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Medical Student Summer Research Internship Program - 2020

Van Andel Institute (VAI) offers a summer research internship program designed to provide medical students 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. 
We expect to support two (2) internships, depending on the needs of the VAI faculty and core directors/managers. This program is competitive, based on recommendations, previous experience, and a personal meeting, telephone interview, or interview via Skype. Students are expected to work full-time for the duration of the internship, so participation in this program is not compatible with working at another job. 
The internship will be a six to nine-week research experience based on the time availability of the applicant. 
Placement: Each applicant's internship will be based on their research interests selected on the application form. Each experience will be different based on the research question, mentor, and status of the project. Work environments include any of the basic science laboratories or core facilities at VAI. 
There are 15 pre-employment questions that applicants are required to answer as part of the online application process. Several of the questions will require applicants to review Van Andel Institute’s website:
  • Applicants will be required to select an area of research interest on the online application (question number 11). Areas of research interest include Cancer Biology, Epigenetics, Metabolism, Neurobiology, and Structural Biology.
  • Applicants will be required to identify up to five specific VAI research laboratories in which they are especially interested in working in (question number 12). Please provide the full name of the Investigator/research lab. Click here to review our faculty/lab profiles before completing question number 12. 
  • Applicants will also be required to identify up to three specific core facilities (question number 13) in which they are especially interested in working in. In the text box for question number 13, please provide the complete name of the Core. Click here to review our core facilities. 
The Medical Student Summer Research Internship Program will be limited to a 40-hour work week with pay at $15.00/hr.    
Medical students must be currently enrolled and in good standing in their first year of medical school. 
International students are eligible to apply if they meet the requirements for the program and are legally permitted to work and earn income in the United States. Van Andel Institute will not sponsor visas for summer-only employment. 
All application materials are due by February 1, 2020. 
To be considered for an internship position, applicants must submit all of the following components: 
  • Completed online application 
  • A single PDF file that includes your cover letter and resume 
Incomplete application packets will not be considered. 
  •  Two current letters of recommendation from college/university professors, research mentors, and/or supervisors. Letters of recommendation should be mailed by recommenders to the address below or e-mailed (PDF files only) to  
  • Letter of good standing from current institution (Academic Dean's Office, Academic Student Affairs or Academic Affairs) mailed to: 
Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee (98001/VAIGS) 
Medical Student Summer Research Internship Program 
Van Andel Institute Graduate / Van Andel Institute 
333 Bostwick Ave NE 
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 
Before beginning the online employment application, review the Medical Student Summer Research Internship description in its entirety. Please also combine your cover letter and resume as a single pdf file
  1. Click theAPPLY” button to start VAI's online employment application.  
  2. Review and accept the application certification to continue with completing the online application. 
  3. Complete the remainder of the online application including:  
  • Contact information 
  • Using the resume/CV document feature, upload the single PDF file with your cover letter and resume after you enter your contact information
  • Job preferences
  • Work authorization status
  • Education
  • Profile attachments – As long as you uploaded your cover letter and resume under the contact information section, you will not need to upload any additional documents under profile attachments section.
  • Resume/CV content – As long as you uploaded your cover letter and resume under the contact information section, you will not need to upload any additional documents under the resume/cv content section.
  • Pre-employment questions for medical student applicants
  • There are 15 pre-employment questions in total.
  • All provided fields/sections must be completed accurately and thoroughly for consideration in the Medical Student Research Summer Internship Program
  • Please make sure you have reviewed the VAI faculty profiles and core technologies before answering pre-employment questions #11, #12, and #13. Faculty profiles can be reviewed in alphabetical order by the Lead Investigator's last name or by research area (or center) 
  • Voluntary-Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
  • Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability
  • Review Reasonable Accommodation Notice 
Completed applications will be reviewed by the Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee and by VAI faculty and core directors/managers after February 1, 2020. Applicants selected for interviews are generally contacted by mid-February and employment offers are usually extended by end of February. Any inquiries regarding your application should be made via e-mail to; inquiries will receive responses as information becomes available. 
All offers for the Medical Student Summer Research Internship Program positions will be contingent upon the satisfactory results of a Background Investigation and Drug Screen. 
Assignments may involve the use of potentially hazardous chemicals, hazardous or radioactive materials, or may be in areas where such materials are used. Adherence to safety policies and procedures along with proper storage and disposal methods are required. 
Student Interns are not eligible for holiday pay on the following days VAI officially closes for business: 
  • Memorial Day – Monday, May 25, 2020 
  • Independence Day – Friday, July 3, 2020 (observed) 
Local area colleges/universities may have student housing available. Students are responsible for their own travel, housing, room and board.  
  • If you require additional information on housing options, please contact Michelle Love at  
Students will have the option to purchase a $15 parking pass for the ramp on Michigan Street, directly across from VAI.