What can I expect with a research internship?
You'll learn from professionals in academics or industry about the specific research you're interested in. You'll become more skilled in a particular type of lab environment while exploring if that's an area you'd like to pursue professionally.
Find a research internship
There is a large network of research internship opportunities, both on- and off-campus.
The Research Park at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign provides an environment where students can collaborate with faculty and technology-based businesses on research. It is now home to 120+ companies and employs 2,100 people in high-technology careers. More than 800 student interns work in these companies while making real contributions to internal corporate Research & Development and product development programs.
More than 1,500 researchers from more than 40 different University of Illinois departments as diverse as psychology, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and biochemistry work within and across three research themes at the Beckman Institute. Beckman Institute research is focused around three research themes:
- Integrative Imaging
- Intelligent Systems
- Molecular Science and Engineering
The Advanced Digital Sciences Center is a research center in Singapore operated by faculty of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. ADSC seeks excellent undergraduate (particularly third or fourth year honors) and graduate students in computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and closely related fields to join the center as interns. Internships are available year-round and are designed for students who are considering or pursuing a career in research. Most ADSC undergraduate interns go on to excellent graduate programs in the U.S. and around the world.
The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) sponsored BESIP is for undergraduate biomedical engineering students who have completed their junior year of college. The internship will allow rising senior bioengineering students to participate in cutting edge biomedical research projects under the mentorship of world-class scientists in NIH laboratories in Bethesda, MD.
The University of California, Santa Barbara Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies (ICB) is a uniquely interdisciplinary research environment, with a mission of transforming biological inspiration into technological innovation. The ICB Summer Research Internship in Science and Engineering at UCSB brings science and engineering majors from across the U.S. to UCSB for a summer research experience. Interns are partnered with a mentor of similar interest, conduct research in our state-of-the-art laboratories, attend research seminars, receive training in career development skills, and participate in social activities.
The Mayo Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program, sponsored by Mayo Graduate School, is a great way to build your skills as a young scientist or test your inclinations toward research.
Note: For students interested specifically in biology or neuroscience research The Department of Biology, Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences and the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines at MIT offer a joint 10-week research-intensive summer training program in the biological sciences, neurosciences or biomedical-related fields to advanced sophomore and junior science majors from other colleges and universities who have an interested in a research career. This summer internship program is funded in part by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Science Foundation, and the MIT School of Science. MIT Summer Research Internship in Biological Sciences and Related Fields.
The SPIN internship program was launched to provide University of Illinois undergraduates with the opportunity to apply their skills to real challenges in high-performance computing, data analysis and visualization, cybersecurity, and other areas of interest to NCSA.
The Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP), provides an opportunity for students to participate in research at a Department of Navy (DoN) laboratory during the summer. The goals of NREIP are to encourage participating students to pursue science and engineering careers, to further education via mentoring by laboratory personnel and their participation in research, and to make them aware of DoN research and technology efforts, which can lead to employment within the DoN. NREIP provides competitive research internships to approximately 275 college students (200 undergraduate students and 75 graduate students) each year. Participating students spend ten weeks during the summer conducting research at approximately 29 DoN laboratories.
NASA Internships are educational hands-on traineeships that provide unique NASA-related research and operational experiences for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students as well as educators. These internships integrate participants with career professionals emphasizing mentor-directed, degree-related, real-world task completion. During the internship participants engage in scientific or engineering research, development, and operations activities. In addition, there are non-technical internship opportunities to engage in professional activities which support NASA business and administrative processes. Through these internships, participants leverage NASA's unique mission activities and mentorship.
“I am passionate about promoting sustainable development. The research that I conduct at Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology is on recyclable polymers. The lab I am in works to create new materials that can be used in the technology and manufactory industries and will be as close to 100% recyclable as possible.”
Edgar Mejia, Mechanical Science & Engineering