Internships can be an important component of graduate education and professional development. Being immersed in a work environment provides students with an opportunity to make an informed choice about their future career path. Interns acquire skills, work experience and a professional network to facilitate future employment. We especially encourage students who are considering careers in the private sector to take advantage of internship opportunities.
We recommend that interested students plan 3-month internships toward the end of the PhD training period. The summer after the fourth or fifth year of graduate study is ideal, assuming that a clear end is in sight for the dissertation research. The dissertation advisor must approve the internship plan, including a statement that this leave-of-absence will not prevent graduation or a first author publication prior to the end of Year 6.
Internship opportunities and the experiences of students who have recently completed internships can be found below.
We encourage you to contact Dr. Stacey Wagner (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are considering doing an internship. Dr. Wagner is the Director of the UO Applied Bioinformatics and Genomics Master’s Program. She has helped place many MS students in internships that led to future employment, and she can provide advice and personal connections to help you find a good match for your goals and interests.
Dr. Wagner’s tips on preparing resumes and cover letters can be found HERE.
|Illumina offers a 12-week summer program for graduate students. Applications open in October with June start dates.|
|Genetech frequently posts internship positions on their job search site.|
|Roche frequently posts internship positions on their job search site.|
|Monsanto frequently posts internship positions on their job search site.|
|ThermoFisher Scientific posts internship positions in January and February for summer hiring, which are filled by May.|
|Novartis posts internship positions on their job search site. Opportunities posted here are worldwide.|
|Check Monster.com for Pfizer opportunities in Jan/Feb.|
|Biogen posts internship and co-op positions on their website.|
Recent Trainees Who Have Completed Non-Academic Internships
Internship location: Monsanto
Currently employed at: UO – graduate student
Anticipated PhD date: June 2018
I had a project to work on, and I was the main person working on it, although the direction changed a couple of times during the summer. On a typical day, I spent time working on my project and attending meetings, both one on one meetings and large group meetings. Monsanto encouraged interns to network in the company by having one on one meetings with current employees. Sometimes I spent over half the day in meetings, but 1-2 hours of meetings was more typical. The rest of the time I worked on my project, and as my work was entirely computer based I did not have to worry about planning assays or experiments around meetings. Monsanto also had some professional development opportunities for interns…. more
Internship location: Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.
Currently employed at: Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.
PhD awarded: 09/15/2016
My internship lasted approximately 4 months, and during that time I was involved in a number of projects, ranging from development of a new platform for automated immunofluorescence sample preparation to validation and testing of new and existing formulations of biological imaging reagents. I was responsible for independently driving my primary research project through collaboration with a team of local R&D Scientists and Engineers, as well as for aiding in the support of Manufacturing and Operations endeavors… more
Internship locations: Abcam and Thermo Fisher Scientific (Molecular Probes)
Currently employed at: Thermo Fisher Scientific
PhD awarded: June 2015
At Abcam I was responsible for developing and publishing immunoassays against metabolic and signaling targets (SimpleStep ELSA Assay). I formulating and validated assays for intracellular and extracellular targets, documented product development, and tested, analyzed, and equipped kits for product release.
At Thermo Fisher Scientific I was responsible for formulating products and assays for flow cytometry and high throughput screening. I developed cell-based assays for multicolor experiments in microscopy and flow cytometry.
At both internships I was responsible for documenting assays and product development, designing and executing experiments, as well as analyzing and presenting data to the rest of the science team… more
Internship location: Genentech
Currently employed at: Graduate Student – PhD
Anticipated PhD date: Summer 2017
My internship was very rewarding. I was responsible for my own project focused on mechanistic characterization of a drug target. A typical day at Genentech was pretty similar to graduate school: lab work, group meetings, and internal/external seminars. The internship program also had several career development activities for interns…more