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Internship Opportunities

The Graduate School’s summer internship programs are designed to provide undergraduate college students opportunities to be mentored by professionals in their chosen research field, to become familiar with the use of state-of-the-art scientific equipment and technology, and to learn valuable interpersonal and presentation skills. The goal of these programs is to expose aspiring researchers and clinicians to exciting advances in biomedical sciences that will help define their career paths.

Each year, the Institute hosts 20-25 interns in its laboratories. Summer interns are paired with a scientific investigator and/or their designee for an intense 10-week research experience that provides interns with an understanding of the latest research methods, instruments and testing procedures. At the end of the internship, students give an oral presentation or poster presentation about their experience to the research staff.

Frederik and Lena Meijer Student Internship Program

In 2001, Fred and Lena Meijer began funding the Frederik and Lena Meijer Summer Internship Program. The Meijer family continues to generously support this program allowing students to gain valuable research experience. This program supports 20–25 interns annually. To apply, please visit “How to apply”.

UNCF Internships

The Institute partners with United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to match students interested in biomedical research careers with summer research internships in Institute labs. Students are selected based on their interest in a career in biomedical research and their grades in basic science courses. This program provides students with essential experience, mentoring and financial support. To apply, please visit “How to apply”. This program supports two interns annually. Learn more about how the Institute and UNCF are working together to recruit and train the next generation of scientists here.

Medical Student Summer Research Internship Program

Van Andel Research Institute offers a summer research internship program designed to provide medical students (typically between their first and second year) the opportunity to work closely with a research mentor on a project exploring the cellular, molecular and genetic basis of human disease. The goal of this program is to introduce medical students to the concepts and practice of design, implementation, interpretation and presentation of basic biomedical research. This program has a separate application process from the other internship programs. Find more information here.

Academy of Modern Engineering

The Academy of Modern Engineering (AME) (previously the Grand Rapids Area Pre-College Engineering Program, or GRAPCEP) is one of four specialized programs within Innovation Central High School administered by Grand Rapids Public Schools. Applicants identified at the middle school level are mentored through field trips, group events, internships, and externships throughout middle school and high school. During the period between their junior and senior years of high school, they undergo intensive weekend training sessions to prepare them for scientific or engineering internships. Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) is one of the designated institutions that supervises these seniors. Since 2000, VARI has hosted 59 students. They have subsequently enrolled at (and graduated from) universities such as Michigan Technology Institute, Michigan State University, Howard University, and Hope College. For questions, please contact undergrad@vai.org.