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All NIH-funded Trainees are required to pursue an industrial internship, including those who worked in industry prior to joining Northwestern, and Cluster Members are encouraged to pursue an internship.

Benefits and Objectives

Industrial internships offer trainees the opportunity to obtain first-hand experience in biotechnology research in an industrial setting of their choosing. Trainees gain exposure to applied interdisciplinary research, best practices, and to the connections between fundamental and commercial research approaches and approaches. Performing an industrial internship provides substantial professional preparation for trainees no matter what their career goals may be (e.g., careers in academia, industry, or other sectors). 

Selecting an Internship

Students may perform an internship at any company on earth, and past trainees have interned at many sites across the Chicago area and beyond (see below for a partial list of sites that have previously hosted our trainees). Internships typically range from 3-6 months in duration.

The selection of the internship site, as well as the terms, timing, and duration of the internship, are determined by each individual trainee with substantial input and support from BTP leadership as well as the trainee’s graduate research advisors. BTP also convenes opportunities for trainees to meet and network with former trainees to discuss their own internship experiences, advice, and to answer questions. Trainees also have multiple opportunities to discuss and develop internship plans in individual consultations with BTP leadership. 

Although each trainee makes financial arrangements with the host company of interest, in most cases the host company provides a salary or stipend and sometimes additional support to cover expenses. If additional support is needed to make an internship feasible, additional funds may be available and this possibility should be discussed with BTP leadership. 

At the end of the internship, the trainee shares their experiences with fellow trainees during a Research In Progress Meeting or other BTP event.

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