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Internships: Biomedical, Cell Biology and Immunology

Summer Internships in Biomedical, Cell Biology and Immunology

Van Andel Research Institute summer internship program >>.
Our goal this year is to have many students apply to Van Andel’s summer programs and for several to be accepted. Excellent opportunities are offered in cancer, Parkinson’s disease, cell and molecular biology, genetics, bioinformatics and more. The deadline will be during the first week of February 2015. Begin work on your application immediately after exams. This is a competitive program, so your application must be of excellent quality.
Many Calvin students have done research at Van Andel, and in some summers several students have been accepted to the summer program. The website is:  You are also encouraged to contact investigators at VAI directly because some higher summer students outside the fellowship program

This is an excellent opportunity to work at a top level research institute in the areas of genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics and other fields related to cancer and Parkinson's disease. Many Calvin students have worked at Van Andel. They have had excellent experiences and summer internships have often extended into part time work during the academic year and subsequent summers. Investigators at VAI also hire students directly outside of the summer internship program and often prefer Calvin students.

National Science Foundation (NSF) >>
The NSF is an independent government agency responsible for promoting scientific and engineering research experiences for undergrads. Also check out the NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates >> site which helps attract a diversified pool of talented students into research careers.

NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research >>
The Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers a unique opportunity for college students to develop skills in scientific research. In this program, students receive hands-on experience while working with some of the leading scientists in the research laboratories at the NIH. Watch this YouTube video on Applying to the NIH Summer Internship Program.

Internships in Scientific Research or Medicine for Undergraduate Students>> The compilation PDF features research internships in science or medicine offered nationwide for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students. The compilation is organized by academic level and discipline and the programs are alphabetized according to the name of the sponsoring institution. For more information about a specific internship, please refer to the program’s website or contact the respective administrator.

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. This is a prestigious summer research program held at various locations including Cal Tech, UCLA, U of Washington, UCSD, MIT, Stanford, Cambridge University (England), and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, among others. The research projects are primarily in the areas of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, microbiology, neuroscience, genetics and related disciplines. Includes a generous stipend and all expenses. Three Calvin students have been accepted to this program in previous years.

Medical College of Wisconsin >>
The Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) provides the opportunity for students to learn first-hand the potential of the biomedical sciences as an interesting and fulfilling career. This program is primarily intended for students interested in a PhD degree in biomedical sciences. They also encourage applicants interested in obtaining a dual degree (MD and PhD) to apply.

Mayo Clinic Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)>> gives you more than just work experience in a lab. As a SURF fellow you will: conduct your own small research project, or work on part of an ongoing research investigation for 10 weeks, develop your technical skills, and participate in a special weekly seminar series that introduces you to rapidly progressing research areas.

Summer Lab Science Program at Mayo Clinic >> in Rochester, Minn., offers students the opportunity to gain experience in the clinical laboratory environment by working alongside Mayo Clinic laboratory scientists and health care professionals dedicated to diagnosing and treating disease.

Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan >> For the past several years the Calvin Biology Department and the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan have offered a very special opportunity to Calvin biology students. Through the generosity of Dr. Dan Michele, a Calvin alum, 2 positions in the summer research program of his department are reserved for Calvin students. One of the positions is funded by Michigan and the other by Calvin. This is quite an honor for us since the rest of the students in the program compete for their positions on a nationwide basis. Each student will be matched, based on his or her interests, to a laboratory that is led by a faculty member of the Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology or of the University of Michigan Medical School. The selected laboratories are involved in nationally recognized research, in topics such as hormones and signal transduction, obesity and diabetes, reproduction and circadian rhythms including sleep, gastrointestinal physiology including digestive diseases, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease and hypertension, renal and pulmonary function, muscle contractile mechanisms, ion channels and neurophysiology. This program is open to students who have completed the junior year. When you apply also contact Dr. Michele directly so that he is aware of your application Also let Prof. Ubels know ( know when you apply since he consults with Dr. Michele concerning the students who are accepted.

MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine >> is offering summer education and research training to outstanding undergraduate students, who are planning to pursue careers in the biomedical sciences. Students interested in combined DO-PhD training for a career as a physician-scientist are offered an opportunity to conduct research and to be exposed to the excitement of an academic medical environment. The MSUCOM Summer Undergraduate Education and Research Program is a 10 week program. Up to four awards will be given to qualified undergraduate applicants each year. The program includes both clinical & laboratory experiences. Students will work in a research laboratory under the guidance of selected faculty members in the biomedical sciences, shadow physician-scientists in a clinical setting, attend seminars emphasizing the intersection of science and medicine, and participate in career development workshops. Students will work with faculty on an individual basis and as part of a research team. Research teams will include graduate students, post docs, research scientists, and current DO-PhD students.

