Research Associate Program

Weill Cornell Medicine’s Emergency Medicine Research Associate Program (RAP) exposes college and post-baccalaureate students to research activities within the emergency medicine setting, specifically at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine (NYP/WCM) and NYP/Lower Manhattan

Hospital (NYP/LMH). Research Associates (RAs) recruit patients to research studies and perform other research-related tasks between the hours of 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM, 7 days a week.

The Research Associate Program is a research program that occurs in a clinical setting. The program is designed to involve Research Associates in many elements of the performance of clinical research, while providing opportunities for observing clinical practice, and for extended interaction with clinical providers and patients. The program provides educational and practical experiences that increase knowledge about clinical research methodology and clinical care and may enhance participant’s application to medical or graduate school. 

Participation in the program requires a minimum commitment of two, 6-hour shifts per week for two consecutive semesters and attendance at scheduled trainings or lectures (2-4 dates per semester). Participation in the program is on a volunteer, unpaid basis.

The program offers Research Associates opportunities in the following three areas:

Clinical Practice

  • Interaction with patients through research (e.g., patient recruitment and interviews)
  • Observation of interdisciplinary patient care in a dynamic, fast-paced clinical environment at a world-class teaching hospital
  • General patient assistance (e.g., providing blankets or water to patients as appropriate)

Clinical Research: Theory and Practice

  • Theory: Training in epidemiological research methods and public health practice
  • Theory: Bioethics and research ethics
  • Practice: Performing clinical research protocols related to a variety of subject areas within emergency medicine 
  • Practice: Data management and data entry; review of medical records
  • Theory & Practice: Didactic and practical learning about content area of clinical research protocols

Networking and shadowing

  • Interaction with attending and resident physicians and other clinical staff
  • Networking with other pre-health students
  • Opportunities to shadow physicians and other clinical staff

The Research Associate program is conducted under the auspices of the Division of Research in WCM’s Department of Emergency Medicine. The Program is directed by Dr. Lynn Jiang, MD and is managed by Samara Benitez.

Applicant FAQs

What does the program look for in applicants?

The program seeks detail-oriented individuals who enjoy both working independently and on a team. Applicants do not require previous research experience. 

Those with previous clinical experience are especially encouraged to apply. However, clinical experience is not a pre-requisite for acceptance into the program. The program does not consider freshmen applicants (you must be a sophomore by the time you begin the program). 

Regardless of level of experience, applicants should be interested in gaining clinical research experience. 

Is this a shadowing program? 

Although opportunities to shadow physicians or other clinical staff may arise over the course of participation in the program, the Research Associate Program is not intended or designed solely to facilitate shadowing in a clinical context. There is no formal shadowing experience in the program.

Is this a research program or a clinical experience program? 

The Research Associate Program is a research program that occurs in a clinical setting. It is designed to provide numerous opportunities for clinical observation and extended interaction with patients in the NYP/WCM or NYP/LMH emergency department, while participating in clinical research activities. 

Could I put this on a resume?

The research experiences and didactic opportunities gained by Research Associates are highly marketable. These skills may be of use in future academic or professional endeavors and can be listed on a job resume or medical school application.  

Potential applicants may note that evidence suggests that participants in RA programs have a higher likelihood of acceptance into medical school than applicants who have not participated in an RA program. For more, see Sparano, D. M., Shofer, F. S., & Hollander, J. E. (2004). Participation in the Academic Associate Program: Effect on Medical School Admission Rate. Academic Emergency Medicine, 11(6), 695-698).

How can I apply?

Applications are completed online, and require two references, a cover letter, and your CV or resume.

Application deadlines are:

  • Fall Semester: May 31st at 11:59PM EST
  • Spring Semester: September 30th at 11:59PM EST
  • Summer Semester: January 31st at 11:59PM EST

For more information about the program, please click here.

The current application can be found here:

For More Information

Please email or contact Samara Benitez (Research Coordinator, Department of Emergency Medicine) at with any questions.

Mailing Address
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Weill Cornell Medical Center
Department of Emergency Medicine
525 E. 68th St., Box 179
New York, NY 10065

Office of the Chair
Emergency Medicine
525 E. 68th St., M-130
New York, NY 10065
(212) 746-0780

Residency Office
530 E. 70th St., M-127
New York, NY 10021
(212) 746-0892

Research Office
525 E. 68th St., M-130
New York, NY 10065

Leading Emergency Care