The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s Internship Challenge is a workforce development program focused on enhancing the talent pipeline for Massachusetts companies engaged in life sciences. The program facilitates the placement of students and recent graduates, who are considering career opportunities in the life sciences, in paid internships across the state. Consistent with the Center’s role as a catalyst in growing the talent needed by the life sciences industry, the program is designed to provide students and companies with the tools to connect, and the Center will reimburse eligible companies for intern stipends.
Objectives of the Internship Challenge include expanding the pool of prospective employees who have practical experience, enhancing opportunities for mentoring, enabling more students to explore career opportunities despite the challenging economic environment, and providing to students interested in working in the life sciences a peer network through educational and informational networking events.
Since the program first launched in 2009, the Center has placed more than 1,000 interns at over 310 companies throughout Massachusetts!
Photo courtesy of Bay State Banner/Sandra Larson
"The MLSC-sponsored internship allowed me to work for Ginkgo Bioworks, a biotech start-up, during its infancy. At this early stage of development, scarce funds could have prevented them from hiring me. Working for them during this period gave me the chance to make significant contributions to several exciting projects and allowed me a great introduction to the challenges of founding a start-up. The experience has encouraged me to bring my life sciences background to the business sector."– Matt Gethers, Internship Challenge participant and MIT graduate with a degree in biological engineering.
Hear more from program participants on our
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How the Program Works
Students or recent graduates that are looking for an internship in the life sciences industry will need to first complete an online application (link below), which includes their resume and a cover letter. Applications are accepted year-round but will expire after six months if not updated. Representatives from companies looking to host interns review applications, interview candidates, and select interns with the qualifications that are most suited to their needs. Internships can be part or full time and can take place throughout the Program Year, which runs from May 1st through April 30th.
The Center will reimburse eligible companies for pay rates of up to $15 per hour for a total reimbursement of no more than $7,200 per intern at the conclusion of the internship. Companies can hire up to two interns per Program Year, but have the option to hire up to two additional interns that are enrolled in a 2-year/Community College/Certificate program.
For more information, please read the program’s Frequently Asked Questions:
- FAQ's for Prospective Interns
- FAQ's for Prospective Host Companies
- To learn more about what will be required of companies to receive reimbursement, please click here.
Download the Internship Challenge "Program at a Glance" and see program statistics:
Must be located in Massachusetts and internships must take place in Massachusetts. Companies are required to be registered with the Secretary of the Commonwealth to do business in Massachusetts and must be in good standing with the MA Department of Revenue and the MA Secretary of the Commonwealth (certification required).
Must be small businesses (100 or fewer employees in MA; 250 or fewer worldwide). Larger companies and research institutions are welcome to participate in the program, however internships would not be subsidized.
Must be life sciences companies or companies that provide services to the life sciences industry. "Life sciences" is defined as:
"advanced and applied sciences that expand the understanding of human physiology and have the potential to lead to medical advances or therapeutic applications," - Massachusetts General Laws (MGL), chapter 23I, section 2.
Must offer interns a hands-on learning experience and at least one mentor that directly oversees the internship.
- Must be Massachusetts residents (able to provide proof of residency) OR attend(ed) a college or university located in Massachusetts (able to provide enrollment verification); and
- Must meet one of the following:
- 2-year/Community College/Certificate students must be enrolled in an Associate's Degree or Certificate program or completed one within the past year.
- 4-year college or university students must have or will complete(d) at least their sophomore year the semester before the internship, or have graduated within the past year.
- Graduate students must be enrolled in a Master's Degree program or received their Master's Degree within the past year. Ph.D. and M.D. candidates are not eligible.
- Multiple companies that are "Related Parties" (having any person or entity directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control) can participate, however will be limited to the funding available for ONE company. If your company is related to another company registered for this program, please notify us immediately.
- Companies cannot hire an intern who is the spouse, child, grandchild, sibling, niece, nephew, or spouse of a child, grandchild, sibling, niece, or nephew of ANY employee of the company.
- Interns cannot participate in more than one subsidized internship in the same Program Year.
- Interns cannot participate in more than two subsidized internships (over two Program Years) with the same company.
How to Participate
Students/Recent Graduates: If you are a prospective intern who meets the above stated requirements, please complete and submit the Internship Application. As part of this application, students/recent graduates are required to upload (in PDF format) both a resume and a cover letter. Please note that applications will expire after six months if not updated.
Companies: To register as a prospective host company for the 2013-14 Program Year, please complete and submit the online Company Registration Form. Once approved, you will receive an email providing you with further instructions and access to the database of applications. As part of the registration process, companies are required to upload (in PDF format) the following documentation:
- Form W-9
- MA Department of Revenue Certificate of Good Standing
- MA Secretary of State Certificate of Good Standing
If you have any questions regarding the Internship Challenge that are not addressed in the information and FAQ's posted above, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org