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Rackham Spring/Summer Internship Grants for Bioscience Doctoral Students

Internships can be excellent opportunities to connect one’s academic and research experience with career aspirations. The practical knowledge gained working outside a large research-intensive academic setting, such as U-M, can help inform a student’s decisions as they consider professional goals and desired career paths. Internships can be especially valuable for individuals earning a Ph.D. in the biosciences, where a broad range of impactful careers is available and graduation rates far outpace the growth of faculty positions.

Rackham Spring/Summer Internship Grants will fund a supervised practical experience for a maximum of 12 weeks during the Spring/Summer terms that provides insights into career opportunities for doctoral students enrolled in bioengineering, biological, biomedical, or health sciences programs. Internships can be on-campus or off-campus and take place in industry or government, academic (e.g., small college), or other non-profit settings.

Successful applicants will articulate a compelling rationale for incorporating a specific internship into their program of study, confirm the availability of the internship position, and have permission of the thesis advisor.


Students currently enrolled in a bioscience Ph.D. program, who have completed at least two academic terms, and in good academic standing are eligible to apply. Students are limited to one internship grant during their U-M graduate career. For questions about whether a program qualifies as a bioscience Ph.D. Program, please email the contact listed below.

Rackham Internship Grants must be relevant to the student’s program of study and career goals. Internship Grants may not be used to bridge a funding gap. Students on academic probation or on a leave of absence are ineligible.

Requests to reimburse prior internship experiences will not be considered.

International students may participate in the internship program, but may need appropriate work authorization to do so. International students should consult with the International Center to discuss what work authorization may be needed in order to participate in an internship.

Though not required, it is recommended that students seeking an internship grant complete Phase 1 of the Biotech Career Development Program (BCDP) sponsored by the School of Medicine, the Fast Forward Medical Initiative, and the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students in the BCDP will be given priority consideration for internship funding.


The deadline for submitting applications for a Rackham Internship Grant is April 3, 2020. Please allow two weeks of processing time.

Contact Information

For general questions about the internship program, please contact Gina Shereda ( or 734.936.2644). You may also contact Rackham’s Financial Aid and Fellowships Office ( or 734.764.8119) for specific questions about funding

Award Description

Students awarded a Rackham Spring/Summer Internship Grant will receive a stipend of up to $8,160 (this is the full amount for a 12-week internship, working 40 hours per week). Funds will be transferred in the form of a stipend directly to the student’s account.

If needed, the internship grant will pay additionally up to $1,000 to defray the cost of relocation. Students requesting relocation funds must clearly indicate this in their application.

Individuals working in for-profit settings may be paid a salary by the sponsor. If students participating in a 12-week internship in a for-profit setting receive a salary that is less than $8,160 (or its equivalent for shorter internships), the internship grant will pay the shortfall. Stipends will be prorated for internships lasting less than 12 weeks or for internships that are less than full-time. Students may not receive funding for any time exceeding the 12-week limit. Students may still apply for relocation funds if their internship is fully-funded by the internship site.

Application Procedure

Navigate to the Rackham Internship Grant application and submit the following materials:

  • A detailed description of the internship.
  • A narrative describing the rationale for the internship, how it relates to the student’s research, scholarship, or field of interest and the importance of the internship for enhancing the student’s career goals and career readiness. Describe previous participation in any career exploration programs.
  • Letter from a supervisor at the internship site, confirming the availability of the position, the purpose and scope of the position, duration of the position and salary/hourly wage (if in a for-profit setting). A copy of an offer letter from the internship site is sufficient.
  • Letter from the thesis advisor agreeing to the student’s participation in the internship experience.
  • Email from the student’s program acknowledging the student’s participation and confirming that the student is in good academic standing.
  • Note: if you are applying for funding but have not received final details from your internship site, please submit as much information as you are able (for example, email correspondence from the internship site indicating your acceptance).


Students receiving a Rackham Internship Grant will be required to attend an orientation session with Rackham staff, respond to a brief Rackham evaluation survey, and submit a two-page (minimum) report, both to Rackham and the program chair/director, describing the experience, lessons learned, insights gained, and the contribution of the internship to the student’s graduate education and career readiness.