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Summer Internships in Biological Sciences in Public Health

This intensive 9 week laboratory-based biological research program is for undergraduates during the summer following their sophomore or junior  years. Up to 10 internships are awarded by a competitive process.

The 2015 Summer Program Application is now closed.

Please check back here for next year’s (2016) application later in the year.

Program Overview
The program goal is to expose college science students (who will be juniors or seniors in the fall of 2015) to the rewards of laboratory research directed toward solving important public health problems. The overall mission of our program is to recruit qualified students for graduate-level training leading to research careers in the biological sciences. Interns apply state-of-the art technology in their own research projects under the direction of a Harvard faculty member. Research projects focus on biological science questions that are important to the prevention of disease. Disease areas include infections (tuberculosis, malaria, Chagas disease), cancer, lung diseases, multifactorial, multigenic and common diseases of aging, diabetes, obesity, etc.  Scientific approaches include regulation of cell growth and gene regulation, cellular metabolism, DNA modification, cellular signaling, structure-function analyses, etc.

Visit the Biological Sciences in Public Health faculty listing for more detailed information about program faculty and their research or review our Diseases page to faculty-disease affiliations. Note that an interest in a particular faculty member does NOT guarantee placement in his/her lab.

Program Dates:

The 2015 Summer Program runs Sunday, June 7 – Saturday, August 8, 2015.


To qualify for this Harvard School of Public Health sponsored program, applicants must meet the criteria below:

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the U.S. (proof of permanent residency must be provided);
  • Applicants must be from an underrepresented group in graduate research, which includes: first generation college students (neither parent nor legal guardian has a bachelor’s degree); students from an economically disadvantaged background as defined by the U.S. Department of Education (requires additional supportive documentation); students from racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented, such as: blacks or African-Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders;
  • Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or above;
  • Applicants must have a basic science background and have taken several classes beyond intro level courses;
  • Applicants must have a demonstrated interest in public health, specifically laboratory research.

Financial Support:

Financial support over the course of 9 weeks includes a stipend of $3,600, a travel allowance of up to $500 and free dormitory housing.

2015 Application Part 1

Complete the online application.  Please read through all the questions in advance.  Please read the directions on the application on how to save your application and return to it later, should you need to do this.

2015 Application Part 2

In addition to the online application, you must send the supporting documentation listed below:

  • Original, sealed Transcript(s): Must be sent from your institution’s Office of the Registrar to the mailing address listed below. Transcripts postmarked later than the application due date of March 1, 2015 will not be accepted.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors who can speak to your scientific capabilities (please do not submit recommendations from high school teachers or individuals who do not know you in an academic capacity). The letters can either be emailed directly from the recommender to

Mailing Address:

Tom Brazda
Assistant Director of Administration and Academic Programs, Division of Biological Sciences
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave; SPH2-119
Boston, MA 02115

Application Deadline:

The deadline for the 2015 Summer Program is March 1, 2015.  All application materials must be in by this date. Notifications of acceptance will be sent no later than early April.


Questions may be directed to Tom Brazda, Program Coordinator, at

Real World Impact:

Past Summer Intern participants, Erika Espinosa and Aidaliz Llorens, present their summer project posters at the 2014 ABRCMS, one of the largest professional conferences for underrepresented minority students and students with disabilities.

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