Industry Internship Program
The Industry Internship Program is a four-month summer program, administered by EBRC, giving students valuable industry experience. Participating companies host one or more PhD-candidates on-site, providing the opportunity to introduce students to industry culture and train the future workforce and industry leadership. Graduate student-interns work on projects that fit their interests and experience and enhance their studies, and gain from unique professional development opportunities.
EBRC recognizes the challenging and uncertain times we are currently living in. We continue to work closely with all our participating companies and students to adapt to state and local restrictions in movement and facility access while still providing a valuable internship experience.
The application window for Summer 2022 interns is now closed.
Who: The Internship Program is open to PhD candidates at U.S. universities and colleges and small- to medium-sized biotechnology companies. Click here for student eligibility requirements.
What: Students can expect to work on projects that fit their interests and experience and will enhance their studies, but may not directly relate to their thesis/dissertation research. No prior industry experience is necessary or expected. Host companies will provide funding to cover student-interns’ tuition and fees and a stipend equivalent to the NSF GRFP plus a modest cost-of-living adjustment.
When: Summer internships will run approx. May to September. Start and end dates may be negotiable with participating companies on an individual basis. The application window for the Summer 2022 Program is anticipated to be October – December 2021. View application requirements.
Where: Internships will take place at one of our participating companies or government laboratories. (To check out the 2021 hosts, click here.)
Why: EBRC recognizes the need for premier education and training opportunities in engineering / synthetic biology and the benefit received from close interaction between the academic and industrial sectors. EBRC developed a summer Internship Program between US colleges and universities and participating biotechnology companies with the goal of better preparing tomorrow’s leaders for careers outside academia and to enhance students’ laboratory skills and understanding of applications.
View the Program Guidebook
Air Force Research Laboratory, Joint Genome Institute, Lanzatech, lululemon, and Zymergen
Hosts for Summer 2022 are now being recruited; this space will be updated as new potential hosts are confirmed. Participating organizations subject to change. Due to uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic not all organizations or opportunities may be available – this page will be updated to reflect changes as they arise.
Air Force Research Laboratory
Joint Genome Institute
Information for Companies
EBRC is currently recruiting companies for the Summer 2022 Program. Please contact [email protected] to learn more. Companies will be asked to submit an interest form consisting of company profile information and a statement describing the potential internship project(s) and opportunities for professional development. Participation will be formalized with an agreement between the company and EBRC.
We recognize that there is significant uncertainty in the current climate and that companies may not be able to commit to onsite internship opportunities at this time. We’ve chosen to move forward with recruiting potential hosts to share with students the opportunities available to participate in the program if at all possible. We encourage our potential hosts to consider computational and other projects that could be undertaken remotely, to increase flexibility. Companies that indicate they’d like to participate will be regularly updated on program plans.
The hosting company will be responsible for:
- Hosting the student-intern in house during the summer for approximately four(4) months;
- Developing and communicating a defined technical project;
- Providing opportunities for professional development and experience beyond the lab bench (to supplement the technical project);
- Providing funding to cover the student’s stipend, the student’s tuition and fees for the duration of the internship (fees to be averaged across the intern cohort; see the Program Guidebook for details), travel (if applicable), and a program administration fee.
EBRC will administer the program and be responsible for:
- Company and student recruitment to the program;
- The application and match process, and will assist in coordinating interviews between applicants and companies;
- Hosting cohort on-boarding and off-boarding activities;
- Development and distribution of the Program Guidebook, which communicates policies, guidelines, and expectations of all participants;
- Providing a conduit for communication between the companies, students, and universities;
- Facilitating payment of student tuition and fees.
Intern Placement Process:
To place students in internship positions, EBRC will facilitate an anonymized ranking and matching process and facilitate interviews between selected applicants and the participating companies. EBRC will also host on-boarding and off-boarding activities for the student-intern cohort to improve networking and communication among students and companies and provide a venue for students to share experiences and results of their internship projects.
Program details and participation may be limited and subject to change. Please see the Program Guidebook for more information.
Information for Students
Application deadline is November 30, 2021.
The EBRC Industry Internship Program is open to students who:
- Are U.S. persons or F1 visa-holders eligible to work for a company in the United States;
- Are graduate students enrolled in a doctoral program (PhD or equivalent) at a U.S. institution, college or university;
- Will have advanced to candidacy (or equivalent status) in their graduate studies by the time the internship starts;
- Are able to take a roughly four (4)-month, May-September, full-time absence from their current lab;
- Possess basic laboratory/analysis techniques (such as those described in the respective company internship opportunity statement); no prior industry experience is necessary or expected;
- Agree to participate in a cohort on-boarding and off-boarding activities hosted by EBRC (when available).
