Summer Internship in Biological Sciences in Public Health

This intensive 8 week laboratory-based biological research program is for undergraduates during the summer following their sophomore or junior years. Up to 6 internships are awarded by a competitive process. The internship culminates with a Poster Session during the final week where the interns present data in regards to the project they have been working on during the summer.

The 2024 Summer Internship Program application is now closed.

Program Overview
The program goal is to expose college science students (who will be juniors or seniors in the fall of 2023) 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 their lab.

Program Dates:

The 2024 Summer Intern Program runs from Monday, June 3 to Friday, July 26, 2024.


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

  • Applicants must be 18 years or older
  • 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) or students from an economically disadvantaged background as defined by the U.S. Department of Education (requires additional supportive documentation). Eligibility is not restricted on the basis of race or ethnicity, and race and ethnicity are not considered in the selection process.
  • Applicants must be undergraduate students in their sophomore or junior years when applying
  • 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

If you find that you are not eligible for our summer program, please review the HILS website for other summer programs for which you might be eligible.

Financial Support:

Financial support over the course of 8 weeks includes a stipend of $3,600, a travel allowance of up to $500 and free dormitory housing.

2023 Application Part 1

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

2023 Application Part 2

In addition to the online application, you must include the supporting documentation (in PDF format) listed below:

  1. Official Transcript(s) – please see application for more detailed information regarding the submission of transcripts.
  2. 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).  Emails will be sent out to your contacts directly, using the email addresses provided, with a link to upload documents into the online application on behalf of each applicant.
  3. Resume – listing all applicable professional and academic experience to date
  4. Personal statement – a typed statement that should not be longer than 1 page describing your academic and professional interests, your reason for applying to the program, the insight you hope to gain from the program, and the ways the program will influence your academic trajectory. We also encourage you to review our primary faculty and include your research interests in the essay along with 1 to 3 research labs that fit those research interests. However, final placement is decided by the admissions committee.

Application Deadline:

The deadline for the 2024 Summer Internship Program is Friday, February 16, 2024. All application materials must be in by this date and time. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by early March.


Questions may be directed to

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.