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Clinical and Research Experience


The University of Utah Department of Orthopaedics Research Program accepts highly motivated students and trainees at all levels who are interested in gaining clinical and research experience within musculoskeletal biology, bioengineering and clinical research and are pursuing a basic science, medical degree or health related graduate degree.

We have multiple ongoing clinical trials and research projects at any given time. The goal of our research studies is to increase the scientific knowledge of the field, and ultimately to improve the quality of life in our patient population.

There are several opportunities for students, both paid and volunteer and over the summer or on a part-time basis during the school year. Students will assist with a variety of tasks including chart reviews, data cleaning, analysis and presentation, and literature review. In addition, interested students can also help with ongoing clinical trials.

Orthopaedic sub-specialties research opportunities:

  • Adult Reconstruction
  • Foot & Ankle
  • Hand
  • Pediatric Spine
  • Pediatrics
  • Sports – Shoulder/Elbow
  • Sports Non-Operative 
  • Spine
  • Trauma
  • Musculoskeletal and Tumor Biology

Ortho Summer Research Internship Opportunity

  • Location: University of Utah Orthopaedic Center/Shriner's Hospital
  • Hours: 40 hours per week
  • Duration: 8-10 consecutive weeks (May-Sept)
  • Application Process Opens: August 1
  • Application Process Closes: February 1
  • Selection Process Completed: March 1


Summer Trainees 

  • Complete the following trainings via your CITI account: (you can create this account here. Make sure to associate your account with the University of Utah)​
    • Group 1 Biomedical Research Investigators and Key Personnel
    • GCP (Good Clinical Practice, US FDA Focus)
  • Reach out to your attending about 2-3 weeks before your start date to discuss things like shadowing, dress code, and to get in touch with their administrative assistant. 
  • UCard Badge Instructions for New Employees/Outside Students:
    • Either click here and follow instructions to upload a photo and complete the required information, or take the form provided by Ashley to the UCard office to obtain your badge.
  • UCard Badge Instructions for University Department Transfers:
    • Email Melissa Spendlove before going to pick up your card. She needs to submit payment through UShop first. After emailing Cindy, can complete required information and upload photo here or can take the form provided by Ashley to the UCard office. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • When will I be paid?
    • You will be paid twice during the entirety of your internship. 
  • What is the University's holiday schedule?
    • You can find a schedule of University holidays here.
  • What dress code is expected during my internship? 
    • Dress code is business casual while in the office or in clinic. Access to scrubs will be provided while in the OR or as needed.  

If you have been approved for summer housing:

  • Will I have a roommate?
    • Yes, depending on the volume of students. Housing is not co-ed. 
  • What will the apartments include?
    • They come fully furnished (including kitchen utensils). You will be responsible for food, etc. 
  • Please email for any additional information.

What Students Are Saying

"It was an excellent experience being immersed in orthopedics from both a clinical and research perspective. Everyone at the U was incredibly welcoming, supportive, and pleasant to work with. Multiple educational opportunities were available such as grand rounds and weekly conferences."
Senah Stephens, Class of 2026 Eastern Virginia Medical School
"My summer at UU Orthopaedics was very rewarding! I was able to expand my research skill sets and further refine my abilities in study design and conducting meta-analyses. I was very thankful for the opportunity to expand more unique expertise in biomechanic lab techniques and machining. Lastly, I was very pleased with the amount of faculty accessibility and PI engagement in my projects and my learning, I really felt that they were taking the time to invest in my education. All in all, I am very grateful to have had the chance to work with all of the staff and students at the Universiy of Utah Department of Orthopaedics and look forward to any collaborations in the future!"
Nate Davidson, Class of 2020, Carver College of Medicine
"The program was an incredible way to get involved in research early and craft projects that are meaningful for residency applications. Additionally, the mentorship was phenomenal."
Erin Tabish, Class of 2026 University of Utah
“My time interning at the UOC has been one of the best investments I could have made in my pre-clinical years. It has exposed me to people who have accelerated my knowledge of clinical medical, physician research, and the field of orthopedics. It has also introduced me to people who I believe will be tremendously helpful in getting me where I would like to be in my career as a medical student and aspiring surgeon. That being said, the squeaky wheel gets the grease! Your experience will be what you make of it. Don't be afraid to engage with the residents and physicians, you have nothing to lose! Don't wait around for someone to offer to open doors and opportunities for you, try to seek them out, but also remember not to be annoying ha! Tough balance! However, I think perhaps as long as you are serious about finishing the tasks they give you, you will be a benefit to the program, and it will definitely be a huge benefit to you!”
Chase Nelson, Class of 2025, Virginia Commonwealth University

Contact Us

Melissa Spendlove

University of Utah Orthopaedic Center
590 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108