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Undergraduate Research Student Summer Internship - 2020

The Summer Research 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. 
For the 2020 Summer Research Internship Programs, students will have the opportunity to work in the areas of cancer biology, epigenetics, metabolism, neurobiology and/or structural biology. For more information on Van Andel Institute (VAI) Laboratories, please click here. For more information on our VAI Core Technologies and Services, please click here. 
We expect to support 20 - 25 research internships, depending on the needs of VAI faculty and core directors/managers. Summer interns will be paired with a scientific investigator and/or their designee for an intense 10-week research experience. Students will gain an understanding of the latest research methods, instruments, and testing procedures. They will learn how to design experiments and see how their test results can contribute to a larger research project. At the end of each internship program, students will give an oral presentation or poster presentation about their experience to VAI research staff. 
Frederik and Lena Meijer Student Internship Program (20 - 25 research internships) 
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. 
UNCF Internships (2 research internships) 
Van Andel Institute Graduate School (VAIGS) partners with UNCF to match students interested in biomedical research careers with summer research internships at Van Andel Institute. This program will provide students with essential experience, mentoring and financial support. 
Students are required to begin on one of two program start dates: 
  • Session I: May 11, 2020 – July 17, 2020
  • Session II: June 1, 2020 - August 7, 2020

Undergraduate college students must have completed at least one year of higher education (equivalent to 24 credit hours), be enrolled in a science/research related degree program, and maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. 
Students who have graduated before the start date of the summer internship program (May 2020) are ineligible. If you are currently enrolled as a high school student or in a Master’s degree program, you are ineligible to participate in the undergraduate research summer internship program. 
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 typically not sponsor visas for summer-only employment. 
Attachments you need to support your online application: 
A cover letter, resume, and official/unofficial transcript will need to be combined as one single PDF file and then uploaded as an attachment with your online application. 
  • A cover letter, as a PDF document, indicating why you would like to participate in this summer internship and your career goals;
  • A resume, as a PDF document, which includes your education, research experience, volunteer experience, and publications (if any);
  • Official transcripts (or unofficial transcripts), as a PDF document, from your college or university. It is important to note you will be responsible for uploading your transcripts to your online application. Any transcripts received via email or from your institutions transcripts delivery service will not be accepted.
Additional application materials required:
  • Two (2) 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 
Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee (98001/VAIGS) 
Undergraduate Summer Internship Program 
Van Andel Institute 
333 Bostwick Avenue NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2518 
Pre-Employment Questions:
There are 16 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 the Van Andel Institute’s:
Question number 13 will require applicants to select their top area of research interest (Cancer Biology, Epigenetics, Metabolism, Neurobiology or Structural Biology). 
Question number 14 will require applicants to select their top five laboratories (or Lead Investigators) of interest. Click here to review our research labs.  
Question number 15 will require applicants to select their top three core technologies of interest. Click hereto review our core technologies. 
Before beginning the online employment application, review the undergraduate research student summer internship description in its entirety. Please also combine your cover letter, resume and transcript 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, resume and transcript after you enter your contact information
  • Job preferences
  • Work authorization status
  • Education
  • Profile attachments – As long as you uploaded your cover letter, resume and transcript 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, resume and transcript under the contact information section, you will not need to upload any additional documents under the resume/cv content section
  • Pre-employment questions for undergraduate student applicants
  • There are 16 pre-employment questions in total.
  • All provided fields/sections must be completed accurately and thoroughly for consideration in the Undergraduate Research Student Summer Internship Program
  • Please make sure you have reviewed the VAI faculty profiles and core technologies before answering pre-employment questions #13, #14, and #15. 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
Complete applications will be reviewed by the Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee and VAI Faculty after February 15, 2020. Applicants selected for interviews are generally contacted by mid-March and employment offers are usually extended by mid-April. If additional summer opportunities become available after this time, your application may be reconsidered. 
Any inquiries regarding your student internship application should be made via e-mail to; inquiries will receive responses as information becomes available. 
All offers for student intern 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.