**EBRC is deeply committed to increasing diversity and representation in engineering biology. Women and under-represented minorities are especially encouraged to apply.**
Questions about your eligibility? Check the FAQ or email [email protected]
Eligible students can apply to the program by completing an application form and submitting the following supporting materials:
A current CV – up to 4 pages – including (but not limited to):
- institution, major, and year of study;
- research experience and synergistic activities;
- academic/professional appointments, such as teaching positions held;
- collaborators outside of your PI’s laboratory/research group;
- publications/products, highlighting any publications/products closely related to the internship opportunities you would like to pursue;
- bullet list of key laboratory and/or analysis skills/techniques possessed, ex: RT-PCR, matlab.
A personal statement – up to 2 pages – addressing:
- your current and prospective research interests;
- your interest in the Internship Program (do not discuss your company rankings);
- and how you expect to benefit from the program.
A Letter of Support from your current advisor/PI addressing:
- An explanation of their support of the student’s application and participation in the program, including discussion as to how the student is academically and scientifically qualified;
- An acknowledgment that they are aware of the program’s requirements, including the placement of the student for the summer months (May through September 2021) at an industry site, and that during this four-month period, the student will be working full-time on projects that may be unrelated to their academic research, at the direction of their industry supervisor;
- An acknowledgement that the student will be asked to work with their graduate program and institution to identify and minimize tuition and fees costs during their internship.
Letters of Support must be submitted separately of the application form via direct submission to [email protected]
Interview and placement process:
Students can expect to work on projects that fit their interests and experience and will enhance their studies, but may not directly relate to their thesis/dissertation research. The tentative list of Summer 2021 participating companies and potential projects can be found by clicking the links on the company logos above (when available). The projects described on company pages reflect potential opportunities, but do not guarantee the exact nature of the work; student-interns selected for the program can expect to work with their company mentor(s) to define and/or design their project closer to the start of the internship. Due to current circumstances stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, EBRC cannot guarantee all companies will be available for onsite internships; we recommend you check this website regularly for updates.
To place applicants in internship positions, EBRC will facilitate an anonymized ranking and matching process and will facilitate interviews between selected applicants and the participating companies. Interviews for the Summer 2022 program are anticipated to take place January – February 2022. Interviews will be conducted virtually and applicants must be available for the interview to be considered for the position.
If selected for an interview, applicants will be required to identify and submit information about the tuition and fees that would need to be paid. Selected applicants must work with their department and institution (typically their graduate program administrator) to minimize these fees wherever possible. Students should maintain a status that will not compromise their health insurance and/or other health coverage provided by their institution. Questions regarding EBRC/company payment of student tuition, fees, and stipend may be referred to Diane Pierotti at [email protected]. Tuition and fee information will not be used as criteria for selection.
The stipend amount for Summer 2022 student-interns will be $3300 per month.
More information is available in the Program Guidebook.
Q: Do I have to be in an EBRC member lab to participate?
A: No, the program is open to all US-based PhD candidates who are eligible to work in the United States.
Q: I am currently a student at an institution outside of the United States. Am I eligible for the EBRC Industry Internship Program?
A: Unfortunately, at this time, the program is only open to students enrolled in U.S. institutions and eligible to work in the United States.
Q: I am an international student studying in the US on a valid student visa and will be applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) before the beginning of the internship placement. This will allow me to be authorized to work for a host company. Am I still eligible to apply?
A: Eligibility to work for a company in the United States should be established prior to interviews with prospective companies. We highly advise that you only consider applying if you are confident that your CPT/OPT will be approved by the start of the internship. Additionally, government labs may not be able to take interns who are not U.S. citizens. If you will be applying for CPT/OPT to participate in our Internship Program, please indicate so in your application or by email to [email protected]
Q: I already have plans to attend a conference that falls during the internship period. Can I still attend this conference and complete an internship?
A: It is up to the host company if they will accommodate conference attendance during the internship period. Conference attendance is something that can (and should) be discussed with prospective host companies during interviews and prior to selection.
Q: How long will my internship last, if I am selected for the program?
A: For the Summer 2022 Program, internships will run from May through September. Start and end dates may be negotiable on an individual basis with participating companies. Typically, internships will last 12-22 weeks (3.5-5 months).
Q: What about my tuition and fees? Do I need to take a leave of absence from my university?
A: EBRC’s Internship Program is set up to pay participating students’ tuition and fees, but we ask that all participants take steps to reduce their tuition and fees as much as possible (e.g., registering for the minimum number of credits [participants will need to maintain their university-sponsored health insurance]; using this internship to fulfil a training program requirement [such as the NIH Biotechnology Training Program]). In most cases, students will not need to take a leave of absence to complete their internship, however, your PI will need to approve your absence from your regular academic research activities.
Q: Why is there a requirement to have advanced to candidacy? Can I participate in the program if I haven’t yet advanced to candidacy but have completed my first two or three years of graduate school?
A: The requirement that applicants have advanced to candidacy (or equivalent status) is to ensure that they have developed a strong foundation in laboratory and research skills, such that they will not need significant training or instruction at the start of their internship. We will consider individual circumstances regarding this requirement for students that have passed the first year of their PhD (i.e., in their 2nd year or beyond): if you have not yet advanced to candidacy but feel you have developed those skills and would like to be considered eligible for the program, please contact [email protected]