Summer Science Internship Program by Arthritis Foundation 

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Group of students huddled together while talking.

Summer Science Internship Program by Arthritis Foundation

Are you an aspiring student eager to delve into the world of science and make a meaningful impact? The Summer Science Internship Program by the Arthritis Foundation offers a unique opportunity for you to do just that. This comprehensive guide will walk you through what this program entails, its benefits, and how you can become a part of this transformative experience.

Have you ever wondered about the organizations that stand at the forefront of medical research and advocacy, particularly in the realm of arthritis? One such beacon is the Arthritis Foundation. This blog will take you through the rich history of this esteemed organization, highlighting its advocacy efforts and the rationale behind offering summer internships to high school students like you.

The Genesis and Growth of the Arthritis Foundation

Founded in 1948, the Arthritis Foundation began as a small group of physicians and scientists. Today, it stands tall as a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, control, and cure of arthritis. Over the decades, the Foundation has grown into a trusted voice in arthritis advocacy, research, and education.

medical student interns

Advocacy at Its Core

The Foundation’s commitment to advocacy is unwavering. They work tirelessly to represent people with arthritis, lobbying for critical research funding, and policy changes at both state and federal levels. Their advocacy extends to ensuring access to treatment, promoting awareness, and striving for better healthcare policies that benefit millions affected by arthritis.

You might ask, “Why does the Arthritis Foundation offer summer internships specifically for high school students?” The answer lies in their vision to ignite a passion for science and research in young minds. These internships provide you, the next generation of scientists and medical professionals, with a unique opportunity to delve into real-world research. By participating, you gain hands-on experience in rheumatology and immunology, areas crucial in the fight against arthritis.

These internships aren’t just about lab work; they’re a chance for you to see the tangible impact of scientific research on people’s lives. The Foundation believes in nurturing your curiosity and skills, setting you on a path that could lead to groundbreaking discoveries in arthritis treatment.

two chemists working inside the laboratory

Organizations like the Arthritis Foundation offer you a window into the world of medical research. Their history of advocacy, combined with opportunities like summer internships, provides a platform for you to make a difference in the world, starting today. Imagine being part of the next big breakthrough in arthritis research. With the Arthritis Foundation, this could be more than just a dream.

Ready to explore the world of scientific research and make your mark? The Arthritis Foundation’s summer internship might just be the stepping stone you need.

What is the Summer Science Internship Program by the Arthritis Foundation?

The Summer Science Internship Program is a prestigious initiative by the Arthritis Foundation aimed at providing students with hands-on experience in scientific research and community engagement. This program is tailored to enhance your understanding of arthritis and related diseases while offering invaluable exposure to real-world scientific inquiry and problem-solving.

The Summer Science Internship Program offers exceptional students the chance to engage in top-tier research and clinical environments guided by globally recognized doctors and researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

a female student working with a microscope

Navigating the Realms of Research: The Summer Science Internship Program by the Arthritis Foundation

The Summer Science Internship Program by the Arthritis Foundation stands as a gateway to the fascinating world of scientific research for high school juniors, seniors, and college undergraduates.

This program offers a rare glimpse into the realms of laboratory, clinical, and bioinformatics research, with a specialized focus on rheumatology, immunology, and autoimmune diseases. Let’s delve deeper into what this program entails and why it’s a golden opportunity for young, aspiring scientists.

Exploring the Spectrum of Research Opportunities

Basic Laboratory (Bench) Research

This aspect of the program allows interns to work hands-on in a laboratory setting, engaging with the fundamental aspects of scientific research. You’ll learn techniques like cell culture, molecular biology, and biochemical assays. For students who are passionate about the core of scientific experimentation and discovery, this is your playground.

A female med student looking into her laptop while 2 more med students are studying at the desks behind her

Clinical Epidemiological/Translational Research

If you’re inclined toward the patient-oriented side of research, this pathway offers a blend of clinical studies and epidemiological approaches. Here, you’ll explore how scientific discoveries can be translated into therapies that directly benefit patients. This area is perfect for those who want to see the tangible impact of research in healthcare.

