Overview

According to the job employment website Glassdoor, over half of all internship opportunities were cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-related budget constraints or an inability to offer a meaningful and substantive remote work experience. For affected students, this widespread disruption could have long-lasting career ramifications as competitive internships often serve as feeder programs into highly sought-after positions in finance, biotechnology, and other related quantitative fields or as valuable real-world training prior to graduate studies in the sciences or liberal arts.

Yet, workforce needs in medicine and research continue to grow despite an unprecedented economic downturn. At the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), we leveraged these unique circumstances to help promising students whose early career training has been upended by offering an opportunity to conduct original investigative research in a multitude of positions and roles suited to their scientific interests. With thought-leading experts in such areas as epidemiology, computational biology, and immunology, prospective COVID Corps scholars will have the unique opportunity to learn, grow, and expand their network as official members of the nation’s top hospital-based research program at the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, which is consistently ranked by the U.S. News and World Report as the nation’s top research medical school. Moreover, by allowing a motivated workforce to earnestly explore and act on early interests, we may be able to recruit individuals who might not otherwise have considered pursuing careers in the biomedical research sciences. 

Read our publication in Nature Medicine about why and how we established the MGH COVID Corps Internship Program:

  • Nguyen, L.H., Tan-McGrory, A., Oh, A.Y., Barreto, E.A., Bartels, S.J., Armstrong, K.A., Chan, A.T., & Warner, E.T. Diversifying the biomedical workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nat Med 26, 1811 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-1134-7

Massachusetts General Hospital COVID Corps Biomedical Research Internship Program

Program Features

Under the close guidance of a carefully selected primary faculty lead, MGH COVID Corps Scholars will benefit from a robust near-peer program of training and will contribute to an array of COVID-related research projects to advance novel prevention and therapeutic strategies. Other planned activities include:   

  • Streamlined and centralized onboarding with direct administrative assistance from COVID Corps staff and Mass General Human Resources 

  • Extensive program orientation and scientific skills training commensurate to level of training

  • Virtual networking events and seminars on applying to graduate/medical school

  • End-of-summer capstone culminating with an abstract and poster presentation

  • Journal clubs focused on understanding scientific articles

  • Potential for ongoing mentorship and longitudinal research experiences during the academic year

  • A summer stipend of $3,000

  • Given the uncertainty surrounding the full return to operational capacity, COVID Corps research projects will be designed such that completion can be achieved entirely remotely, but every effort to safely accommodate trainees desiring in-person experiential learning will be considered depending on local public health guidance. 

Eligibility

  • Current undergraduate or graduate (including medical) students who will still be enrolled in Fall 2021 (not graduating in 2021) 

  • Able to work for 40 hours/week for the entire summer program duration (6 weeks, June 21 to July 30)

  • Residing in Boston metro area, <1 hour car or train ride from MGH (preferred)

  • Historically underrepresented individuals in the biomedical research sciences, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This broad definition may include, but is not limited to: 

    • Women or gender diverse individuals of any ethnic or racial group; 

    • Those identifying as Hispanic, Black, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Southeast Asian, or American Indian/Alaska Native; or

    • First-generation/Low-income college/graduate students

 
 
 

Timeline

  • Student application deadline: Sunday, February 28, 5pm ET 

  • Letter of recommendation deadline: Monday, March 1, 5pm ET 

  • Notification of admissions decisions: By the end of March 2021 

  • Program start date: Monday, June 21

  • Program end date: Friday, July 30

 

How to Apply: For Students

Applications for the 2021 program are now open! Please apply via the link below. Please make sure you have read the eligibility requirements listed above. 

Required application materials include: 

  1. CV

  2. Academic transcript (unofficial accepted)

  3. Letter of recommendation (via separate recommender portal)

How to Apply: For Mentors

Applications for mentors for the 2021 program are now open! Please apply via the link below. Please note: unless you have research funding available to provide the $3000 summer stipend, your research opportunity must be COVID-related. 

Questions?

Contact us at MGHMonganInstitute@mgh.harvard.edu

COVID Corps Cohorts

Meet the students and mentors of our past and present cohorts.