentor-mentee relationship. I was also very excited about planning a mini project, because taking ownership of a project is a great way to practice designing an experiment from start to finish and thinking on your feet when things go wrong." – Marina Yu, 2018

"Over the summer, I was given the opportunity to construct a new Magnetic Breakaway Connector (MBC) for the at-home sensory restoration device used with subjects in the lab.  I have completed my initial prototype and will be staying in Dr. Tyler's lab to test and tweak the design over the next year." – Noel Jeansonne, 2018

"The project that I have been working did not always go smoothly and I gained valuable insight into how to view data and when to try to take a different angle when making sense of the data." "This October, I will also be presenting my research at the BMES annual meeting in Atlanta." – Josh Rosenberg, 2018

"I wrapped up my summer work by submitting a paper to the 2018 IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium. I learned so much about signal processing and how to handle my own project, and look forward to continuing my research here this year." – Stephanie Chin, 2018