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QB3-Berkeley Undergraduate Biotech Internships

Program Description
Program Calendar
How to Apply

Program Details

Applications accepted starting November 23, 2015


The California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences at UC Berkeley (QB3-Berkeley) partners with local biotech companies to offer hands-on summer internships to UC Berkeley undergraduates. QB3-Berkeley seeks top applicants for 10-week paid internship positions, where students will learn laboratory techniques and contribute to state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research projects. Interns become paid, full-time employees of the biotech company for the duration of the internship.

Interns will:

• Acquire valuable, real-world research experience and training on a long-term project;

• Work full-time and earn a competitive salary;

• Explore career options and define direction for graduate studies;

• Network with a variety of industry, QB3-Berkeley, and student researchers;

• Work one-on-one with mentors and utilize advanced laboratory facilities;

• Develop new technical, communication, time management, and leadership skills.


QB3-Berkeley Undergraduate Biotech Internship Program applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

• Registered as a current undergraduate student at UC Berkeley*;

• Overall GPA of at least 3.2;

• Undergraduate coursework in biology, chemistry, and classroom lab experience;

• Unrestricted authorization to work in the United States;

• Committed to full-time summer employment and will return to UC Berkeley for fall semester;

TRANSFER STUDENTS: Completion of at least one semester of coursework at UC Berkeley;

FOREIGN STUDENTS: F-1 visa and completion of at least one academic year (two semesters or one semester and one summer session) at UC Berkeley.

*Unfortunately, students with senior standing are not eligible to participate in this program.


November 23 Application opens
January 29 Application closes
February 5 Letter of recommendation due
March Applicant screening and ranking by QB3-Berkeley Faculty
March-April Candidate applications forwarded to partner companies;
Partner companies interview and select interns
May-June Internships begin
August Final presentations at companies;
Internships end

*Dates are subject to change


Beginning November 23, 2015, this site will feature an online application.

Please read the instructions below before applying. You must start and finish the application in the same sitting; there is no option to save and finish later.

1. The first section of the application will ask you to provide basic personal information, as well as contact information for the author of your one required letter of recommendation. NOTE: Once you submit your application, your recommender will receive an e-mail that includes instructions on uploading the letter of recommendation. It is your responsibility to follow up with your recommender to ensure that your letter of recommendation has been submitted.

2. Upload the following three documents as pdfs:

Statement of Purpose
A one-page statement (typed, single-spaced) answering the following:

• Why are you interested in applying to the QB3-Berkeley Biotech Internship
• What is your biology, chemistry, and research experience?
• What are your short-term and/or long-term research and career goals?

Please include any additional information that might aid the selection committee in evaluating your preparation, potential, and aptitude for scientific research. You may also address any experiences, situations, or conditions that may have adversely impacted your academic advancement in science.

Unofficial undergraduate transcript
Please upload in one pdf your BearFacts transcript as well as a list of your current classes. Transfer students should include transcripts (unofficial is ok) from all previously attended universities.

Please include a description of your most recent and relevant experiences, professional, scholastic, or volunteer. For assistance, you may wish to visit the Career Center at: http://career.berkeley.edu/Tools/Resume.stm.

3. Click "Submit" at the bottom of the application. A confirmation page will display, indicating that you have successfully submitted your application. If you encounter any technical issues with the application site, please contact webmaster Ken Koziol at koziolk@berkeley.edu.

4. Ensure that your recommender submits the one required Letter of Recommendation by 5 p.m. (PST) on February 5, 2016.

• To improve your chance of acceptance into the program, this should be written by someone
who is familiar with your interests, abilities, and/or career goals, particularly related to science;
• We prefer this letter come from a professor in a relevant science or engineering discipline;
Note: Alternatively, you may submit a letter of recommendation from a Graduate Student
Instructor (GSI) but it must by co-signed by a relevant professor;
Transfer Students: You may submit a letter from a professor from a previous university.

A second optional letter from any individual inside or outside of the University, such as a former employer or research advisor, may be emailed to Program Coordinator Sarah Millar at millar@berkeley.edu by February 5.


Once accepted into the program, students are required to attend all meetings, orientations, activities, and fulfill the following internship requirements:

  1. Once a student accepts an internship offer, whether verbally or in writing, acceptance is considered binding for the duration of the entire work period;
  2. Interns must complete all program and University of California administrative procedures;
  3. Interns are required to turn in UC Berkeley, company employer, and internship program forms by stated deadlines;
  4. Interns may be required to sign a confidentiality compliance statement protecting a company's proprietary information and must observe company rules and regulations;
  5. Interns may be required to participate in a background check, drug test, and may be asked to supply a copy of their most recent immunization record, current residence status, and health insurance card;
  6. Interns will complete all QB3-Berkeley assignments by deadlines;
  7. Interns will participate in end-of-program evaluation procedures and may be invited to a focus group;
  8. Interns are required to report any issues or difficulties with the internship to Program Coordinator Sarah Millar (millar@berkeley.edu), the company supervisor, or the company human resources representative;
  9. Interns are required to resume a normal course of study (fall semester) upon completion of the internship program.

