RISE – Ragon Institute Summer Experience

2023 RISE cohort

The Ragon Institute Summer Experience (RISE) internship program engages high school and undergraduate students underrepresented in medical research who are interested in learning about immunology and related fields. RISE aims to inspire young people from underrepresented communities in the Greater Boston area to consider a career in medical research and immunology by offering a paid, structured and mentored internship with extended supports. Mentors are drawn from the Ragon faculty, and interns are assigned to projects in their labs. In addition to lab work, interns participate in cohort-level activities coordinated by Education and Outreach staff, including:

  • A Week 1 “boot camp” where interns learn the basics of working in a research institute: its mission, how it functions, the roles of its various departments, and how their work fits in with the Institute. They will also learn about work expectations, how best to communicate with coworkers, the work of labs within the Institute, and where to go if they have problems or issues. Students will also complete lab safety and other trainings as required.
  • A twice-weekly “Introduction to Immunology” course given by graduate students from the Institute
  • Lectures on a variety of related topics, to give broader exposure to scientific research
  • Journal club discussions and lab experience sharing
  • Team-building activities
  • Workshops on college and career planning and writing resumes and cover letters
  • Field trips to local related institutions and facilities
  • Social activities
  • A final presentation of their work to the broader community
  • Post-internship check-ins, recommendations and supports as needed

The program runs for 7 weeks from June to August for high school students and 9 weeks for undergraduates. High school students are expected to work 25 hours per week; undergraduates are expected to work 40 hours per week.

High school students are paid $17 per hour; undergraduates are paid $18.00 per hour.

Internships will be held in person at the Ragon Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts unless the evolving COVID-19 pandemic prevents onsite activities, in which case internships will be held virtually. All interns must comply with MGH’s COVID-19 vaccination policy (both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of the J&J vaccine, as well as boosters when eligible).

Students attending or having attended high school in Boston, Cambridge, Everett, Revere, Lynn, Brockton, Chelsea, or other Massachusetts Gateway cities are eligible to apply. 

Students must meet the following selection criteria:

  • Interest in learning about immunology and related fields
  • Ability to meet the work hour requirements and participate in all activities
  • High school students must be rising seniors or will graduate from high school in 2024 and must be 16 years old or older. College students must have completed one year of a bachelor’s degree or community college program.
  • Demonstrated interest in STEM fields: coursework, extra-curricular activity, etc.; previous participation in program that supports academic development
  • Teacher/mentor recommendations
  • Personal statement of interest

RISE applications can be found at the links below.  Please be sure to complete the appropriate application. To participate, students must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (including a booster), influenza, and childhood diseases. There are other requirements specified by the MGH Department of Occupational Health that will be covered in the on-boarding process. Students must be legally permitted to work in the United States. Students should have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale. Applicants should be prepared to upload a copy of their resume or CV and a copy of their most recent unofficial college transcript. If you have any questions about RISE, contact Don Pinkerton at dpinkerton@mgh.harvard.edu.

Undergraduate Application https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DMX5M62

High School Application https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DM67P75

Important Dates
Application available: January 22, 2024

Applications due: March 15, 2024 at 11:59PM

Interviews for selected candidates: March 25 – April 5, 2024

Final selections made by April 19, 2024

Program Dates
Undergraduates: June 10 – August 9, 2024
High School: June 24 – August 9, 2024

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The Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard brings together scientists and engineers from diverse fields to better understand the immune system and support human health.

Administration and Operations

The Administrative and Operations team manages the Ragon’s operations, administrative, and logistical functions.