Underrepresented/Minority Student Internship Program

The Underrepresented/Minority Student Internship Program provides the opportunity for students to receive mentorship and training from HuBMAP components in summer 2021, in a virtual setting.

Are you looking to learn about cutting edge biology and technology? The HuBMAP Consortium is a diverse, dedicated group of laboratories across the country seeking to create a detailed map the human body, all the way to the level of single cells. If you are part of an underrepresented and/or minority group, and you would like to work with a HuBMAP consortium member this summer, apply to our internship program today! This virtual internship program provides a fantastic opportunity to build connections, add to your experience, and conduct vital research in the single cell community. Our researchers are eager to work with you, and have funding available to provide internships to qualified students.

Please note: This is a virtual internship experience in 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Eligible students will:

  • Be college undergraduates majoring in any of the STEM fields with a minimum of 3.0 grade point average.
  • Be at least a sophomore undergraduate student at the time of application.
  • Be an underrepresented/minority student (as defined by NIH) who are US citizens or permanent residents. See the NIH criteria.

Preference will be given to students who do not have ready access to biomedical (and/or single cell biology) research opportunities in their home institutions.

All applicants will be required to submit an application form, transcript, personal statement, and 2 letters of recommendation.

All materials should be emailed in PDF format to the application committee at internshipapply@hubmapconsortium.org by February 15, 2021.

Application form: Download and fill in the form, then attach it as a PDF to your application submission.

Transcript: Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. Please submit transcripts as an attachment with your application, as a PDF.

Personal Statement: Please submit a personal statement, briefly describing your background, interest in participating in this summer undergraduate research program in single cell science, and your career goals. Please attach your personal statement in PDF format. Personal statements should be no longer than 2 pages single spaced, font size 11, Times New Roman.

Letters of recommendation: Two letters of recommendation should be sent to the application committee from your references, by the application due date of February 15, 2021.

Requirements & Expectations:

Accepted students are required to:

  • Conduct your own small research project or work on part of an ongoing research project.
  • Attend a weekly virtual seminar series that will introduce you to rapidly progressing medical and basic research areas.
  • Complete all Compliance Training, Conflict of Interest Forms and/or any other training deemed necessary for your internship as soon as it is received.
  • Report to work on time as designated by the mentor to work on assigned research project. Students are expected to work no more than 40 hours a week.
  • Present a virtual poster at the end of the project about your experience. The date of the presentation will be determined by the NIH HuBMAP program .

Accepted students will receive a stipend of $6,000

Available Programs:

Six HuBMAP labs will be virtually hosting interns in summer 2021. Read on for more information about each.

Nolan Lab, Stanford University: Garry Nolan’s lab at Stanford University develops technologies that enable seeing greater number of characteristics of individual cells at once. They develop bioinformatic and mathematical tools to help them make observations from the data. They use this information to learn more how properties of single cells contribute to about normal physiology and which are linked with disease. Most recently they have worked on technologies that allow them to take pictures of many characteristics of cells simultaneously. They image these characteristics from individual cells intact from slices of tissues mounted on microscope slides. The spatial integrity is critical to helping them understand how single cells work together to create tissues or disease states. No previous experience is needed to work with this lab.

Lab Website

Kim Lab, University of Pennsylvania: Led by Junhyong Kim, this lab works at the interface of genomic technologies, computational biology, and evolutionary biology. Projects include single cell atlas of the human female reproductive system (HuBMAP), single cell analysis of kidney repair pathways (ReBuilding the Kidney consortium), and novel technologies for sub-cellular genomics (Center of Excellence in Genomic Sciences). They have “wetlab” and “drylab” projects. The wetlab projects involve molecular biology techniques to measure individual cell’s RNA content and structural properties of the chromosome and also to visualize how different RNAs are distributed under a microscope. The drylab projects involve computational processing of sequencing data, quantifying molecules, visualizing the patterns specific to cell types, and developing new methods to integrate different kinds of information. Laboratory experience in molecular biology and/or data analysis and programming experience is desirable but not necessary. This lab has experience training students in new areas.

Lab Website

Penn Image Computing and Science Laboratory (PICSL), University of Pennsylvania: Led by James Gee, PhD, and Alison Pouch, PhD, the PICSL focuses on computational methods of studying anatomy in nature, and making cutting-edge image analysis methods and tools publicly available. Students will learn about the fundamentals of computational image analysis tasks like image segmentation and registration and how such tasks apply to clinical medicine. An interest in learning about image analysis and its applications to medicine are desired. Introductory experience in computer programming is helpful but not required.

Lab Website

Gregory Lab, University of Pennsylvania: Led by Brian Gregory, this lab works on basic RNA biology using genomic approaches and we are mainly interested in how RNA is regulated in cells. They study mechanisms of post-transcriptional regulation, i.e., how RNA is regulated after transcription from DNA to become functionally active for translation. Processes of interest include RNA methylation, RNA structure, and how these affect the molecular biology of the cell. They apply their molecular biology and genomics expertise to single cell multiomics characterization of the female reproductive system for the HuBMAP project. In addition, they are interested in developing novel approaches to measure RNA methylation in single cells and apply them to the HuBMAP cell atlas projects. To intern with this lab, no previous experience is required.

Lab Website

O’Neill Lab, University of Pennsylvania: Led by Kate O’Neill, this lab focuses on endometrial regeneration and factors impacting the stem cell niche in the endometrium. Their projects include single cell atlas of the human female reproductive system, using single cell analysis endometrium from uterus transplant recipients to determine cell ontogeny/differentiation, exploring stem cell populations in endometrial organoids. The projects involve both laboratory work involving molecular biology related to single cell profiling and clinical research involving patient/donor recruitment, metadata, clinical sample procurement. Laboratory experience in molecular biology and/or data analysis is desirable but not necessary.

Lab Website

Gehlenborg Lab, Harvard Medical School: The Gehlenborg Lab in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School is a group of data scientists and software developers who are passionate about driving biomedical discovery by creating efficient and effective visual interfaces between analysts and data. For the Summer of 2021 we are hoping to recruit a student to work on a project that will make HuBMAP data more accessible to the community, such as:
  • Develop or extend R and/or Python packages to interface with the HuBMAP Portal APIs to enable direct access in RStudio or Jupyter Notebooks
  • Create example visualizations with Vitessce (http://vitessce.io) that explain single-cell and tissue biology to lay audiences
  • Contribute new visualization types to Vitessce, e.g., interactive statistical graphs or specialized visualizations for HuBMAP data types
  • Projects that make communicating biomedical discoveries from single cell biology easier for lay audiences by exploring different visualizations, design principles etc.

Some previous experience with programming and software engineering will be useful in most projects but is not essential. An interest and experience in data visualization and visual design would be desirable but not required. However we would also welcome students with more extensive background and experience in programming with R, Python or Javascript.

Lab Website

Questions? Email internshipapply@hubmapconsortium.org

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