Michael C. Rossi, a doctoral industrial engineering student working in the lab of Professor Hari Balasubramanian of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, has received a $50,000 award to work at a private company for six months as part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) INTERN program. Rossi’s internship is designed to supplement his current research assistantship in Balasubramanian’s lab with six months of non-academic research internship activities and training.
The INTERN award is a supplement to Balasubramanian’s $400,000 grant from the prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program in 2013, which funded his project entitled “Stochastic Models for Designing the Patient Centered Medical Home in Primary Care.” Rossi will be spending six months at Radial Analytics, a start-up company funded by the Small Business Innovation Research Program.
In essence, Balasubramanian’s CAREER project has been working since 2013 to streamline the delivery of primary care to patients. “My long-term research goal,” Balasubramanian said in 2013, “is to establish the quantitative and optimization frameworks that underpin the operational aspects of healthcare delivery.”
According to the NSF INTERN website, NSF has identified the improvement of graduate student preparedness for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce as one of its priorities. As part of this effort, a supplemental funding opportunity was made available in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to provide support for non-academic research internships for graduate students to fund career opportunities in any sector of the U.S. economy.
In this context, supplements to existing NSF awards, such as the CAREER grant received by Balasubramanian, can enable the principal investigators of grants to request up to six months of additional support for graduate students to pursue new activities aimed at acquiring professional development experience that will enhance their preparation for multiple career pathways after graduation.
As the NSF explained, “These supplements could provide graduate students with the opportunity to augment their research assistantships with additional non-academic research internship activities and training opportunities that will complement their academic research training.” (June 2018)