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Temple Research Associate Program (T-RAP)


The Temple Research Associate Program (T-RAP) has been in existence since the fall of 2016. Dr. Derek Isenberg is the program director.


The program is run through the Department of Emergency Medicine with the help of the Temple University Hospital volunteer office. The volunteer office currently compiles the various requirements that are needed to volunteer in the hospital (child abuse clearances, infection disease testing, etc.) The Department of Emergency Medicine arranges for access to EPIC, the hospital's electronic medical record system.

Research associates (RAs) work two four-hour shifts per week, committing to the program for two semesters (fall and spring). There are two-hour, required monthly didactic sessions held on Wednesday evenings where the RAs review new studies and changes to existing studies. During these sessions, they are given lectures about topics related to the ongoing studies (e.g. sepsis, gastrointestinal bleeding).

Learning Objectives

To gain experience in clinical research while interacting with hospital staff and patients. Students will learn hands-on about multiple studies associated with multiple systems of the body in the emergency department. Students will also approach and enroll patients for multiple studies, and learn how to interact with patients and care teams in a professional manner and environment. Students will gain further understanding of different clinical procedures through observation. Students will familiarize themselves with hospital systems and data entry websites.

Role of the Associates

RA responsibilities include, but are not limited to, screening ED patients, aiding in ongoing, investigator-initiated studies, and coordinating with research staff. Research associates will also aid in patient enrollment. Students will be trained to perform enrollments, properly.


Interaction with emergency medicine faculty, residents, and medical students.

  • Learn about clinical medicine
  • Letter(s) of recommendation by ED faculty
  • Career guidance
  • Potential to become involved in other research activities

Most students in the T-RAP program are planning careers in the health sciences. RAs have been accepted to medical school, pharmacy school, physician assistant school, and post-baccalaureate programs. Students receive clinical exposure to the health sciences and take part in clinical research. They have direct interaction with patients as well as see the vast pathology that is seen in the emergency department. In addition, the students can directly shadow Dr. Isenberg in the emergency department outside of the program.

Students receive didactic lectures from emergency medicine faculty and residents that allow them to translate their scientific knowledge into the pathology of diseases. At the end of the program, they receive a recommendation letter from Dr. Isenberg for the professional school of their choice. Students also receive CITI training in bioethics through Temple University.


  • Have all clearances and immunizations
  • Commit to two 4-hour shifts per week
  • Commit to a monthly 2-hour didactic
  • Commit to being in the program for two semesters (fall and spring)
  • Complete CITI Training
  • Register for BIOL 3685: Externship Studies (3 Credit Hours)

All Temple students are invited to contact Dr. Derek Isenberg ( to discuss the program further and any other research opportunities.