Being an SMRI Intern

The SMRI program is a rigorous, six-month internship where you will learn college-level concepts in cellular and molecular biology and be paired with a research mentor who will guide you through a project conducted in a biomedical sciences laboratory here at Columbia University! 

You will have the opportunity to:

• Earn valuable research experience

• Learn what life in a research laboratory is like

• Hone your professional speaking skills

• Acquire meaningful letters of recommendation

• Engage in active discussions on scientific research, career goals, life in the sciences, graduate school experiences, and other topics of interests

• Receive a stipend for your participation in the program

What to expect after applying to SMRI:

Interviews will be conducted at a Minds Matter session in October. Interns will be carefully chosen from the pool of applicants and admitted into the SMRI program. Once interns are admitted, SMRI activities include:

  1. SMRI Kick-off Dinner Party (early November) - Program orientation and get to know your mentor over dinner, all held at the Columbia University Medical Center.
  2. Eight Biology 101 Lectures (November and December) - Over the course of four weeks, interns will receive evening lectures on college-level Biology topics, based on the Campbell Biology book. Electronic copies of book chapters will be provided to you. Dinner will be provided.
  3. Biology 101 Final Exam, Safety Lecture and Certification, and Laboratory Orientation (last Monday of January) - Safety lecture is delivered by Columbia's Environmental Health and Safety department.  The lab orientation will consist of exercises that familiarize you with common laboratory equipment, techniques, and procedures. 
  4. Research Internship (February through April) - Conduct a three-month-long research project under the guidance of your mentor in a Columbia research laboratory
  5. Practice Presentation (Mid-March) - Introduce your project to your fellow interns, their mentors, and the SMRI Directors
  6. Field Trip to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (Mid-April during Spring Break) - Learn about life at a biotechnology company. Interns will tour Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and meet industry research leaders who develop drugs and other medicines.
  7. Final Presentation (Mid-May) - Prepare a final presentation highlighting your research project and conclusions.  This will be a formal presentation where family, various Columbia affiliates, Minds Matter affiliates, and your SMRI mentors and directors will be present.