Industry Internship

The 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.


Who: The Internship Program is open to PhD candidates at U.S. universities and colleges and small- to medium-sized biotechnology companies.

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.

When: Summer internships will be four (4) months, running mid-May to mid-September.

Where: Internships will take place at one of our participating companies.

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.

Apply to the Program

The student application window for the Summer 2019 Program has closed.

Program Guidebook

The Internship Program Guidebook communicates policies, guidelines, and expectations for student-interns, industry mentors, host companies, and current advisors/PIs.

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Participating Companies

Interested in Becoming One of Our Participating Companies?

Companies interested in hosting a student-intern should contact the Internship Program Director, Dr. Emily Aurand at Interested companies will be asked to submit company profile information and a statement describing the internship opportunity (including general expectations for requisite skills and experience). Participation will be formalized with an agreement between the company and EBRC.

The EBRC Industry Internship Program is currently in a pilot phase and Program details and participation may be limited and subject to change.

The hosting company will be responsible for:

  • Hosting the student intern for four (4) months;
  • Developing 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), 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 in coordinating interviews between students and companies;
  • Hosting cohort on-boarding and off-boarding activities;
  • Development and distribution of a Program Guidebook;
  • 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 the students 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.

Information for Students


The EBRC Industry Internship Program is open to students who:

  • Are U.S. persons 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;
  • Have advanced to candidacy (or equivalent status) in their graduate studies;
  • Are able to take a 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.

EBRC is committed to increasing diversity and representation in engineering biology. Women and under-represented minorities are especially encouraged to apply.

Application Requirements

The Summer 2019 Program application window has closed.

Eligible students can apply to the program by completing an application form and uploading the supporting materials (each as a separate PDF file).

A current CV (up to 3 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 four (4) months (mid-May through mid-September 2019) 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.

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 list of participating companies and potential projects (subject to change) in the Summer 2019 Program can be found here.

To place students in internship positions, EBRC will facilitate an anonymized ranking and matching process and will facilitate interviews between the students and the participating companies. Interviews are expected to take place in February 2019. Interviews will be conducted virtually and students must be available for the interview to be considered for the position.

If selected for an interview, students will be required to identify and submit information about the required tuition and fees that would need to be paid. They will also be asked to work with their department and institution to minimize these fees wherever possible (e.g. change in student status as appropriate). Student should maintain a status that will not compromise their health insurance and/or other medical coverage provided by their institution.

Questions regarding EBRC/company payment of student tuition, fees, and stipend may be referred to Diane Pierotti at Tuition and fee information will not be used as criteria for selection.


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 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 (by the close of the application window). We highly advise that you only consider applying if you are confident that your OPT will be approved by the close of the application window.

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.