NIH/NCI Internships: For Intel and Siemens?

<p>I am planning to apply for an internship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) this summer. Just wondering, do you know anyone who has participated in these programs and actually won recognition in the Intel or Siemens Westinghouse science competitions? (From what I hear, a lot of NCI interns just do labwork and follow their designated researcher or scientist around.) Will there be an opportunity to do my own research in an innovative area?</p>

<p>it depends on what you make of really have to get the right PI, in my opinion. If this is your first time doing research in this area and you don't have experience with any techniques, you'll probably spend the majority of the time familiarizing yourself with them and eventually doing independent research. </p>

<p>Have you actually gotten the internship though?</p>

<p>Asterstar, I haven't gotten the internship yet. I'm working on it, but before I apply, I want to be doubly sure that I will be able to do significant independent research. I have already been accepted in Boston University's Summer Research Internship. You have to pay through your nose for it, but it has supposedly produced many Siemens Semifinalists and even one Intel Finalist. One minus to BU's program is that it is only six weeks long. You really have to stay on your toes to accomplish your goals. I am trying to get internships at UT Dallas and at Baylor College of Medicine. These are not actual internships, just an unplanned, contact the professor, get him to let you work with him sort of thing. </p>

<p>I was attracted to NCI's program because you also get a $1500/month non-taxed stipend. (I was totally unaware of RSI and other "prestigious" internships until the deadlines had already passed me by.) Are you going anywhere this summer?</p>

<p>yea I went to NCI last summer and ended up with a PI who mainly did clinical stuff, and the basic science was only a supporting player. So didn't get too much accomplished there, especially since the lab biologist who was essentially my mentor only had a master's and was very new to the area herself.</p>

<p>However, you need to make sure that you get an internship before you start thinking about actually going. It's very late in the game to apply- last year I was caught in a bind and actually applied to NCI at pretty much the same time (late April, early May). Nearly every single researcher that I contacted already had a student signed up for the summer, and it was by pure luck that I found one who still had a spot open. On the other hand, one of my friends emailed about 30 PI's and didn't get a single successful reply.</p>

<p>So get going on applying for the internship and contacting PI's first before worrying about whether you're going to get an Intel-level project. As for that, I really think it's about how motivated you are, how experienced you are in that field, and what your PI is doing.</p>