Become a Capstone Partner

Weill Cornell Medicine’s MS programs are always looking to partner with institutions and organizations across a range of fields. One of our most important collaborations is for our capstone projects. 

What are capstone projects?

Capstone projects are a core component of the curriculum in our MS programs. They are an opportunity for graduate students to apply their experience and advanced education in a professional setting, while continuing to build industry knowledge.  In return, our students provide valuable services to our client partners, which may include data analysis, literature reviews, statistical modeling, policy analysis, data visualization, survey design and administration, and more.

Projects may come from clients in academia, hospitals, startups, consulting firms, research foundations, health departments, insurance companies, technology, community organizations, think tanks, and beyond. 

Why should my institution participate?

Our capstone teams of approximately 4 students spend multiple semesters engaged with their capstone client.  These students bring a wide variety of professional backgrounds; some may be right out of college looking to make a difference in the field of research and policy, some are trained doctors and nurses looking to advance their knowledge in a new area, and others might be mid-career professionals looking to pivot professionally.

Our students come from three distinct programs:

 MS in Biostatistics and Data Science
MS in Health Informatics
MS in Health Policy and Economics

Capstone projects are performed by our graduate students without any monetary compensation from our client partners since our students receive academic credit towards their degree for this work.  

Additionally, all capstone projects are overseen by a Weill Cornell Medicine departmental faculty member who will keep the project on track, ensure an appropriate approach by the students, and be available to the client should there be questions or concerns.

Capstone projects also provide an excellent way for clients to build a talent pipeline on our campus and to build visibility for their organization.

How are capstone projects submitted for consideration?

Organizations that have an idea (or multiple ideas) for a capstone project, should submit information about it through our capstone proposal form.  Once submitted, the proposal will be reviewed by our Education Team, which may approve a project proposal as is or discuss potential adjustments with the client.  If it gains approval, it will be matched with a faculty advisor and presented to students in the MS programs.  Students receive a list of potential projects and will be matched to projects by the Education Team based on their interests and relevant qualifications to complete the client’s expected deliverables.  

Please note: While we would like to match every potential client with a student capstone team, there may be instances where the project deliverables are not an appropriate fit or where the timeline required does not align with the needs of the program.   

Potential clients who are not yet sure about their proposal topic (or whether a capstone may be a good fit) are welcome to submit a capstone inquiry form.  After completing the form, the Education Team will follow up to discuss possible ideas.

What kind of project should I submit?

The projects that are most successful should have a defined scope and specific deliverables in mind that are reasonable for a group of approximately 4 graduate students in our disciplines to complete in the allotted time.  

Review some of our recent projects for inspiration.

What kind of timeline can I expect as a potential client?

Health Informatics (HI) and Healthcare Policy and Research (HPE)

Dates for 2022-2023Capstone Project Milestones
September 1Prospective clients must submit all project proposals for review and sign off on the Capstone Client Agreement.
Early SeptemberProspective clients will be contacted about possible proposal adjustments.
Mid-Late SeptemberProspective clients are notified if their project will be sent forward to the next stage of the process.
October 1Approved projects are shared with students who then rank their preferences of projects for which they are both interested and qualified.
November 1Students are notified about the project with which they have matched. Prospective clients are notified about whether they have been matched.
Early NovemberStudents reach out to their client to begin the collaboration process.
DecemberStudents present a five-minute overview of their project to their academic department.
January-JuneStudents have regular check ins with their client and faculty advisor to move the project forward and produce any agreed-upon client deliverables.
JulyStudents submit a final paper and give a final presentation on their project to their academic program at Weill Cornell. Clients are highly encouraged to attend.

Please note: These dates are used for our full-time students.  We also have a smaller number of part-time students who are matched to projects in June and present their finished projects the following April.  

Biostatistics and Data Science (BDS)

Dates for 2023Capstone Project Milestones
February 1Prospective clients must submit all project proposals for review and sign off on the Capstone Client Agreement.
Early FebruaryProspective clients will be contacted about possible proposal adjustments.
Mid-Late FebruaryProspective clients are notified if their project will be sent forward to the next stage of the process.
March 1Approved projects are shared with students who then rank their preferences of projects for which they are both interested and qualified.
April 1Students are notified about the project with which they have matched. Prospective clients are notified about whether they have been matched.
Early AprilStudents reach out to their client to begin the collaboration process.
April-JulyStudents have regular check ins with their client and faculty advisor to move the project forward and produce any agreed-upon client deliverables.
JulyStudents submit a final paper and give a final presentation on their project to their academic program at Weill Cornell. Clients are highly encouraged to attend.

Curious to learn more or chat with us about capstones?

If you’re still unsure about pursuing a capstone project partnership with Weill Cornell’s MS in Healthcare Policy and Research, complete our inquiry form found below. 

Alternatively, you may contact the Associate Director of Career Development and Employer Engagement, Miriam Miller at mim4027@med.cornell.edu.

We also welcome your organization to explore additional ways of engaging with our students and alumni.  Learn more about career services for employers on our career services page.

Ready to submit your project proposal?

We encourage you to complete a capstone proposal form for your institution and join us as a partner organization!

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