Research Opportunities

Research opportunities: (PennKey login required) Students are welcome to contact faculty listed here to discuss potential research experiences​

Please contact Taneesha Bryant if you are interested in research opportunities with the department but are not affiliated with Penn

Research funding opportunities​

The Department offers multiple funded research opportunities for medical students and various levels of training. ​

Year Out Student Research Fellowship

The Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Student Research Fellowship is a one-year program intended for medical students interested in academic otolaryngology who intend to spend a year in a research lab prior to applying for residency or during their third and fourth years of medical school. The department will provide two stipends to aid in living expenses during the research time. Stipend amounts will follow NRSA guidance. Applications will be judged on the student’s track record of research experience, interest in pursuing a career in academic otolaryngology, proposed project, and lab environment with high potential for success. No additional funding is provided for the research and the mentor PI must provide assurance of sufficient resources to support the applicant. All research activities must be performed at the University of Pennsylvania in the lab of a faculty member of the Department of Otolaryngology, but all topics with be considered. Applicants should send inquiries and completed Proposal to Irina Rabinkov.​

Deadline: February 1, 2024

Review: March 1, 2024

Awards Announcement: March 2024

MS1 Summer Research Fellowship

The Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Summer Research Fellowship is a full-time eight-week position for medical students during the summer following the first year of medical school in the areas of basic, translational, clinical, or quality improvement research. Applicants are required to submit a brief research proposal in conjunction with a Penn ORL-HNS faculty mentor in order to apply. Two  stipends of $2000 (or $250/week) will be offered to help cover living expenses. Applicants should send inquiries, their CV, and the completed Proposal cosigned by their research mentor to Dr. Tiffany Chao. See below for a list of previous awardees and mentors. ​
Deadline: February 1, 2024

We would like to congratulate the awardees of this year’s Otorhinolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery MS1 Summer Research Award:

Dominick Rich, BS – Medical Student, Year 1

Title: Identifying host and viral expression profiles in HPV+ head and neck cancer to predict risk recurrence following transoral robotic surgery

Mentor: Devraj Basu, MD PhD

Chau Phung, BA – Medical Student, Year 1


Title: Transverse maxillary deficiency as a predictor for hypoglossal nerve stimulation outcomes in obstructive sleep apnea treatment

Mentor: Raj C. Dedhia, MD

Thank you to everyone who submitted and those who reviewed the proposals. We hope these projects will foster the department’s academic and research efforts and raise our visibility across the School and University. We look forward to seeing these projects develop.

Past summer research fellows​

  • Sanjena Venkatesh
    Mentor: Dr. Karthik Rajasekaran​
    Project: “Indocyanine green fluorescence guided sentinel lymph node biopsy”​
  • Stephanie Wang
    Mentor: Dr. Jason Brant​
    Project: “Predicting Reoperation and Readmission for Head and Neck Free Flap Patients using Machine Learning Models.”​
  • William Cohen​
    Mentor: Dr. Adva Buzi​
    Project: “Sinonasal-Related Quality of Life in Children with Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia”​
  • Katherine Xu​
    Mentor: Dr. Karthik Rajasekaran​
    Project: “Racial Disparities in Management of Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries using the U.S. National Trauma Data Bank”​

Lee Lab Research Fellowship in Head and Neck Oncology

The Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Research Fellowship in Head and Neck Oncology is a year-long fellowship for Penn medical students interested in taking a dedicated year out for basic and translational research in head and neck cancer pathophysiology and alterations in the host immune system with cancer. The research will be within the Lee lab and co-mentored by Drs. Robert Lee and Ryan Carey. Techniques will include live cell imaging of human head and neck cancer cell signaling, growth, and metabolism, as well as alterations of gene expression in normal vs cancer cells. In addition to the basic science and translational projects in the lab, students will have the opportunity to become involved in a variety of clinical research projects, all of which are conducive to obtaining peer-reviewed publications and presentations at national and international meetings. Students will also have the opportunity to shadow faculty in the operating room and clinic throughout the year.​
Applicants are required to submit their CV and a brief ~300 word essay on their interest in the year out experience. Ideally, candidates should have some basic science experience; however, more importantly, they should be motivated, hard-working, and eager to learn. One research fellow will be chosen per year. Fellowship recipients will receive a stipend and all lab resources will be fully funded. This fellowship award can be combined with other grants. Applicants should send inquiries, their CV, and essay to Dr. Ryan Carey or Dr. Robert Lee.
Deadline: Rolling