Office for Teaching, Education and Research

Underrepresented Minority Students in Research Internship Program

COVID-19 Update

Due to COVID-19, the Underrepresented Minority Student Internship Program was adapted for 2020 to a remote-only model. 11 undergraduate students have been hired for remote research opportunities as well as our online professional development series covering topics such as critically reading scholarly articles; developing a research question, résumé, cover letter and interviewing skills; and much more. Additionally, 34 undergraudate students are participating in the online professional development series as an unpaid opportunity.  

About the Summer Internship Program

In partnership with the Center for Diversity and Health Equity, the Office for Teaching, Education and Research is excited to offer our Underrepresented Minority Students in Research Summer Internship Program.

The goal of the program is to provide to provide underrepresented minority (URM) undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in basic, clinical and/or translational research projects during the summer at Seattle Children’s Research Institute under the mentorship of experienced researchers and principal investigators.

Students will learn to use lab equipment (as applicable), meet with mentors and gain valuable research experience. Students will also attend career and professional training sessions on topics such as writing their Individual Development Plans, résumé writing, crafting an effective LinkedIn profile and more. The purpose of the internship is to provide exposure to biomedical and/or public health research and to engage students to consider careers in science, medicine and public health, and enhance the research capabilities of underrepresented minority students in research.

The URM Summer Internship Program provides experience to students of diverse backgrounds, especially students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Students should be enrolled or soon to be enrolled in an undergraduate institution, or have recently graduated (within 6 months), and be over 18 years of age.

The program will culminate with each intern publishing an abstract of their research project in the internship's Program Report, and being invited to submit their abstract for a poster presentation at OTER's annual Postdoc and Student Research Symposium (held every November).

Interns will receive $17 an hour at 40 hours per week. Up to 30 hours per week will be dedicated toward research. The remaining 10 hours per week will be dedicated to the professional and academic development of the student, including time to write and edit their research abstract and attend career and professional development sessions. Interns will also receive an ORCA card and a lunch stipend ($750). The program will last up to 10 weeks.

Program Information

  • Students must have a strong background and interest in one of the following fields: neuroscience, biology, chemistry, mathematics, pre-med, public health or a related biomedical field. Students must also be in good academic standing with a strong GPA. Ideal candidates are interested in pursuing medical or graduate studies in a biomedical field. Students must be from a university or college local to Seattle, or be able to reside in or around Seattle during the summer internship.

    Minimum requirements

    • Must be at least 18 years of age.
    • Currently enrolled, or will be enrolled, in an undergraduate program at an accredited university or college. Recent undergraduates who have obtained their baccalaureate within the last 6 months may also be eligible to apply.
    • Must have a working knowledge of computers, standard office software packages (Word, WordPerfect, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, etc.) and standard office equipment (photocopiers, facsimiles, telephones, pagers, etc.).
    • Must have excellent, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
    • Must possess a “can-do” attitude and a customer service orientation.
    • Be able to work in a discretionary way and to maintain confidentiality of processed information.

    Preferred qualifications

    Persons who are defined as underepresented minorities in research are especially encouraged to apply.

    Seattle Children’s adheres to the NIH’s definition of underrepresented minorities in medicine. The NIH defines persons who are underrepresented minorities as:

    Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the NSF to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans; Hispanics or Latinos; American Indians or Alaska Natives; Native Hawaiians; and other Pacific Islanders.

    DACA and DREAMers are encouraged to apply. We only require that you be legally able to work in the United States.

  • Application requirements

    Please prepare to submit as part of your application process a resume that includes:

    • Name
    • Contact information (address, phone number, email)
    • College and anticipated year of graduation
    • (Anticipated) major; minor (if applicable)
    • Current GPA
    • Any awards and honors received
    • Any volunteer or work experience (e.g., church activities, community service, clubs/organizations, etc.)
    • Any leadership roles
    • Relevant skills and strengths

    Additionally, please prepare to submit as part of your application:

    • The names and emails of 1 reference. We will contact your reference directly if your application proceeds to the interview stage of our application process. References will likely be contacted at the end of March or in early April.
    • Cover letter detailing responses to the following questions:
      • What are your career goals?
      • What research background do you have, if any? (Note: a lack of research experience may not exclude you from the internship opportunity.)
      • How do you think this internship will help you achieve your career goals?
    • Provide the name of your top three projects for the internship, selected from this list.

    Application timeline

    • February 1 – Applications open.
      • Rolling consideration of applications will proceed through March 1.
      • During the rolling period, students will be matched with PIs based on interest, and considered on a first-come, first-served basis, so do not delay in submitting your application. 
    • March 1 – Applications close.
    • Applications Reviewed: March 1–21
      • Applicants notified of selection for interview rounds or rejection by March 30. 
    • Cohort 1: June 15 – August 24
    • Cohort 2: June 22 – August 31
    • Fall 2020 – Summer URM program report published and distributed.
    • November 14 – OTER's Postdoc and Student Research Symposium – Students invited to present their summer research from the internship.

    If you'd like to help us spread the word, please do so by posting or sharing our internship flyer (PDF).

    Please note: We will notify you of the status of your application by the end of March. Please do not email to inquire the status of your application. Also, please refrain from contacting our principal investigators directly and allow our selection and application evaluation process to progress as designed. 

  • Due to overwhelming interest and response, applications have now closed for the 2020 URM Undergraduate Summer Internship Program. 

    If you were unable to submit in time, we encourage you to consider applying for one of our unpaid summer research opportunities by submitting your application. These are separate opportunities from the URM internship program. 

    Additionally, we recommend you look at the possibility of being matched with one of our principal investigators who has an NIH grant eligible for a Diversity Supplement. These supplements can provide funding for you to do research at Seattle Children's. Learn more about the Diversity Supplement and check out a list of eligible grants on our NIH Supplements to Promote Diversity page. 

  • Download our annual report from the Underrepresented Minority Students in Research Internship Program.

How You Can Support

Seattle Children's encourages your financial support of our program through direct donation. All donations go directly to supporting the students and the program. We are striving to continue to grow and expand the program so that more students may participate in the future. 

We strongly encourage anyone interested in supporting this important equity initiative to do so through direct donation to the program. Click here to make your contribution!