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.

The program will run June 8-July 31 for Summer 2015. Twenty-five hours per week will be devoted to a research assistantship on a study currently being conducted at The Family Institute. Approximately five hours per week 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.

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.

No information is currently available for Summer 2016.

For more information about the Undergraduate Summer Research Internship or the application process, please contact Elyse Doll, Research Administrator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 847-733-4300, ext. 403.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the application? When will it be available?

Application materials are posted here by the second or third week in January. You can download the application here.

**For applicants who downloaded the application prior to January 30: you may have received a tracked-changes version. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion. To view the correct application, please feel free to re-download from this page, or to go into Microsoft Word >> Review tab >> Accept button. This will return the application to its normal view.

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 specify the project to which you are applying. Applications must be received by Saturday, February 28th, 2015. We carefully review every application we receive during March and the beginning of April. The selection process includes two half-hour phone interviews with different members of the research team. Final decisions on applicant selection will be made by mid-April.

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 February 28th deadline, so please note that it may be a few business days before you receive the confirmation email. 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. We are also looking for strong students who have an interest in psychological research. Most of our interns have worked in a professor's lab or conducted independent study research projects before this internship; however, this is not required. Our summer 2014 internship received 102 completed applications for 8 available positions.

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 (PI) and/or research project manager.

Projects currently accepting interns:

Please check back once Summer 2016 information is available.

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.

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? 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.

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