How To Prepare For Summer Research Internships

man doing a sample test in the laboratory

Summer Research Internships in your CV or resume will help you stand out while having paramount experience. Whether your future goal is to get into graduate school or medical school, summer research internships will increase your chances to a great extent. It is a way to discover a new city or place for some of you while earning a stipend. It is not easy to get into a summer research internship as many applicants will compete for few slots, however, you can increase your chances with good planning and organization. Here are five ways you can prepare yourself for summer research internships.

Planning and Organizing

One of the most important things when applying for an internship is planning ahead and choosing the programs that will best fit you. The deadline for most of the summer research internships is around mid-January to mid-February. It will vary by program.

The Cientifico Latino has created a robust database of summer research programs. The AAMC also created a database of summer research opportunities. If you are interested in summer international research programs, check out the database by the Georgia Institute of Technology. Moreover, if you are interested in year-round international research programs, check out this article. You can also contact various researchers in the field you are interested across the country to see if anyone hires interns for summer research. 

Critiquing CV/Resume

A resume or CV is another critical part of your application. That is why is important to have your resume critiqued by someone before submission. The career center at your university may be able to critique your resume or CV for free. Check out the career center at your university to see if they offer that service, or get in contact with a trusted friend or advisor for their feedback! Ask them what catches their attention and what could be missing.

Contacting Recommenders

The majority of the summer internships will ask you to submit 1 or 2 recommendation letters. Contact your recommenders early and give them enough time to write a strong recommendation letter. You can also use interfolio, a confidential online platform for managing recommendation letters that charges a yearly fee.

Engaging in Research during the Fall Semester

Having some form of research experience will make you a competitive applicant. You can either volunteer in a professor’s lab or shadow someone’s research at your university. Moreover, engaging in research during the fall semester indicates that you are passionate about research while helping you figure out your research interests.

Drafting Personal Statement/Cover letter

Finally, you need to submit a cover letter or personal statement for your application. Some programs might require you to submit a research statement. While you can make a generic one, edit it individually based on the program’s objectives and how your experiences align with the program. 

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