Each intern will receive a salary and be paid directly by the employer or approved third-party agency. Salaries are determined by the company, and interns must provide two types of identification when completing required payroll forms. Interns are ineligible for any insurance benefits or overtime pay from company employers. Students are financially responsible for their own travel, housing, and meals.

Salary & Benefits
Each intern will receive a salary and be paid directly by the employer (or an approved third-party agency). Salaries are determined by the company, and interns must provide two types of identification when filling out required payroll forms. Interns are ineligible for any insurance benefits or overtime pay from company employers. Students are financially responsible for their own travel, housing, and meals.

Supervision & Evaluation
The company supervisor has direct responsibility for hiring, training, and evaluating interns. The supervisor creates internship training plans, and may assign mentors to oversee and train interns. The supervisor defines specific duties and assignment responsibilities, including research project and presentation goals. Supervisors also provide an overview of the company’s operations, create professional networking opportunities, and encourage informational interviews.

The QB3-Berkeley program manager manages the initial application and screening process, acts as a liaison between applicants and company representatives, assigns three small activities to interns during the summer, and organizes activities before and after the internship to share information and solicit feedback.


Q: Whom can I contact with questions?

A: Please contact Program Coordinator Sarah Millar, 510-666-3383, millar@berkeley.edu

Q: Will I get academic credit for my internship?

A: Academic credit is not available.

Q: If I decide to apply to companies through the QB3-Berkeley Undergraduate Biotech Internship program, does that mean I should refrain from sending my resume to the company directly (via their website or a recruiter)?

A: The choice is entirely up to you. The QB3-Berkeley selection committee will receive application packets, conduct a thorough review/interview process, and  forward the top application packets to companies. The company will then conduct interviews and make the final hiring decision.

Q: May I participate in this program if I am a senior?

A: Unfortunately, seniors are not eligible to participate in this program. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Will my company supervisor write a letter of recommendation?

A: At the end of the program, consider asking your supervisor if you can list him or her as a reference for future employment opportunities. You might also ask for a general letter of recommendation. This letter should be on company letterhead and addressed to "To Whom It May Concern. " The letter can be photocopied and utilized when applying to multiple jobs.

Q: What if I encounter a problem during my internship?

A: Interns are required to report any internship issues or difficulties to the QB3-Berkeley program coordinator, company supervisor, or human resources representative. The company supervisor will discuss an unsatisfactory situation with the intern and notify the QB3-Berkeley program coordinator. Grounds for immediate dismissal from the program include failure to fulfill responsibilities due to tardiness, absence, or other forms of undependability or incompetence.

Q: I'm a transfer student. Am I eligible?

A: Transfer students must complete one semester of coursework at UC Berkeley before applying to the program.

Q: Can foreign undergraduate students with F-1 or J-1 visas apply to the program?

A: Most companies will accept undergraduate foreign students with F-1or J-1 visas.  However, UC Berkeley undergraduates are required to retain a work permit from the UCB Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) office prior to starting an internship with a local biotech company. We highly recommend that you contact the SISS office before you apply to the program. Your internship is considered "off campus employment." Contact SISS with questions at siss@berkeley.edu or visit their website at  http://internationaloffice.berkeley.edu/.  The SISS office is located at 2299 Piedmont Avenue (at International House), UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-2321, (510) 642-2818, (510) 643-7289 (fax).

Q: If I apply to the QB3-Berkeley program, am I guaranteed a position at the company?

A: No, you are not guaranteed a position at the company.

Q: What is the UC Berkeley Nondiscrimination Statement?

A: The University of California, in accordance with applicable federal and state law and University policy, prohibits discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran (special disabled veteran, Vietnam-era veteran or any other veteran who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized). This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. Inquiries may be directed as follows: Sex discrimination and sexual harassment: Nancy Chu, Title IX Compliance Officer, (510) 643-7985; disability discrimination and access: Ward Newmeyer, A.D.A./504 Compliance Officer, (510) 643-5116 (voice or TTY/TDD); age discrimination: Alan T. Koling, Age DiscriminAtion Act Coordinator, (510) 642-8471. Other inquiries may be directed to the Academic Compliance Office, 200 California Hall #1500, (510) 642-2795.


• November 23, 2015 - Online application site opens

• January 29, 2016 - Apply online by 5 p.m.

• February 5, 2016 - Letter(s) of Recommendation due


A pdf guide to a successful internship.

A pdf guide to successful interviewing.


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