Bioinformatics (Computational) Research

In an era where data is king, bioinformatics offers a window into the computational side of biological research. This part of the internship involves analyzing complex biological data sets offering insights into the genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms of diseases. If you’re interested in the intersection of computer science and biology, this is where you can thrive.

A Focus on Rheumatology and Immunology

At the heart of this program is a focus on rheumatology and immunology, fields critical in understanding and combating autoimmune diseases. Interns get to explore the intricacies of conditions like arthritis, delving into how the body’s immune system can turn on itself, leading to these diseases. This focus not only provides a deep understanding of these conditions but also contributes to the broader aim of developing effective treatments.

medical students studying in the top medical schools in the US

Poster & Final Paper

UCSF will host a poster session showcasing the projects completed by interns during the eight-week program. Additionally, each intern is required to submit a concise two-page paper to the Arthritis Foundation by September 15, 2023, detailing your internship experience. The remaining portion of the interns’ stipend will be released once the Arthritis Foundation receives their final paper.


Stipends are disbursed in two parts: half at the start of the internship and the remaining half at the end of the eight-week period, contingent upon the Arthritis Foundation receiving the final paper. Interns will receive a total of $2,500.

science student wearing laboratory gowns while looking through their microscope

Why Should You Go to the Summer Science Internship Program by Arthritis Foundation?

This internship provides students with practical experience in rheumatology and immunology, emphasizing arthritis and associated autoimmune disorders. Interns are involved in basic laboratory research, clinical translational/epidemiological research focused on patient outcomes, or bioinformatics research.

The aim is to inspire driven students to consider careers in scientific research, particularly focusing on arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Numerous alumni of the Summer Science Internship Program have successfully advanced into careers in medicine and scientific research.

How Do You Get into the Summer Science Internship Program by Arthritis Foundation?

Every applicant is required to be 17 years old by the time the program starts, without any exceptions. Those who will be under 18 as of that date must additionally submit a parent or guardian’s written consent to participate in the program, as specified in the application form.

To be eligible to apply, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents holding a Green Card.

You also need to showcase your commitment to learning and your eagerness to contribute to arthritis research. Strong candidates often have a solid academic record, particularly in science subjects, and demonstrate an active interest in medical research or community health.

A female forensic science student wearing a laboratory gown while using the microscope

How to Apply to the Summer Science Internship Program by the Arthritis Foundation?

Applying to this program involves a few key steps:

Complete your online application: The online application form must be completed in a single session, as it does not allow you to save your progress and return later. It includes four brief essay questions:

  • Share details about your most significant extracurricular activities and their significance to you.
  • Explain your interest in this internship and how you could enhance the program.
  • Discuss how you have contributed or could contribute to efforts in promoting equity in healthcare, diversity, and inclusivity within a research context.
  • Describe any interactions or experiences with individuals suffering from arthritis, rheumatic, or autoimmune diseases that have sparked your interest in this field.

Each response should be concise and limited to one short paragraph.

Unidentified woman studying on a table strewn with paper.

Prepare your Letters of Recommendation: Along with your application, include two reference letters from faculty, teaching assistants at your current or past schools, supervisors, or community members who can attest to your abilities and potential.

These letters should be sent as PDFs or scanned copies on official letterhead via email to [email protected]. Please note that hard copies will not be accepted.

Transcript Submission Guidelines: Please note that hard copies are not accepted. Email your transcripts to the program’s email address. Requirements vary by educational level:

For High School Students: Submit your most recent transcript. Unofficial copies are acceptable.

For Undergraduate Students: Provide your most recent college transcript (unofficial copies are also acceptable). First-year undergraduates should additionally include their high school transcript.

A young woman eating alone in a cafeteria.

How Hard Is It to Get into the Summer Science Internship Program by Arthritis Foundation?

Each application is carefully read and evaluated on a competitive scoring basis. Assessment criteria include the applicant’s understanding of scientific principles, the quality of their letters of recommendation, and their responses to the application questions. Finalists for the internship are selected based on the committee’s recommendations and are then assigned to a laboratory.

When Is the Deadline to Apply to the Summer Science Internship Program by the Arthritis Foundation?

All application documents and supplementary materials need to be submitted electronically to the Arthritis Foundation by 11:59 p.m. PT on April 17, 2023.

