Tips for Submitting a Quality Application
Due to the competitive nature of the Summer High School Research Internship program, the following suggestions should be taken into consideration when preparing an application; however, adhering to these recommendations does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
- Give yourself adequate time to complete the application. Before you begin your application, you should set aside additional time to learn about FHCRC. Browse the FHCRC’s Faculty Page at: http://www.fhcrc.org/en/labs.html to learn more about the investigators who work at the FHCRC and the types of research conducted. This will allow you to write a more well-informed cover letter.
- Request informative letters of recommendation. An informative letter will highlight the courses you have taken, your quality as a student compared to other students, accomplishments achieved, and how this program will further your academic and/or professional goals.
When requesting a letter of recommendation, the applicant should:
- Choose your references wisely – letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your scientific interest and abilities (like one of your science teachers) may be viewed more favorably than a recommendation letters from a former employer or teacher in a non-related field.
- Give your references at least two weeks to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
- Submit your letter of recommendation request in writing. Give your references a copy of your resume and/or the following information: a) the name of the program to which you are applying and a brief description of what the program entails; b) the name of the sponsoring institution; c) a brief description of how the program fits in with your career goals; and d) a brief description of what you will contribute to the program and how you will benefit from participating. e) The last and possibly most important information to convey is when the letter is due and how it should be submitted. You will provide contact information for your recommenders when you complete the High School Research Internship program. The FHCRC will send your references an email message with further information.
- Send your reference a friendly reminder – preferably one week prior to the application deadline. Confirm that they submitted the letter.
- The last and most important gesture to consider when requesting a recommendation letter is often the most overlooked. In short; send your reference(s) a handwritten NOTE OF THANKS!
- Your cover letter should be a thoughtful, carefully-written statement. Your cover letter should respond to the following key points:
- For what program are you applying?
- Why are you applying to the FHCRC’s Summer High School Internship Program?
- What are your academic and/or professional goals?
- What is your experience and/or interest in science and biomedical research?
- How are you prepared to make a contribution to the program and prospective lab/research group?
- Will you use this opportunity to advance your academic goals? If so, be specific about how this opportunity will help you reach those goals.
- Have you held a position of responsibility or previously worked in a team setting that would lend itself well to this program? Describe previous employment or positions of responsibility, such as leadership roles at your school or in extra-curricular organizations. Highlight experiences listed on your resume that are especially relevant to the program to which you are applying.
- Ask a friend(s), teacher(s), and/or advisor(s) to review your cover letter for content and clarity.
- Proofread you application thoroughly for accuracy and completeness before submitting.