Biotechnology Partnership Program
What is the Biotechnology Partnership Program?
The Biotechnology Partnership Program is an optional program that provides students with the opportunity to take an accelerated version of AP Chemistry on-site at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC) in Doylestown and to participate in an after-school research internship at the facility. Students engage in their own multi-week research project, which is entered into various STEM competitions. PABC is one of the premier biotech incubators in the United States. The cure for Hepatitis C was developed by Dr. Michael Sofia at PABC, along with various other pharmaceuticals. Several multi-million dollar start-ups have been spun out of the facility, which has served as a “second home” for a number of renowned current and former pharmaceutical researchers and university professors.
Who is eligible to participate in the Biotechnology Partnership Program?
Students must request AP Chemistry to be eligible, and only students who have requested AP Chemistry receive an invitation to the annual roll-out meeting, which occurs in early-April. Participants must be 16-years-old on the first day of the school year. The program is highly selective, and it is not a good fit for all students. Students must apply, and only one class of students will be admitted from the district-wide pool of applicants (i.e. one class chosen from all students who apply from East, South, and West). The after-school research internship is a considerable time commitment which makes many other activities impossible. Program participants do not participate in CBSD sports or other activities that hold regular, mandatory meetings after school. Since the after-school internship is essentially a part-time job, it may also make other part-time work impossible on the weekdays.
What are the benefits of the AP Chemistry Partnership Program?
The program is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage in serious, long-term research at the high school level under the supervision of acknowledged experts. Participants emerge from the program with skills and abilities that rival those of graduate students, with resumes that are impossible to overlook. PABC student researchers have been incredibly successful in STEM competitions, earning recognition at every level of competition (local to international), as well as thousands of dollars in scholarships / cash prizes. PABC students have gone / will go on to study at Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, Cornell, Penn State-Schreyer Honors, Notre Dame, and other noteworthy post-secondary research institutions. Click here to see highlights from current and former participants.
How do I apply? What does the application process entail?
The application will be made available and discussed during the annual roll-out meeting, which typically occurs in the first week of April. You cannot start on the application early, as it frequently changes from year-to-year. In the past, the application has involved acquiring multiple teacher references and submitting a series of documents, including a resume, indemnification form, confidentiality agreement, proof of the Hepatitis B vaccine series, etc. Applicants also complete and submit several short, written statements in response to various prompts. Applicants may also sit for one or more interviews. Successful applicants must process a non-refundable, $200 MyPaymentsPlus payment to help cover research expenses. Students who are part of the Free and Reduced Lunch Program are exempt from making this payment.
What is the application timeline?
Updated Preliminary Details Video Released
The video will be shown at each high school and will be accessible through each school’s program planning website.
Rollout Meeting Invites Sent
Only students who request AP Chemistry during program planning are invited to the annual Biotech Partnership Program Application Rollout Meeting.
Rollout Meeting Occurs / Application Available
Each year, the application is updated. The updated application and official program details are not available until after this event occurs.
Applications Due and Interviews Scheduled
Where can I learn more information?
Each year, a Preliminary Details Video is released in mid-January, for program planning. Click here to access the most current Preliminary Details video.
Can students participate for two years? How does the second year differ? Can a student start by participating in the year two elective course?
Students who are 16-years-old by the first day of school in their junior year may be eligible to return to the Biotech Center for their senior year. Returning year two students take the Biotechnology Research Practicum elective, instead of AP Chemistry. Unlike in the first year of the program, where students are limited to after-school research activities, second year students spend the majority of their time on-site devoted to research tasks. These students are able to continuing their previous research internships and projects or to start new experiences. It is not possible to start the experience with the elective course. Students must be accepted into the first year opportunity involving AP Chemistry before being invited back for a second year.
What are the available scheduling pathways for interested students?
The program is selective and could end at any time. With that in mind, "scheduling around" the program may not be wise. Students should decide on a program planning pathway that works well with or without the Biotech Partnership Program. Three important considerations include:
- Age: Students must be 16-years-old on the first day of school to participate.
- AP Chemistry: Students must request AP Chemistry for the school year they hope to participate.
- In the case of two equally qualified applicants, preference is given to the applicant who is eligible and willing to participate for two years (i.e. as in pathway A below)
Many pathways exist, but here are two common examples:
Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
CB East HS
Mrs. Melissa Willis
CB South HS
Mr. Vello Vilbas
CB West HS
Mrs. Kelley Peloquin