Eight students from colleges across the country spent 10 weeks over the summer working side-by-side with the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) team. Now in its second year, the Center's unique Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program offers students hands-on research experience in the fields of Engineering, Behavioral Science, Education, Population Science, and Statistics. Each student is also paired with a CIRP mentor to work on specific projects and receives formal training in research ethics, conducting studies, and presenting research findings.

"We at CIRP feel fortunate for the opportunity to mentor and work with these exceptional students. I hope that we will inspire them to pursue careers in injury science," said Flaura K. Winston, MD, PhD, founder and scientific co-director of CIRP and director of the Injury Science REU site at the Center.

Over 320 applications were received for the Center's 2012 REU program, and this year's class included recruits from Cornell University, Tufts University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Danielle Grams, an REU student who will be beginning her senior year at the University of South Florida this fall, pursuing a BS in Biology with a concentration in Cellular and Molecular Biology, worked under the direction of Jessica H. Mirman, PhD, lead behavioral scientist on the Young Driver Research team at CIRP, on a project that involved studying the barriers to proper car seat use.

"Through this study, we are seeking to understand how to improve the installation of car seats," said Grams. "During my time at CIRP, I gained experience with a variety of components of the research project including survey design, recruitment, data management, and data collection. I have enjoyed the opportunity to work at such a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary center."