Summer Research Internship Program for Advanced Undergraduates
The Family Institute at Northwestern University sponsors an eight-week summer volunteer research internship program for advanced undergraduates who are interested in learning more about a career in clinical research and intervention with families. The program is coordinated by the research staff at The Family Institute at Northwestern University under the direction of Lynne Knobloch-Fedders, PhD, Director of Research, and is designed to give students broad exposure to a clinical and research environment.
For Summer 2013, the program will run June 10-August 2 and require a 30-hour time commitment per week. Approximately 25 hours per week will be devoted to a research assistantship on a study currently being conducted at The Family Institute. The remaining hours will be spent in educational seminars, including research team meetings, professional development seminars, and research program seminars. Interns will work with the managers of their studies to set their weekly schedules; however, please note that some evening or weekend hours may be required.
Although the internship is unpaid, it offers students a chance to learn more about clinical and research activities. Please note that we are seeking candidates who have completed at least their second (sophomore) year of undergraduate education by the time the internship begins.
Download the Summer Research Internship application. Completed applications must be received by March 1, 2013.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find the application? When will it be available?
Application materials are typically posted in January.
What does the application and selection process entail?
The application will ask you to describe your academic coursework, research experience, volunteer and/or work experience, and future goals. A resume/curriculum vita and one letter of recommendation are required. You will be asked to indicate on the application your order of preference for the various studies that are accepting interns. Applications must be received by March 1st. You will be notified by the end of March if you have been chosen for interviews. The selection process includes two half-hour phone interviews with different members of the research team.
Can I check on my application status?
You will receive a confirmation email when we have received and processed your application materials. Processing applications takes time, especially around the March 1 deadline, so please note that it may be a few business days before you receive the confirmation email. We carefully review every application we receive during March and the beginning of April. Please do not call or email to check on your application status during this review period. We will notify every applicant whether they have been accepted to the internship or not.
The application deadline has passed. May I still submit an application?
No, we cannot accept late applications.
Is the internship open to non-Northwestern students?
Is the internship open to international students?
I have already graduated from college. Can I still apply for the internship?
The internship is specifically geared toward undergraduates, as interns attend seminars about choosing career paths and applying to graduate school. However, if you feel this experience would be a good fit for you, especially if you are interested in applying to graduate school in the future, you are welcome to apply.
What are you looking for in prospective interns? How competitive is the selection process?
The only specific qualification is to have completed at least your sophomore year in college. However, we are also looking for strong students who have an interest in and some experience with psychological research. Most of our interns have worked in a professor's lab or conducted independent study research projects before coming to The Family Institute at Northwestern University. For summer 2012, we received over 100 applications and selected 10 interns.
What are the projects on which interns will be working? What types of tasks will interns have?
Each intern works on a specific project under the supervision of a member of the research staff, meeting regularly with the principal investigator and/or research project manager.
For the Behavioral Medicine lab, duties include assisting with current projects about couples and health, in particular couples dealing with urological cancers or generalized anxiety disorder. Interns may also assist Dr. Sher with her book about couples and heart disease by conducting library research, coordinating between Dr. Sher and the second author at Rush University Medical Center, or organizing and editing.
For the Depression, Anxiety, and Couples project, duties include a variety of tasks related to clinical research and may include conducting literature reviews; transcribing couples' interaction and psychotherapy sessions; organizing, entering and checking data; conducting basic data analysis in SPSS and Excel; and other administrative tasks.
For the Optimal Well-Being Across the Lifecycle project, duties include assisting with literature review and statistical analyses for a mixed methods study (qualitative/quantitative) examining the determinants of well-being at 5 points across the life cycle.
For the Psychotherapy Change project, duties may include assisting with a randomized clinical trial; assisting with updates and improvements to the study website; checking and uploading questionnaires; data entry and checking in Excel and SPSS; literature review; and other administrative tasks.
What is a typical week for interns?
Interns attend about 5 hours of professional development activities as a group each week, including presentations by research faculty members, meetings with professionals in the field, discussions about the graduate school application process, and graduate student panels. The Family Institute also hosts an informal lunch for all of the interns each week. The other 25 hours each week are devoted to interns’ specific projects or labs. This may include lab meetings, individual work, and/or collaborative tasks. Interns will work mostly at The Family Institute; however, some work may be done from home or the library.
Does the internship include clinical experience?
The internship is research-focused and does not provide clinical experience. However, interns will have the opportunity to meet clinicians from various fields and learn about therapy.
What is the relationship between the summer internship and Northwestern University's Master's programs in Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling Psychology? What is the relationship between the summer internship and Northwestern University's PhD program in Clinical Psychology?
The Family Institute at Northwestern University's summer internship for undergraduates is a completely separate, independent program from Northwestern University's undergraduate and graduate programs. However, some faculty members are associated with both the internship program and the various other degree programs at Northwestern University.
Does the internship take place at the Evanston or Chicago location?
Interns work at the Evanston location.
Is housing or a stipend provided?
Unfortunately, we cannot provide interns with housing or a stipend. Some interns have applied for grants through their own universities to cover living expenses. There are usually plenty of Northwestern students looking to sublet their apartments over the summer. Possible resources for finding apartments include Northwestern student government's sublet directory, The Daily Northwestern's classified ads and Craigslist.
I cannot commit to the full 8 weeks or 30 hours/week. May I still apply?
We can only accept interns who can commit to 30 hours/week for 8 weeks.
Are there any other internship opportunities available at The Family Institute?
This is the only internship program offered at The Family Institute at Northwestern University.