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Engineering Psychiatry Research Program (EPRP)

The Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine and the Jacobs School of Engineering recently partnered to launch the UC San Diego Center for Mental Health Technology (MHTech Center), including a new internship program for undergraduate and graduate engineering students this spring. This new program, called the Engineering and Psychiatry Research Program (EPRP), was developed out of a need for technological solutions to address mental health challenges. Mental disorders have a devastating global impact on quality of human life and society. According to the World Health Organization, mental disorders (depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcohol and drug use disorders) are the leading cause of disability worldwide, but less than 50% of people with mental disorders are identified and treated. In this program, psychiatry faculty mentor ECE student interns in developing an engineering solution to a mental health problem. Students receive research credit for their participation via ECE 199/299. 

Updated Information for the 2020-2021 EPRP: 

The ECE Department is pleased to announce the Spring/Summer Research Internship Program 2021 (SRIP). ECE Spring/Summer Research Internships are 10hr/week in Spring 2021 and 40hr/week in Summer 2021 commitments in ECE labs where interns will have the opportunity to observe and participate in the activities of a research group under the supervision of the PI or a member of the lab group. This year's program is open to all ECE undergraduate (BS) and graduate (MS) students and it will be unfunded (no stipend for participating students and mentors). As such, students may need to participate over the summer remotely, as they did this past summer. Instead of receiving SRIP stipend, interns will have the opportunity to enroll in ECE 199/299 (2-4 units) in Spring 2021. 

Here is the timeline we have set:

· November 5, 2020:  Program announcement. Projects solicited from faculty. 
· November 20, 2020:  Project proposals DUE from faculty 
· November 25, 2020: Projects posted on website. Intern application opens. 
· December 9, 2020: Intern application DUE at 11:59PM 
· December 14, 2020: Intern application/information sent to faculty 
· Mid December to Early January 2021:  Faculty interviews applicants. 
· January 25, 2021:  Faculty select students 
· Early February 2021 (February 1st - 8th):  All applicants notified of application status by the faculty members. · Spring 2021:  Students work 10hr/week in the faculty lab and enroll in 2-4 units of ECE 199/299 research credit courses and start working on projects. 
· Summer 2021:  Students work full time in the faculty lab.

If you would like to participate in this program, please complete the following Google Form by November 20, 2020.

 The structure of the program is as follows:

  • Psychiatry faculty created MHTech projects to address unmet mental health challenges in clinical or research settings.
  • ECE students reviewed the project list and selected projects that met their interests and skill set.
  • Psychiatry faculty interviewed and selected students for their projects. 
  • Students met with their faculty mentors weekly during the spring quarter and completed monthly group presentations. 
  • Students also had access to tutors at the ECE Makerspace, Project-in-a-box (PiB), and PhD students and faculty in Machine Learning and Data Science.   
  • Students had the opportunity to continue with their projects over the summer via support of the Summer Research Internship Program (SRIP), and students are encouraged to continue in subsequent quarters. 

Previous participants included freshman - senior undergraduate students, Master's students, PhD student mentors, Postdoctoral fellow mentors, Psychiatry and Engineering faculty mentors, Makerspaces and PiB tutors, and IT Support from the Department of Psychiatry 

The EPRP was recently included in the 2018-2019 Electrical and Computer Engineering brochure.

EPRP page from brochure

Full ECE brochure