Step 5: Internship or Independent Study
These are not required, but highly recommended.
Reflecting on his internship at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Jonathan D'Angelo (INDS Neuroengineering) wrote,
"An internship is an integral part of becoming an engineer or a scientist. While there are some scientific opportunities that are largely theoretical, actual lab work must usually be done. Lab researchers are generally people like myself, undergraduate and graduate students looking for hands-on experience and the opportunity to learn about cutting edge research in some specialization. I was also looking for experience doing research outside of an academic institution, to see how industry and/or non-profit research institutions differed in their approaches toward research and administration.
Secondary to actual experience, an internship is an opportunity to network with people in your field. I not only was able to work side-by-side with established, well-respected researchers, but also had numerous opportunities to attend lectures and discussions with some of the preeminent leaders in the aging research community, as were many senior researchers and administrators from NIH. I also had the opportunity to meet Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a theorist in life-extension and aging research, to whom I have looked up to for many years."
Many students do an internship to gain work experience, while some like to have further research experience through an independent study.
You do not have to have a specific internship arranged when you write this section. You may propose what you would like to do at an internship at an organization. Helpful resources for finding internships include The Shriver Center, The Career Center, and The Alex Brown Center for Entrepreneurship.
Describe what you hope to learn and/or gain in experience.
- If you propose an independent study, what is the topic? What are your research questions? Who would be a good mentor for your study?
- Consider applying for an Undergraduate Research Award (URA) in January of each year.