Partnership for the Advancement of Cancer Research Project
Cancer Research Internships for Undergraduate Students
Underrepresented undergraduate students at New Mexico State University are invited to apply for a summer research internship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. The Hutchinson Center has an international reputation for its pioneering research in biological sciences, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, cancer prevention, and epidemiology. Our scientists come from around the world and are involved with many aspects of cancer research.
Photo by Dean Forbes
About the Cancer Research Internship for Undergraduate Students
This intensive, nine-week program is designed to provide research experience and mentorship for underrepresented undergraduate students attending NMSU. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, students will complete an independent research project and present their findings at a competitive poster session.
The program runs from Monday, June 10 through Saturday, August 10, 2013 (Monday, June 10 and Saturday, August 10 are travel days). Students must be able to commit to this entire period in order to participate.
Photo credit Jordan Cañas
Students will be paired with a faculty mentor after selecting one of the following areas of interest:
- Basic Science: Conducts structural, genetic, molecular, cellular, developmental and evolutionary biology;
- Human Biology: Interdisciplinary research; conducts lab-based and computational research at the interface of basic, clinical and population sciences;
- Public Health: Uses large populations as a "laboratory" to look for links between cancer and its possible triggers, from diet and lifestyle to environmental and genetic factors. Conducts statistical, epidemiological and prevention studies around the world;
- Clinical Research: Works to develop and analyze new treatments for cancers and other diseases; and
- Vaccine and Infectious Disease: Integrates computational, laboratory and clinical research method to advance the understanding of microbial pathogenesis and infectious disease processes.
To learn more about the specific research interests FHCRC faculty, please visit our Labs & Projects page
In addition to completing a mentored research project, students will participate in professional development workshops designed to facilitate the preparation of competitive applications for graduate/medical school. Workshops include:
- Preparing a personal statement, resume, and abstract;
- Research ethics and issues; and
- Preparing and presenting a scientific poster.
Students will also attend weekly research seminars regarding a broad array of scientific topics. The program culminates with a competitive poster session.
The SURP program also sponsors a number of social activities to foster interaction among students and their mentors. Activities may include:
- Attending a Mariner's game at Safeco Field;
- Participating in a tour of Theo Chocolates;
- Making a meal for patients and caregivers at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) House; and
- Hiking the trails on Mount Rainier
- U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Enrolled at NMSU at the time of application submission.
- Undergraduate student of at least sophomore standing. The ideal candidate will be entering their junior year; however related science and/or research experience may be a substitute for academic standing.
- *Underrepresented student.
- Possess a strong background in the sciences.
*This includes racial and ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in health sciences, persons with disabilities, and persons raised in economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Photo by Clayton Hibbert
The Hutchinson Center will provide a $4,500 stipend for participation in the Cancer Research Internship Program for Undergraduate Students.
Travel costs (up to $450) to and from Seattle are provided. Travel arrangements will be coordinated by Hutchinson Center staff unless otherwise requested. If the cost of airfare is less than $450, the program will reimburse students for the cost of one checked bag per flight and/or ground transportation to and from the airport. A receipt denoting the cost of these items is required for reimbursement. Students who drive to Seattle may receive mileage reimbursement (up to $450).
Interns are responsible for their housing, meals, and local transportation. Housing for the nine-week session is available at the University of Washington’s Stevens Court for approximately $1,600. This residential facility has clusters of four single-occupancy bedrooms that surround a living room, bathroom, and kitchen. Housing applications for Stevens Court will be sent to students who are selected to participate in the Cancer Research Internship in early March. For more information about the amenities offered at Stevens Court, please visit: http://www.hfs.washington.edu/housing/Default.aspx?id=267. Students are also welcome to make their own housing arrangements. A quarterly pass for regional Metro transportation (buses) may be purchased for $45.00.
The Cancer Research Internship for Undergraduate Students is fully integrated with the FHCRC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP). To submit an online application, please visit the SURP website. The application deadline is Friday, January 18, 2013. Letters of recommendation for up to two references are due by Friday, January 25, 2013. Notification of acceptance will occur in mid-March.
If you have any questions or would like more information about the Cancer Research Internship for Undergraduate Students, you may contact Drs. Michèle Shuster at NMSU at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Julian Simon at the FHCRC at: email@example.com.
Due to the competitive nature of Cancer Research Internship Program for Undergraduate Students, 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. Responses to open-ended questions should have a thoughtful, detailed response that shows the applicant is: 1) interested in gaining research experience in a specific area, e.g. molecular or cellular biology, public health, etc., and 2) has reviewed the FHCRC’s Faculty Page (http://www.fhcrc.org/en/labs.html) and learned about the investigators who work at the FHCRC and the types of research conducted. Students should proofread their application thoroughly for accuracy and completeness before submitting.
- Applicants are strongly encouraged to ask friend(s), professor(s), and/or faculty advisor(s) to review their statement of research interests and career goals. When writing a personal statement, the author should respond to the following key points:
- For what are you applying and why?
- What are your academic and/or professional goals?
- Why are you applying to the FHCRC’s Cancer Research Internship Program?
- What qualifications do you bring?
- How are you prepared to make a contribution to the prospective lab/research group and/or your own professional development? If you don’t have prior research experience, have you held a position of responsibility or previously worked in a team setting that would lend itself well to this program?
- How will this opportunity further your academic and/or professional goals?
- Request an informative letter(s) 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 reference(s) wisely – a letter(s) of recommendation from an individual(s) in a department or field similar to the program for which you are applying is viewed more favorably than a recommendation letter(s) from a former employer or teacher in a non-related field.
- Give your reference(s) 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. The last and possibly most important information to convey is: e) when the letter is due, to whom the letter should be addressed, and the options for submitting the letter, i.e. via email, fax, or mailing address.
- Send your reference(s) a friendly reminder – preferably one week prior to the application deadline.
- 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!
Photo by Jennifer Anderson
The Hutchinson Center has an international reputation for its pioneering research in basic biological sciences, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, cancer prevention, and epidemiology. Find more information about the research conducted at the FHCRC.
Learn more about the specific research interests of the faculty at the FHCRC.
View the story of professional baseball coach and player Fred Hutchinson and his brother Bill, a medical doctor and cancer researcher who founded the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
A compilation of internships in scientific research and medicine offered nationwide for high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and MPH can be found here. In addition, Pathways to Science hosts a website that enables users to search for undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, and postdoctoral positions. For more information, please visit: http://www.pathwaystoscience.org/Form.asp
The Guide to Life Science Careers helps you to explore and choose what career is best for you. Starting with an assessment of who you are and how you work best, this guide takes you on a journey that extends from a survey of possible careers through the steps necessary to get there. Interviews with professionals about how they chose their career paths are included so you can learn how others became successful and understand the positive and negative aspects of various career choices. Strategies for networking, overcoming shyness, and building your résumé are also discussed to help you lay the groundwork for success and present the best you to potential employers. This guide is a must read for anyone embarking on a career in the life sciences.
The Cancer Research Internship for Undergraduate Students is supported in parts by NCI grants: 5 U54 CA132381 (FHCRC) and 5 U54 CA132383 (NMSU).
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect
and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.