Student/Resident Application

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in conducting research at the Clinic for Special Children. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable clinical, laboratory, and research services to children and adults with complex genetic disorders, primarily in the local Amish and Mennonite communities. Our combination of comprehensive clinical care and embedded biochemical and molecular laboratory services allow for longitudinal studies ultimately resulting in patient-focused translational research. Should your application be approved, you would aid us in this mission.

Given the demand of clinical care and research duties on our staff, space for students is limited and awarded on a competitive basis. While CSC staff will provide guidance and mentorship, success of any project will depend on a student’s initiative and their ability to work independently. Typical projects include in-depth study of an individual case or disorder. While clinical and/or laboratory experiences may be part of the course of study depending on a student’s focus, this is not primarily a “shadowing” experience. Research opportunities at CSC are also unpaid positions. Near the end of your study period, you will be required to formally present findings from your project to CSC staff.


The following papers will provide information regarding our unique practice and laboratory. It is recommended that you read these papers prior to filling out the application.

  • Strauss, KA, et al. “One Community’s Effort to Control Genetic Disease.” Am J Public Health. 2012 Jul;102(7):1300-6. Epub 2012 May 17. PubMed PMID: 22594747.

  • Strauss, KA et al. “Genetics, Medicine and the Plain People.” Ann. Rev. Genomics Hum. Genetics. 10:513-536, 2009.

  • Morton, DH et al. “Pediatric medicine and the genetic disorders of the Amish and Mennonite people of Pennsylvania.” Am. J. Med. Geneti. 121C: 5-17, 2003.

  • Strauss, KA et al. “Clinical Application of DNA microarrays: molecular diagnosis and HLA matching of an Amish child with severe combined immune deficiency.” Clin. Immunol. 128: 31-38, 2008.

  • “Letter to a Student” an essay by Dr. Morton

  • Morton, DH. “Through my Window – Remarks at the 125th Year Celebration of Children’s Hospital of Boston.” Pediatrics. 94: 785-791, 1994.

  • Puffenberger, EG et al. “Genetic Mapping and Exome Sequencing Identify Variants Associated with Five Novel Diseases.” PLoS ONE. 7(1): e28936, 2012.

For students interested in the culture of our patient population, we recommend Amish Society by John Hostetler.


Who Should Apply

  • Undergraduates (min. 2 years completed)
  • Medical residents
  • Fellows/post doctoral
  • Faculty from outside institutions
  • Graduate students in human genetics and genetic counseling

Requirements for Study

  • Any clinical experiences are only for students who are enrolled in a clinical program (medical students, residents, fellows, genetic counselors, etc.)
  • Student is in good academic standing or employment
  • Student is enrolled in a course of study or has an educational background relevant to the work of the Clinic

Required Documents

  • Completed application
  • Personal statement
    • In 500 words or less, please describe your motivation for coming to study at the Clinic for Special Children
  • Transcript or proof of employment
  • Curriculum vitae
  • One (1) letter of recommendation from a person familiar with your character, abilities, and intent.

NOTE: While we provide a unique learning experience within the scope of our normal practice, it will be the responsibility of any applicant to fulfill any additional educational requirements imposed by his or her institution.

DEADLINE: at least 3 months prior to your intended start date

SUBMISSION: Submit all documents below via our online application form.


Online Application

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Accepted file types: pdf, jpg, png, docx.
    In 500 words or less, please describe your motivation for coming to study at the Clinic for Special Children
  • From persons familiar with your character, abilities, and intent.