The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has made a major push to fund translational medicine, especially within biomedical research. The demand for biomedical engineers with an understanding about the science of translation and practical experience is expected to grow.
Northwestern University’s Master’s Certificate in Translational Biomedical Research is an interdisciplinary certificate program designed to immerse the students in the integrative approach and experience needed to take their engineering background to the clinical space and industry.
The certificate program capitalizes on the existing extensive research collaborations of the BME Department with the schools of medicine, arts and sciences, and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), as well as industry relationships formed through faculty, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, alumni and advisory board members.
This certificate program distinguishes itself from existing programs within Northwestern University and translational Master’s programs offered at other peer institutions in the background of the participating students and its focus. Participants are recruited from the Master’s students within the school of engineering. The curricular focus is on the integration of engineering in the translational pathway.
The program is positioned bridge research and entrepreneurship. Currently, our coursework-based Master’s students can participate in research through independent research. NUvention courses offers them the opportunity to partake in product and customer development by working in an interdisciplinary team with a focus on entrepreneurship. The certificate program provides the link between these domains. Certificate program students acquire knowledge through coursework, engage in a 6-month internship that meets the actual needs of the medical community, and learn how innovations transition to use for the improvement of health.
The program is currently being piloted with BME Master’s students who started their internships in Summer 2017. To evaluate the program, we will use both quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative method will involve assessing student performance and perception. Entrance surveys, exit surveys, and course evaluations will be used to collect data. The qualitative method will involve interviews with students, course instructors, and internship mentors. Survey and interview questions will be developed by working with Northwestern University’s Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching. The results of the analysis will be then used to reflect on the curriculum and form a basis for possible future revisions.
Are you a researcher? Would you like to cite this paper?
Visit the ASEE document repository at
for more tools and easy citations.