Regarding the evaluation of applications, they will be thoroughly reviewed by the Medical and Scientific Subcommittee of the Northern California Office of the Arthritis Foundation.


Side view of students talking in front of a laptop.

Tips for Writing Your Personal Essay for the Summer Science Internship Program Application

When applying for the Summer Science Internship Program by the Arthritis Foundation, emphasizing the significance of your extracurricular activities is crucial. These activities not only display your interests and skills but also your dedication and ability to balance multiple commitments, a key trait for succeeding in a rigorous research program.

Personal Family Experiences

If you have a family member or close relative who suffers from an autoimmune condition like arthritis, discuss how witnessing their journey has impacted you. Talk about the challenges they face, the treatments they undergo, and how this has deepened your understanding and compassion for individuals with such conditions. This personal connection can be a strong driving force behind your interest in the field.

Five medical students wearing scrubs as they walk inside the lobby of a medical school

Leadership Roles in Science Clubs or Organizations

If you’ve held positions in science-related clubs or societies, describe how these roles have honed your leadership and teamwork skills. Emphasize any projects or initiatives you spearheaded, demonstrating your proactive approach and passion for science, which aligns well with the objectives of the Arthritis Foundation’s program.

Volunteer Work in Health or Community Services
Discuss your experiences in volunteering, especially if they’re health-related. For instance, if you’ve volunteered at a local hospital or organized a community health awareness event, highlight how these experiences have deepened your understanding of healthcare challenges and your commitment to making a positive impact in this field.

Involvement in Sports or Creative Arts

Participation in sports or creative arts can showcase your ability to work in a team, manage stress, and maintain discipline – all valuable skills in a research setting. Share how these activities have contributed to your personal growth, resilience, and ability to think creatively, which are essential qualities for a research intern.

View of female student smiling at the camera while her friends are holding boxes.

Academic Competitions and Achievements

Any participation in science fairs, debates, or academic competitions is worth mentioning. These experiences not only reflect your academic prowess but also your ability to apply theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios, a key aspect of research.

Personal Projects or Hobbies Related to Science

If you have any personal projects or hobbies that are science-oriented, such as a tech blog, a coding project, or even small-scale experimental research, discussing these can be very impactful. This shows your initiative and genuine interest in the field of science, underscoring your suitability for the internship.

Focus on how they have shaped you, contributed to your passion for science and research, and prepared you for the challenges of a rigorous internship like the one offered by the Arthritis Foundation. Your goal is to present a well-rounded profile that resonates with the values and objectives of the Summer Science Internship Program.

View of a female medical student standing in the middle of a building.

When Do I Find Out About My Application to the Summer Science Internship Program by Arthritis Foundation?

Applicants who are chosen will receive an email notification on May 1, 2023. Stay patient and use this time to explore other educational opportunities or engage in activities that align with your interests in science and health.

Where Is the Summer Science Internship Program by Arthritis Foundation?

The Arthritis Foundation Summer Science Internship Program provides outstanding students with the opportunity to work in leading research and clinical laboratories under the supervision of world-renowned physicians and scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and affiliated institutions.

Housing & Transportation Requirements: The program does not offer any housing or transportation assistance. It is the responsibility of all interns to arrange and manage their own housing and transportation needs to ensure they can fulfill the internship requirements.

View of students listening to a lecture in a classroom.

When Does the Summer Science Internship Program by Arthritis Foundation Take Place?

This 8-week internship spans from May 30 to August 31, 2023. Interns are required to dedicate around 40 hours per week for the duration of the program, working under the mentorship of principal investigators at UCSF and its associated institutions.

How Long Is the Summer Science Internship Program by Arthritis Foundation?

Participants must fulfill a total of 8 weeks in the program.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Summer Science Internship Program by the Arthritis Foundation is not just an internship; it’s a stepping stone to a fulfilling career in science and health. It’s an opportunity to grow, learn, and contribute to meaningful research that can change lives. If you’re passionate about science and eager to make a difference, this program could be the perfect fit for you. Don’t hesitate – explore this opportunity and take your first step towards a rewarding future!

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