Undergraduate Research Internships

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Undergraduate Research Internships

Research Observation and Internships Basic Content

This procedure establishes required measures to be taken when a registered undergraduate student enrolled in a U.S. college or university is being considered for an internship (paid or unpaid) or shadowing experience in a Penn State College of Medicine laboratory, ensuring that they have received the appropriate instruction and, when appropriate, have parental consent.

Research Shadowing Requirements Basic Content


  • The student must be living in the United States.
  • The student must be sponsored/supervised by a member of the College of Medicine faculty. This faculty laboratory supervisor is responsible for ensuring this procedure is completed and that the student's activities are closely supervised at all times.
  • Insurance documentation form must be completed and submitted with the application.
  • The laboratory supervisor must also ensure that the student's activities will not include direct work with any of the following, or that the student will have appropriate prior training:
    • Corrosive materials
    • Toxic chemicals, including carcinogens
    • Radioactive materials
    • Flammable liquids
    • Infectious agents or Committee-approved BL2+ agents
  • There is to be no one-on-one contact between the student and the laboratory supervisor including direct electronic contact. There must always be two adults present.
  • The Penn State laboratory supervisor and all associated lab personnel who will interact with minor students will, as required by law, have publicly-available background clearances on file within their respective HR unit. Instructions for completing these clearances can be found on Penn State's University Ethics site.
    Likewise, the laboratory supervisor and all laboratory personnel will have completed Building a Safe Penn State: Reporting Suspected Child Abuse training prior to interacting with minors. Clearances specifically required by student interns are included in the application.
  • The laboratory supervisor is responsible for making all arrangements for students to receive all appropriate training. Students may begin work only after all training has been completed, as outlined in the application.
  • Laboratory safety approval: The student and laboratory supervisor must complete the Application for Research Observation or Internship, available via the download button below. When the appropriate signatures have been obtained, the document can be uploaded as described on the final page of the application.
  • Approval must be resubmitted if there are any substantial changes in the activities or scope of work.
  • Copies of all forms are to be to be kept on record by the supervisor of the laboratory, Office of Biosafety and Office of Graduate Education. Contact information for each is provided at the end of this application.

To Apply

Prospective students can download the application as a Word document below. Use the "Upload" button to submit completed applications along with other required documents. Files should be named using the applicant's last name and a useful description (e.g., Lastname-application.docx).

Finding a Supervisor

It is the student’s responsibility to identify a prospective research supervisor before submitting an application. The research interests of faculty in the Penn State College of Medicine can be found in the Pure research networking directory by entering a topic of interest in the search bar, or browsing by department.

For assistance or with questions, call the Office of Graduate Education at 717-531-8892.

Research Internships Upload Buttons Undergraduate Basic Content