Applying for a Cancer Research Internship

Cancer Scholar Internship Program

What is the Application Process?

Applications are available from the website and can be printed and mailed to the address listed on the last page or the application can be submitted electronically as an email attachment and sent to the email address given on the application.  The deadline for applying for the summer 2012 internship will be around February 15, 2012, with an exact date to be announced in January.  The applications will be reviewed by the administrators and participating faculty members and 10-15 will be shortlisted for interviews.  Eight students will be selected for the internships and notified on or around April 15, 2012.

How in depth should the personal statement and work/activity/volunteer experience statement be?

We want to know about you, your goals, studies, talents, motivation and what you hope to gain from the internship experience.  You can submit your resume (no more than one page) for work experience but be sure to include any pertinent activities that you have been involved in. It is suggested that you review the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute and Central Valley Health Policy Institute websites and explain your research preferences. The final decision of which host site you will be offered will be made by the program administrators and faculty mentors.

Whom should I ask for a letter of recommendation?

The letter should come from professional and academic people who are qualified to advise us on your abilities, motivation, integrity, intellectual vitality and enthusiasm for science. The letter could be from a professor, instructor or other researchers.

What influence does my G.P.A. have on the selection process?

We do seriously consider the applicants’ grades but also recognize that grades may not reflect on the creative abilities of prospective scholars.  We also emphasize the science classes that you have completed, candid evaluations within the recommendation letters, previous lab experiences and enthusiasm shown in the application.

Who is eligible to apply?

You must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident and you must be enrolled at Fresno State University at the time of application.  Undergraduate applicants should currently be at least a sophomore in class standing.  Undergraduate students applying or already accepted to continue into graduate school after graduation at Fresno State University are eligible.  If you are planning to graduate prior to the internship and will not be applying to graduate school at Fresno state you are not eligible.  Newly accepted graduate students or those applying who are subsequently accepted to graduate school for the following fall are eligible. 

↑back to top


What are the internship dates?

The summer internship program is 8 weeks long beginning around the first or second week of June through early August.  Students who are selected will participate in an orientation meeting at Fresno State prior to attending their host site program. After the summer internship program students will be assigned to a research lab site at Fresno State where they will continue to participate in a research experience for the academic year.

What are the financial specifics of the internship program?

The summer interns will be paid a stipend for the summer, with 2 graduate students who go to Sanford Burnham receiving $5000 each and undergraduate students at Sanford Burnham receiving $4000 each.  One undergraduate student at Sanford Burnham who epitomizes their standards will be selected as the Sanford Burnham Scholar and will receive an additional $1000 for a total stipend of $5000. Two undergraduate students at the Central Valley Health Policy Institute in Fresno will receive $2000 each. The stipend is intended to cover your living expenses during the summer.

What is the work schedule like during the summer?

The cancer research internship experience is very intensive in research work which may involve working outside of an 8 AM – 5 PM daily schedule.  Science doesn’t necessarily operate on a 5 day work week so you may be expected to participate in the lab on weekends. Undergraduate students at Sanford Burnham will also participate in the UCSD Summer Science Enrichment Program several afternoons each week.

What presentation of research data is expected from summer interns?

Each student will be expected to present their research goals, progress and challenges at two week intervals during the summer to their mentors and piers via video conferences. Each student will also have the opportunity to present their research results at the Sanford Burnham Research Conference, and at a regional or national scientific meeting.

What type of activities will students participate in during the academic year?

Students will be participating in laboratory research projects after being assigned to a lab at Fresno State.  They will also have opportunities to participate in the following:

  1. Cancer Scholars Journal Club will meet at regular intervals to actively discuss contemporary scientific questions in cancer biology, scientific integrity and ethical principles that apply to research.
  2. Biology Seminars are presented on a weekly basis by the Fresno State Biology department on various topics of current biological interest.  Cancer Scholars will be encouraged to attend these presentations.
  3. GRE preparation classes will be provided to student interns on-line via the Fresno State Educational Testing Service website.
  4. Cancer Scholar graduate students will be expected to participate in one campus or community outreach activity each semester
  5. Students will participate in peer mentoring experiences with mentors from Fresno State, Sanford Burnham and CVHPI.
  6. Students will be invited to attend RIMI (Research Infrastructure for Minority Institutions) facility technical workshops that are offered during the academic year.
  7. Capstone course work toward a specialized certificate in Cancer Biology will be offered to students during the academic year.
  8. Students may have the opportunity to attend and present a poster or oral presentation of their research data at a regional or national scientific meeting during the academic year.

↑back to top