Biomedical Research Internship Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR >> Randy Woltjer is a Calvin grad and associate professor of pathology at OHSU in Portland, Oregon, where he runs a research laboratory that studies the biochemistry of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and rarer diseases. He also maintains the Oregon Brain Bank, a repository of over 2000 cases of brain autopsy tissue that supplies researchers at over 50 labs throughout the USA who study a variety of brain diseases. Prof. Woltjer takes 1-4 interns each summer to help out in the lab, to learn about research and the pathologic basis of brain diseases, and to enable them to find out if they have a real interest in science or medicine. Motivated interns can usually anticipate that they will be named as a coauthor on a scientific manuscript that incorporates the results of their efforts into the data section. The true value of the internship lies in the experience of working with real human tissue, studying real human diseases, and getting some professional guidance in biomedical careers. How to Apply: E-mail your resume to

Baylor College of Medicine >> The Summer Medical and Research Training Program is for undergraduate students who are interested in exploring a career in scientific research. They encourage Ph.D. oriented candidates to apply. Up to 100 students are recruited for the SMART Program from across the nation. They offer nine paid weeks of biomedical related research in a broad range of areas.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Undergraduate Research >>
CSHL’s Undergraduate Research Program (URP) provides one of the few places where young people are instructed in the techniques of modern biology while becoming integrated members of a vibrant scientific community. Each year, approximately 25 students from around the world are accepted to the fully subsidized, 10-week summer program to work with senior Laboratory staff members on independent research projects in: Cancer biology, Neuroscience, Plant biology, Cellular and molecular biology, Genetics, and Computational biology.

University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute Perrigo Undergraduate Summer Fellowship >> The 10-week program provides an opportunity for undergraduates currently enrolled in any Michigan university or college to work side-by-side with world class researchers at the LSI. The Program provides a stipend as well as housing support.

Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellows Program >>
The Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellows (HURF) Program, funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, offers an opportunity for students currently enrolled in biological sciences curriculum to conduct research under the guidance of research faculty. Do an Internet search for "The Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellows (HURF) Program", this will lead you to numerous websites listing research opportunities.

NSF-REU in cell biology - Sensing and Signaling - at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville >> The aim of this Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) is to provide hands-on research opportunities for undergraduate students majoring in the sciences, with an introduction to cutting-edge research in the broad area of “Sensing and Signaling”. The team of REU investigators represents a multidisciplinary ensemble of Cell Biologists, Geneticists, Biochemists, and Biophysicists who are taking modern approaches to the analysis of how signals are perceived and transduced in myriad biological systems.

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) at Wayne State University School of Medicine >> Internships in all areas of biomedical science. There are many very good research programs at Wayne.

University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center >>  A summer fellowship program to support undergraduate students that are interested in cardiovascular research. Any student who is currently enrolled at any degree granting University or College is eligible to apply, with preference give to those students interested in a career in research.

University of Iowa College of Medicine Summer Undergraduate MSTP Research Program >> This research experience is designed specifically for students whose goal is to enroll in an MD/PhD program. The program includes research, shadowing physicians and seminars/mentoring activities to prepare your for applying to MD/PhD programs.

The University of Washington (UW) in Seattle Amgen Scholars Summer Research Program in Science and Biotechnology >> This national program provides undergraduate participants with premiere research experiences with UW faculty mentors in the biomedical sciences, while receiving a generous stipend, housing, meal plan, transportation to and from the UW campus, and more! One unique component of the Amgen Scholars Program is the opportunity to attend the U.S. symposium in Los Angeles to meet peers from across the nation, to network with scientists, and to learn about science careers in industry and academia.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Summer Undergraduate Research Program [SURP] >> An intensive, nine-week internship in Seat le, WA designed to provide research experience and mentorship for undergraduate students who are interested in biological research. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, students will complete an independent research project and present their findings at a competitive poster session. 

Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/ Sloan-Kettering Gateways to The Laboratory Summer Program >> A summer program for underrepresented minority and disadvantaged college students who wish to pursue the combined MD-PhD degree. Every year, 15 students embark on a 10 week intensive journey of learning about the challenging and gratifying road of becoming a physician-scientist.


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When to apply

The time to begin applying for summer off-campus research opportunities begins in November.

Applications Deadlines

Most applications are due between Feb. 1 and Mar. 31. A few are due as early as Nov. 2 and Jan. 10.

Earning credit

You can earn credit, either elective or in fulfilment of the research requirements in the BS in biology major, for a summer internship. Professor John Ubels, Internship Director, will work with you to formalize the requirements for earning credit from Calvin College once you have been accepted to a lab or a company.

What you need to do

  • apply to the programs as they are announced
  • search the web for programs at places where you might like to work
  • contact people whom you know that work in research labs or companies
  • apply to many programs to increase your chances.

What are your chances?

Our internship program is highly successful with up to15 students working off-campus each summer, at prestigious universities and institutions.

Where do Calvin students get internships?

We commonly have students working at Michigan State, Purdue, University of Michigan (2 spots reserved for Calvin students in physiology), Northwestern, Minnesota, Harvard, Notre Dame, UCLA, U of Virginia, Johns Hopkins, NIH, Van Andel Institute and many more.

Get more info

Check out the Internships FAQ.>>

Contact Calvin's internship coordinator, Professor John Ubels or biology administrative assistant, Pat Buist.


Go to Calvin's Career Development site to find many more internship postings and possibilities.