A major portion of the mission and history of the Center for Engineering in Medicine (CEM) involves the training of MDs and PhDs in the fundamentals of biomedical science and engineering, and bringing the principles and tools of biomedical engineering to the forefront of biomedical research and patient care.

The CEM is a place where scientific rigor and creativity are matched by a sense of sharing and community; it is a vibrant enterprise that draws strength from its diversity and collaborative spirit, and from its affiliations with surrounding biomedical research institutions including Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School, the Shriners Burns Hospital and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Interactions, both within and outside the CEM, provide excellent opportunities for training as well as opportunities for spin-off industrial activities. The CEM's emphasis on collaboration serves to remove the boundaries separating the engineering, scientific and clinical disciplines. The physical layout and research activities in the CEM follow the same principles, with an open-bay configuration, interdisciplinary group meetings, and a focus on highly challenging cutting-edge problems.

Interested individuals can apply for postdoctoral training by sending an application package via email containing: a cover letter, an extended CV with publications, and the names of 3-4 individuals who can serve as professional references. Upon receipt, the application is reviewed for fit with existing CEM research programs. If the fit is appropriate, letters of reference are requested.

The next step is an on-site full day interview with a facilities tour, a candidate seminar, an interactive lunch, and individual meetings with CEM faculty and postdocs. At the end of the day, those candidates still interested are charged with “homework”, which involves a 2-3-page proposal outlining a project that they would be interested in pursuing for their postdoc.

This proposal is reviewed by CEM faculty, and comments are returned to the candidate for consideration and revision. When the revised proposal is accepted, an offer letter is sent to the candidate. CEM postdoctoral fellow appointments include those at Mass General, Harvard Medical School, and the Shriners Hospitals for Children; appointment processing may take up to 2-3 months for domestic applicants and up to 4-5 months for non-domestic applicants.

Postdoctoral fellows usually spend 2-3 years in training before going on to academic or industrial positions. Although the vast majority of former CEM postdocs have secured academic positions, a significant number find excellent jobs in industry.

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