Internships FAQs

General Questions:

  1. Why should I do an internship?
    Doing an internship will allow you gain exposure to working in an industry setting and potentially fields outside of your immediate academic research. Past interns have indicated improved understanding of industry management, work-life balance, and R&D; more certainty regarding future career goals; and enhanced research vision.
  2. When should I do an internship?
    There is no hard rule regarding when to do an internship. Most students in the past have completed an internship towards the end of their PhD (i.e., 4th-5th year). However, some students have suggested doing an internship earlier on in their PhD (i.e., after their orals) while they are still exploring their academic research interests.

  3. Will my PI let me do an internship?
    PIs tend to be open to the option of allowing their students to do an internship. If you are interested in doing an internship, you should bring it up to your PI as early as possible so that you can both appropriately plan timing and research logistics.

  4. Are there programs to help with PhD internships?
    BCI-EDGE is the primary resource to help BME PhD students find internships. The program offers diverse internship opportunities that you can apply for are provided throughout the academic year. Additionally, BCI-EDGE also facilitates internships matching if you have a specific academic or career interest that isn’t currently offered.

  5. Can I still do an internship if I am international student?
    Yes! The administrative process of leaving for an internship is slightly different however. International students need to apply for optional practical training (OPT) through the appropriate Office of International Services (OIS) (i.e., Homewood or SOM campus) a few months prior to leaving for their internships.  

  6. What sort of tools are available to help me prepare for an internship?

    1. JHMI Professional Development and Career Office (PDCO)

      1. One-on-one counseling

      2. Workshops on grant & resume writing, interviewing, leadership, crafting LinkedIn profiles, etc.

      3. Career fairs

    2. JHU Career Center

      1. Office hours for resume feedback

      2. Mock interviews with alumni

      3. Employer roundtables

      4. Career fairs

    3. BCI-EDGE (and BME-EDGE)

      1. Various seminar series to discover and explore diverse career options (i.e., Casual Conversation, Career Exploration, etc) and build soft skills

Internship Logistics:

  1. Should I go on a leave of absence? How do I go on a leave of absence?
    If you’re not an international student, you will need to take a leave of absence when you do an internship. You will need to coordinate with your program director and the SOM Office of Registrar.

  2. Will I have health insurance while on my internship?
    You will be able to keep your Johns Hopkins student health insurance while on your internship. However, health insurance charges might vary slightly based on your individual circumstance. Reach out to Caroline Pounds, the director of BCI, with any questions. She and your distributed grant aid (DGA) officer (i.e., the administrator who pays you your stipend) will work together to sort out your the health insurance when you leave for an internship.

  3. I have a student loan. Will leaving for an internship affect my student status?
    Check with your bank/lender regarding LOA. [Joe] Talk to the financial aid office.

  4. I have a fellowship. Will I be able to do an internship while on fellowship funding?
    You will need to contact your institute financial administrator and your fellowship administrator to determine whether or not you can go on leave of absence (LOA) for your internship.

  5. My PI wants me to continue with research while doing an internship. How will I separate work from academic research?
    You will need to separate when and where you do academic research and internship work. Any academic research should be done away from the office. Make sure to discuss research expectations with your PI prior to leaving for your internship!

  6. How do I end my leave of absence?
    You should coordinate with your department coordinator and your institute administrator in the weeks prior to finishing up your internship.