Launch: Internships in Biology and Environmental Studies

Employer Requirements

  • The experience must be an extension of the biology classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings. A shadowing experience will not be accepted as a Launch internship.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description detailing the type of work experiences the intern will participate in.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the students’ academic and professional goals.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience. The student intern should have one assigned supervisor who will meet regularly with the intern and provide routine feedback.
  • To encourage equity in internship participation, we strongly encourage employers to provide paid internship opportunities. Not all students are in the privileged position to be able to work 10-15 hours/week in an unpaid internship.
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
  • Within two weeks of the start of the internship or summer research program experience, the student and internship supervisor need to complete and submit (to the internship director) a student internship agreement form. This agreement form requires the student and supervisor to detail: 
    • Goals, duties and responsibilities of the internship
    • A training plan that includes how training will take place and by whom
    • Expectations for work due dates
    • How and from whom the intern will receive feedback
    •  Standards of the workplace, such as dress code, confidentiality and workplace safety training
    • Address limitations to the use of cell phone, Internet and social media, if they exist
    • Student/supervisor agreed upon SMART goals for the student
  • We ask employers to submit any requirements (course or otherwise) that are in addition to the department’s student eligibility requirements to the internship committee. It is highly recommended that the employer provides the internship with a clearly defined salary or hourly wage.

For more information about the Launch Program and the requirements to earn academic credit for your internship, contact:

Dr. Rosemary Stuart
Launch Internship Director

Wehr Life Sciences, 309