Thursday, December 10, 2015


I did want to draw attention to a couple of broadly advertised internships/fellowships:

The SCI Scholars Program seems prestigious and reasonably lucrative; deadline is December 15.

The ACS Public Policy Fellowships are open for applications, with January 15 as the application deadline.

San Diego, CA/Corvallis, OR: HP is looking for R&D interns at the graduate student level; a good opportunity to see life at industrial research.


  1. Are PhD internships in chemistry common (I don't know that I recall ever hearing of this)? It does seem to me a great idea for students, but I cant imagine PIs liking it too much.

  2. I did one of these at a big pharma company. I think they are pretty widely available but not very well advertised to North American students. I was one of very few from the US in my year. The 1-2 others from the US did them in the period between finishing research and defending. I was there because my grad advisor didn't get tenure and I was left trying to figure out what to do. I know I wouldn't have been allowed to do it under "normal" circumstances. There seemed to be a large difference in culture between the foreign grad bosses and North American bosses - the foreigners were highly encouraged to come by their bosses. I think most NA bosses would say "not over my dead body".

    It turned out to be incredibly beneficial. It led to an excellent job directly out of grad school due to the experience on my CV and all the connections I made while I was there

  3. My experience was that they were pretty well advertised and known about, but most PIs made it clear that they did not approve of the idea. Other students decided against it because they were worried it would delay their graduation if they lost a summer of work, especially if that was the only time they did not have to be supported on TAships.

    Of the people who did them that I know of, one had an advisor who was pretty checked out of research and more focused on administrative duties as a Dean. He didn't have much money for research anyway at that point and pretty much let his students do whatever. A second had an advisor who was in the ChemE department, and his research program was much more integrated with industry than a lot of the chemistry faculties research programs were. In general, these internships seemed much more common with ChemE students, or chemistry students with ChemE faculty advisors.

  4. I also forgot to mention that this was a one-year internship, making it even less likely to be approved by the PI in most situations. At my school we are able to take up to one year as a leave of absence (with Dean approval for a "valid" reason). That would be a way to get around it, but I assume this would anger most PIs and lead to alienation. My PI just happened to have already alienated everyone so I didn't have to worry. However, the experience was well worth the year off from grad school.

  5. I know of 2-3 grad students in my Dept who have done short internships during the last couple of years. One PI has a lot of collaborations with industry and is keen on "professional development". Still, there has to be a justifiable reason that the students give for wanting to do an internship, linked back to your graduate research (e.g. learn a new technique that you can apply to solving X problem).

  6. In my university they send you the email of the internship opening, but they do not allow anyone to do it. I even try talking with the Dean, after my PI deny me the possibility, and he/she told me it was a waste of time and I should focus on getting a postdoc "internship" after my graduation.