When Binghamton University’s new Health Sciences Campus for the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SOPPS) opens this summer, five students will already be working on research projects in pharmacy practice and biomedical research.
A $25,000 anonymous donation that BU received last month will fund 10-week summer internships for undergraduates in Harpur College of Arts and Sciences and doctor of pharmacy students in SOPPS.
According to Eric Hoffman, associate dean for research of SOPPS, the internships serve the pharmacy school’s research focus.
“A summer research internship provides an approach to transferring the passion and interest to the next generation,” Hoffman wrote in an email.
The $5,000 stipends provided to students can be used for research costs as well as living expenses incurred by researchers. Students will find Harpur College and SOPPS faculty to oversee their projects and serve as mentors.
The donation was earmarked for SOPPS and Harpur College students, and came from a BU alumnus described as an accomplished scientist and entrepreneur. The donor’s own experiences influenced the program’s focus.
“His interests were in biomedical research and drug development, and he asked that the funds be used for both [Harpur College] undergrads and SOPPS [doctor of pharmacy] students,” Hoffman wrote.
The fund will be exhausted after this summer, but there are plans to continue offering the program and increase the number of stipends available.
“The goal is to give students at Binghamton additional opportunities to take advantage of, so that they can find and pursue their interests,” Hoffman wrote. “[The donor] feels that he owes much of his success to his time as a [Harpur College] undergrad. He wants to give back to Binghamton as he feels Binghamton gave to him.”
These pharmacy-focused projects will join the Harpur Fellows Program and the Summer Scholars and Artists Program, among others, as summer research opportunities for students.
Currently, BU is one of two SUNY institutions that offers a pharmacy program. The school’s first cohort began classes this past fall, and students and faculty are set to move into the $60 million, 84,000-square-foot pharmacy campus this summer.
Applications for the internship are due Thursday, Feb. 1, and students must be enrolled full time in Harpur College or SOPPS.