2020 Summer Science Internship

Deadline: Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Summer Science Internship Program provides twelve (12) outstanding students with the opportunity to work in leading research and clinical laboratories under the supervision of respected scientists at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Goal:  Through this internship students receive hands-on experience in the fields of rheumatology and immunology, with a focus on arthritis and related autoimmune diseases.  Interns participate in either basic laboratory (bench) research or clinical translational/epidemiological (patient outcomes oriented) research. This program is designed to encourage gifted students to pursue a career in scientific study and research with the ultimate goal of inspiring them to focus their research potential on arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Many graduates of the Summer Science Internship Program have gone on to pursue successful careers in the fields of medicine and/or scientific research. 

Date:  The internship will run from June 8 , 2020 through to July 31, 2020. Interns will be expected to work approximately 40 hours per week for 8 weeks. 

Internships:  Sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation each summer, the 2019 internships are located at Stanford University and the UCSF. Depending on the location, the internship can focus on basic laboratory (bench) research or clinical epidemiological /translational (patient-oriented) research. Applicants will submit a separate application for each of the internship locations at Stanford University and UCSF. While every effort will be made to accommodate applicant preferences, all internship assignments are final.

  • The Stanford University internship offers experience in basic laboratory (bench) research only.  This internship is only open to high school juniors and seniors.
  • The UCSF internship offers experience in basic laboratory (bench) research OR clinical epidemiological/translational (patient-oriented) research. This internship is open to high school juniors, seniors, and college undergraduates 

All applicants must be at least 17 years of age by June 1, 2020.

Poster & Final Paper:  A poster session will be hosted at each respective institution. The poster will reflect the work the intern accomplished over the eight (8) week internship.

At the conclusion of the internship, each participant will submit a brief (2 page) paper or video presentation to the Arthritis Foundation, summarizing their experience by August 14, 2020. Interns will not receive the second half of their stipend until their final paper has been received by the Arthritis Foundation.

Stipends:  Stipends will be paid in two installments, half at the beginning of the internship and half after the completion of the eight (8) week internship upon receipt of the final paper by the Arthritis Foundation.

Interns will receive: $1,500 total


For all those interested in applying for an AF internship at the Stanford University site, please apply directly on the Stanford SIMR Program website at simr.stanford.edu (link).  You must apply on this site to be considered.  Please select Immunology as your #1 choice institute on the application itself to show your interest in the AF internship. Note that application requirements and deadlines for the Stanford program will vary from those mentioned below.

For those interested in applying for the UCSF internship, please complete the application that appears below.

Please note, in consideration of the environment, no hard copies of the application will be accepted

Stanford Application:
Apply directly to Stanford at simr.stanford.edu and select immunology as your #1 choice.

UCSF Application: You must complete the application online at http://go.arthritis.org/Summer-Science-Internship-Application.html Please note, in consideration of the environment, no hard copies of the application will be accepted

Supplemental Materials: Supplemental materials such as reference letters (2), transcripts and test scores must be emailed to [email protected] by February 29, 2020. Please use the following format: [Subject Line: Last Name, First Name – Document Name]

  • Letters of Reference: Please submit with your application two (2) letters of reference from faculty or teaching assistants from your current or previous schools, supervisors or other community members. Reference letters submitted by email must be on official letterhead and scanned. Hard copies are not accepted. The letters must be emailed to [email protected] by February 29, 2020.

  • Transcript Requirements: HARD COPIES NOT ACCEPTED
    -High School Level:  most recent transcript (unofficial copies are acceptable).
    -Undergraduate Level:  most recent transcript (unofficial copies are acceptable). First-year undergraduates should include a high school transcript as well.
  • Standardize Test Scores: HARD COPIES NOT ACCEPTED
    -High School Level:  PSAT, SAT or ACT scores (unofficial copies are acceptable).
    -Undergraduate Level:  no standardized test scores are required.

Age Restrictions:  All applicants must have reached their 17th birthday by June 1, 2020.

There are absolutely no exceptions. Applicants who will be under 18 years of age on June 1, 2020, must also provide the written permission of a parent or guardian to participate in the program (see application form)..

Geographic Limitations:  Applicants for this program must either live or attend school within the Northern California 16 county territories.  These counties are:

Alameda                      Lake                           Napa                           Santa Clara

Contra Costa               Marin                           San Benito                   Santa Cruz

Del Norte                     Mendocino                  San Francisco             Solano

Humboldt                    Monterey                     San Mateo                   Sonoma

Housing & Transportation Restrictions: No housing or transportation is provided.  All interns are responsible for their own housing and transportation. Please be prepared to make whatever housing and transportation arrangements are necessary to complete the internship. 


DeadlineAll applications and supporting materials must be received electronically by the Arthritis Foundation by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) Saturday, February 29, 2020.  

Notifications:  Selected applicants will be notified by email between April 7-17, and must accept or decline the position within 7 days of receiving notice.

Application Evaluation: 

The Northern California Office Medical and Scientific Committee – a subcommittee of the Arthritis Foundation- will review each of the more than 300 applications for the twelve possible openings.  

The sub-committee is co-chaired by Dr. William Robinson of Stanford and Dr. Mary Nakamura of UCSF. Both are widely respected researchers and clinicians in rheumatology and each is a member of the faculty at their university. The sub-committee includes up to 4 additional members who are also trained researchers at UCSF or Stanford and are MD and or PhDs in the field.

All applications are read and competitively scored. The review considers the students’ academic record of scientific rigor and overall success. The applications are also judged based on the students’ mastery of scientific principles, their letters of recommendation, and their responses to the questions. The intern finalists are chosen based on the recommendations of the committee and assigned to one of twelve labs. There is an effort to select students to represent different parts of the Bay area and various schools.

For more information, please email: [email protected]


Without the Arthritis Foundation, I would not be in academia today.  I was funded by the Foundation as a fellow in 1996 when I was starting my third year of training and needed bridge funding. I later went on to win an Arthritis Investigator award from the Foundation that allowed me to get my faculty position at Stanford. I now have a lab with a dozen young scientists in training. We have made seminal advances in diagnostics, novel treatment regimens, clinical trials, and in educating hundreds of young scientists' from high school up through junior faculty.

PJ Utz, MD Stanford Rheumatologist