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Benefits of Research Internships

Finding a job even with a college degree can be a difficult at times, particularly with the surge of four-year graduates entering the workforce in combination with the scarce amount of openings for qualified potential employees.  Having a graduate degree is one of the main attributes students can have in order to be more competitive, but getting into their desired graduate program is no easy task.  Making their curriculum vitae stick out among hundreds of applications is the key to getting their foot in the door.  Within seconds, committees reading their curriculum vitae will judge whether they possess the qualifications and competitiveness many applicants offer, determining whether or not their application will be further considered.

Having a compelling curriculum vitae is the first step in getting placed in that highly sought after admitted pile.  To make their curriculum vitae more appealing, it needs to have attributes other applicants do not, namely, experience through the utilization of research internships.

Though numerous research internships offer little or no monetary gain, many others offer considerable and competitive compensation packages in forms of stipends, room and board, travel costs, health benefits, etc.  Research internships provide research experience to students interested in entering the work force, where generally research experience tends to be absent from classrooms altogether. The benefits of doing research internships reach far beyond pay, consider the experience alone, and the networking capabilities.  The rates of students with practical research experience admitted to graduate programs are considerably more than those who lack research immersion. 

For students who choose not to participate in research internships, their odds of getting accepted into their desired graduate school program over those with a research background on their curriculum vitae is dismal.  In many circumstances, having only a high GPA from a well-known school is no longer what characterizes a good graduate student; and in the majority of cases, students with research internship backgrounds also have high academic marks from reputable programs, adding to their allure.

Research internships are commonly perceived as the pinnacle of undergraduate and graduate education.  Students must consider the advantages research internships have to offer.  Research internships allow students to determine the academic focus to which they want to devote their schooling.  Research internships allow for considerable networking opportunities.  Meeting people is one of the best facets to land the graduate program of the student's dreams, and if the research internship does not turn into an admittance offer, the student's mentor will write an excellent letter of recommendation for him or her, or even let one of their academic contacts know about their mentee's capabilities.  Lastly, research internships allow students to apply the knowledge they have absorbed in their academics to research settings, and add valuable research experience to their applications.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

 This National Science Foundation sponsored program provides advanced training in the manipulation and analysis of proteins for undergraduate students. It facilitates deep understanding of experimental laboratory research, insights into protein biochemistry and contemplation of the broader context of research. A wide range of student research projects mentored by faculty in the Department of Biochemistry is available. Examples include the experimental analysis of enzyme mechanisms, post-translational protein modifications, proteomics, and protein-nucleic acid interactions studied in the biological context of cell cycle control, chromatin regulation and renewable energy research.


Internships in Scientific Research or Medicine

The following compilation features research internships in science or medicine offered nationwide for high school,undergraduate,post-baccalaureate, andgraduate students. The compilation is organized by academic level and discipline and the programs are alphabetized according to the name of the sponsoring institution.

Undergraduate Summer Research Program

Environmental and Occupational Health Science is an interdisciplinary field that uses the tools of science to solve human health problems related to the environment. If you want to use your science background to help people live healthier lives, this research program is for you.  The Environmental Health Research Experience Program (EHREP) is a funded, nine week, summer experience for talented undergraduates who express strong interest in environmental health science research. Each year, the department will select 7 students from a national pool of applicants and pair each with a faculty mentor. 

HIPRC - Training Opportunities

HIGHLIGHTS:Mentored Summer Project, Special Student Seminar Program, Clinical Observations, Work-In-Progress Sessions, Journal Clubs, End of Session Presentations, Networking. Application opens November 1st, 2014 (CEDI students deadline is JAN 28th) Current high school, undergraduate or graduate students are eligible Submit: 1.Application, 2.Transcript with overall GPA of 3.0 oResume, 3.One Letter of Teacher Recommendation. Scholarship opportunities for underrepresented minorities.


Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP)

The University of Michigan Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) offers outstanding undergraduates underrepresented in their field of study the opportunity to conduct intensive research across a variety of disciplines. The goal is to prepare students for advanced studies in a Ph.D. program at U-M.


Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering

SURE offers summer research internships to outstanding undergraduate students who have entered or completed their junior year (preference will be given to those who have completed three years of study) by the time of their internship.  Participants have the opportunity to conduct 10-12 weeks of full-time summer research with some of the country's leading faculty in a wide range of engineering disciplines. The program provides opportunities for students to assess their interests and potential in pursuing research at the Masters or Ph.D. level in graduate school.  All participants must apply online through the SURE website.  Accepted applicants from the University of Michigan receive guidance by a faculty advisor in a College of Engineering research facility, a stipend of $4,200, attend regular meetings and seminars and produce a short YouTube video of their summer research project and/or experience.

The Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS)

The Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis program is a cooperative research initiative geared toward students working in physics and nuclear engineering applications. Through one- to three-year summer internships, NESLS offers engineering students and faculty on-the-job educational and research opportunities at a multidisciplinary national laboratory.

USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Students participate in research through formal programs, student organizations, national competitions, volunteering in a lab, the Undergraduate Fabrication Lab, and their coursework (Directed Research 490 & capstone courses).

MassNanoTech: UMass Amherst Nanotechnology Institute

If you're interested in nanotechnology and want to get a head start on an exciting career, then apply today to the SURE program--a ten-week summer undergraduate research program in Nanoscale Device Development at UMass Amherst. You will work on real cutting-edge research projects with faculty mentors and graduate student lab mates as you build your own scientific foundation for the future.


Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) in Raptor Research

The REU Site in Raptor Research (REU-RR) is funded by the National Science Foundation and Boise State University.  REU-RR is a 10-week summer research program located at Boise State University, Boise, Idaho.

SERC - Professional Training: Internship prgogram in Environmental Studies

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center's (SERC) Internship Program offers undergraduate and  beginning graduate students a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the fields of environmental research and education. This program enables students to work on specific projects under the direction of SERC's professional staff and is tailored to provide the maximum educational benefit to each participant.


Amgen Scholars Program

The UCSD Amgen Scholars Program is a 10-week, full-time research experience for undergraduates, supported by the Amgen Foundation

Science Education Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is a multi-program science and technology laboratory managed for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by UT-Battelle, LLC.  Scientists and engineers at ORNL conduct basic and applied research and development to create scientific knowledge and technological solutions that strengthen the nation's leadership in key areas of science; increase the availability of clean, abundant energy; restore and protect the environment; and contribute to national security.

Summer Research Programs

List of different summer research programs.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Consortium

The University of Arizona Graduate College administers five undergraduate research programs. These, along with affiliated NSF-funded Research Experiences for  Undergraduates (REUs) are collectively known as the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Consortium (UROC).

Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI)

The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program encourages undergraduate students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by providing research experiences at the Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories. Selected students participate as interns appointed at one of 16 participating DOE laboratories. They perform research, under the guidance of laboratory staff scientists or engineers, on projects supporting the DOE mission.

Sensing and Signaling in Biological Systems Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)  

The BCMB Department at UT-Knoxville will once again offer a special REU program for undergraduates interested in hands-on scientific research experience.  The broad focus is on Sensing and Signaling in Biological Systems. The team of REU faculty represent multiple modern scientific disciplines including cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and computational biology.

Emory University STEM Symposium

Convened and organized by Laney Graduate School, the symposium will bring faculty advisors and their students from diverse backgrounds to the Emory campus for two days of shared research presentations and for networking, mentoring, and recruitment. Participants will include outstanding undergraduates intending to pursue the PhD or MD/PhD degree and graduate students seeking postdoctoral opportunities. Faculty advisors are also encouraged to attend and learn about the opportunities Emory offers.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

PNNL offers student internship opportunities for students in STEM fields to gain experience in many different areas. There are also paid internships available for students enrolled in M.S. and P.h.D programs. Check out these great opportunities!

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Summer Research Experiences

The Department of Homeland Security sponsors a 10-week summer internship program for undergraduate and graduate students majoring in homeland security related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (HS-STEM) Disciplines. The program provides students with quality research experiences at federal research facilities located across the country and allows students the opportunity to establish connections with DHS professionals.


The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships are a fabulous external funding source for graduate students in psychology. These fellowships provide generous funding for three years, are prestigious early career honors that can bolster future grant applications, and provide an escape from teaching obligations (if desired). But these fellowships are also extremely competitive, and it is critical to submit a polished proposal. To that end, I will share some key strategies for drafting a competitive application. Although these tips are specifically tailored for NSF, many of these suggestions may help with other grant applications.

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Many populations in America, whether defined by race, ethnicity, immigrant status, disability, sex, gender, or geography, experience higher rates of certain diseases and more deaths and suffering from them compared with the general population. While the diversity of the American population is one of the Nation's greatest assets, one of its greatest challenges is reducing the profound disparity in health status of its racial and ethnic minority, rural, low-income, and other underserved populations. Lots of opportunities from the NIMHD! Check out this list.


Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis

The Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS) program is a cooperative research initiative geared toward students working in physics and nuclear engineering applications. Through one- to three-year summer internships, NESLS offers engineering students and faculty on-the-job educational and research opportunities at a multidisciplinary national laboratory.


Smith Richardson Foundation

The Smith Richardson Foundation's Domestic Public Policy Program seeks to support the work of the next generation of public policy researchers and analysts. In 2008, the Foundation will award at least three research grants in the amount of $60,000 each to individuals who are interested in conducting research and writing on domestic public policy issues. Grantees are expected to produce a book or an article suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The grant can be used to cover the salary costs of the researcher and to underwrite research costs, such as travel, research assistance, and data acquisition. Each grant will be paid directly to, and should be administered by, the institution at which the researcher works.


