trainee Learning Lab 


Now Recruiting!

The Penn Injury Science Center (PISC) is introducing this year’s Trainee Learning Lab (formerly Student Learning Lab). The lab is available for undergraduate and graduate trainees in Injury Science, including research staff, research assistants, capstone mentees, and those with a keen interest in the field of Injury Science.  Trainees will meet virtually, on a monthly basis, to discuss and interpret peer-reviewed articles related to injury and violence research. 

Sessions will be led and facilitated by Catherine McDonald, PISC Co-Director of Training and Education, and Associate Professor of Nursing. Through interactive sessions, Dr. McDonald will work with trainees to apply skills in the interpretation of research articles. Authors and co-authors will make guest appearances to answer questions regarding their work. By the end of the sessions, trainees will increase their confidence in critically reviewing injury and violence research.


By the end of the 8 sessions (October – May), students will be able to:

  1. Articulate at least one aspect of injury and violence as a major social and health problem 

  2. Describe design and methods commonly used in Injury Science

  3. Apply skills in the critical interpretation of research articles using a space-time scientific lens

Example Projects (2018-2019):

  • Collecting and synthesizing pre-existing interventional research on gun violence in communities

  • Initial steps for a research project on creating a mobile Naloxone unit 

  • Analyzing data from mental health/depression screenings of varsity athletes at Penn

  • Coding interviews using NVivo software pertaining to projects such as siting a Safe Injection Facility in Philadelphia and data from a school violence study

  • Literature review surrounding safe driving practices

  • Coding athlete injury data from past Penn Relays events and examining the (current lack of) collegiate injury data banks

  • Providing research assistance for violence and service utilization in Latinx populations  

  • Working with a community organization to expand outreach of the Litter? Not in Philly campaign

  • Creating a mixed method study on the transmission of infectious disease in dorms

How to get involved 

If you are a current trainee (graduate, undergraduate), research staff, research assistant, capstone mentee, or have a keen interest in the field of Injury Science and would like to join the TLL, please complete the following:

Previous Mentors (2018-2019)