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Labs in our department regularly host current high school students interested in research internships. Would you like to learn more about opportunities to work in our department? Check out the FAQ below!


Why should I join the BMB department?

UMass Chan is a hub of biomedical research and innovation nestled in central Massachusetts. The environment here is supportive, collaborative and progressive. In particular, the BMB department is a collegial work environment where new ideas can thrive. BMB also provides various resources including six different research cores. Together, these qualities make the BMB department a truly special place to do scientific research.

What kinds of students are a good fit for the BMB department?

Our best students are those who share our passion for understanding the fundamental mechanisms of life. A strong work-ethic, positive attitude and healthy dose of curiosity are common qualities amongst those in our department. Students with backgrounds in math, computer science, physics and chemistry are especially encouraged to contact us. Per our Culture Statement, members of our department are welcoming to others and believe in the importance of a diverse scientific workforce.

What pathways can I take to get involved in research in the BMB department?

Students can directly contact faculty with whom they are interested in working. It is strongly recommended that students share their resume and a cover letter clearly stating their interest in the research being done in that lab when they contact faculty members. Here is a list of faculty members in BMB who are interested in accepting high school students into their labs (last updated 04/2023):

  • Dr. Mohan Somasundaran   

  • Dr. Dan Bolon 

  • Dr. Gang Han 

  • Dr. Francesca Massi 

  • Dr. Sean Ryder 

  • Dr. Paul Thompson 

Students from underrepresented groups, and/or educationally or economically disadvantaged students are encouraged to consider taking advantage of resources in the Worcester Pipeline Collaborative. Through this collaborative, high school students can find research opportunities at UMass Chan. Let the program officers know you’re interested in doing research in the BMB department!

Current sophomore and junior high school students are eligible to apply to the High School Health Careers Program. Applications are often due in the spring, and the program itself occurs over four weeks in the summer. This program has a broader emphasis on a range of careers in biomedical science.

How do I acquire funding?

BMB policy requires all people working in labs to be paid – this applies to high school students. Faculty will fully support your research in their labs, and you will receive pay at a rate approximately equal to or above minimum wage in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Are there age restrictions or work permits?

Yes – all interns must be 16 years of age or older. Work Permits are required for 16 and 17 year olds. We will provide you with the application to obtain a Work Permit. There are several forms interns must fill out – the faculty member you work with will make sure you get these forms.