The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program is an opportunity for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed upon degree completion. Students pursuing degrees related to the following are encouraged to apply.

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

The Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Programs seek to recruit talented students in academic programs relevant to international affairs, political and economic analysis, administration, management, and science policy. The goal is to attract outstanding students from all ethnic, racial, and social backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State. The Programs develop a source of trained men and women from academic disciplines representing the skill needs of the Department, who are dedicated to representing America's interests abroad.

 Rangel Graduate Fellowship

The Rangel Graduate Fellowship is a program that aims to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers in the Foreign Service in which they can help formulate, represent and implement U.S. foreign policy.  Each year, the Rangel Program selects 20 outstanding Rangel Fellows in a highly competitive nationwide process and helps support them through two years of graduate study, internships and professional development activities, and entry into the Foreign Service.  This program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service and those with financial need.  Fellows who successfully complete the program and Foreign Service entry requirements will receive appointments as Foreign Service Officers, one of the most exciting and rewarding careers available.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.


The 21st Century Leaders Internship of the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute is a ten (10) week program that promotes grassroots community organizing and leadership development in key impact areas.

Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) Summer Program

Each year, MRSEC funds up to 10 exemplary undergraduates to participate in summer research projects in the areas of Plasmonics or Organic Spintronics. Students with interests and backgrounds in physics, chemistry, materials science, and engineering (chemical, electrical, mechanical, metallurgical) are good candidates for the MRSEC REU program.

DOE Scholars Program

The DOE Scholars Program introduces students or recent college graduates to DOE's mission and operations. As a participant in the DOE Scholars Program, you will earn a competitive edge by familiarizing yourself with DOE functions while showcasing your education, talent and skills.

Student Programs and Internships

These student programs allow participants taking at least a half-time academic, technical, or vocational course load in an accredited high school, technical, vocational, two- or four- year college or university, graduate or professional school to be part of a cooperative-learning environment. The program is comprised of two different types of paid internships.

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS)

The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship helps low- and middle-income Washington State residents earn first bachelor's degrees. More than 750 scholarships will be awarded to new students who will be college freshmen, sophomores or juniors fall of the 2013-14 academic year. These students will receive $1,000 renewable scholarship each year, (provided they continue to meet the renewal criteria), to help in their pursuit of four-year degrees in the following eligible high demand programs of study: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) or Health Care.

Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship

Paul and Daisy Soros have dedicated another $25 million to help children of immigrants pay for graduate school in the U.S., expanding a family charitable trust that already has awarded more than $30 million to almost 400 students.

Amgen Scholars

The Amgen Scholars Program provides hundreds of undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in a hands-on summer research experience at some of the world's leading institutions.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research

The following compilation featuresresearch internships inscienceor medicineoffered nationwide forhigh school,undergraduate,post-baccalaureate, andgraduate students. The compilation is organized byacademic leveland discipline and the programs are alphabetized according to the name of the sponsoring institution.

Conservation Scholars Program

Join a diverse, committed, and exciting group of students from around the country on an 8-week journey from the urban jungle to the old growth forest and back. Explore why conservation can make a difference, and how you can make a difference in conservation.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships ( are a fabulous external funding source for graduate students in psychology. These fellowships provide generous funding for three years, are prestigious early career honors that can bolster future grant applications, and provide an escape from teaching obligations (if desired).

Science Education Programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Whether you are a recent graduate, a graduate student, an undergraduate, a K-12 student, or a faculty member, ORNL has a program that will engage you in a scientific learning experience. We welcome you to browse our educational opportunities by selecting the category that best describes you.

Swiss Finance Academy

Through proprietary training modules taught by faculty at the top of their fields, Swiss Finance teaches its students the practical skills, know-how, and industry insider mindset to excel in investment banking and entrepreneurship.

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

WSIPP offers internships with the goal of providing students (undergraduate or graduate) real-world public policy research experience. Interns assist WSIPP researchers conducting practical, objective research projects assigned by the legislature. Current topic areas include health care, education, criminal justice, children and adult behavioral health services, and the costs and benefits of various policy options.

Academic Research Consortium

The Academic Research Consortium (ARC) Summer Program provides mentored research experiences in all disciplines to undergraduates at the junior level or continuing seniors with the potential to succeed in graduate study, but who have experienced situations or conditions that have adversely impacted their advancement in their field of study. The program targets talented and motivated students who can benefit from additional encouragement and academic support.

The BASE Summer Program

Young professionals today must have the skills necessary to operate in increasingly complex environments. Six weeks in the BASE program will give you the tools you need to conduct business research, analyze product and financial markets, examine human resource management issues, and use technology resources with confidence.


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