Career Development Internships

Career Development Internships are Mayo Graduate School-funded opportunities that enable upper level Mayo Graduate School students to spend 100 hours as interns in one of several career environments. These internships allow Mayo Graduate School students to explore possible interests, network with professionals, contribute to the mission of the Career Development Internship partner organization and gain informed appreciation for career options.

  • Are you a Mayo Graduate School Ph.D. or M.D.-Ph.D. student?
  • Have you successfully passed your written and oral qualifying exams?
  • Are you interested in exploring career options?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, a Mayo Graduate School Career Development Internship may be perfect for you.

Career Development Internship activities are flexible, allowing approximately 100 hours of paid study leave from Mayo Graduate School during one quarter. For off-site internship opportunities requiring travel, travel and housing costs are covered. Internships are individualized, with the Mayo Graduate School intern and sponsoring Career Development Internship partner working together to design the ideal experience.

Internship opportunities

Career Development Internship opportunities have been arranged with these partner organizations in several different career environments:

On campus

  • Mayo Clinic Research Communications. Research Communications is part of Mayo Clinic Public Affairs. The group maintains and enhances the Mayo Clinic brand and is involved with both proactive and reactive media relations.
  • Mayo Clinic Scientific Publications. Mayo Clinic Scientific Publications (must be logged in to the Mayo network) provides in-house editorial services as well as advises and assists faculty and students with all stages of writing and publishing, including copyright ownership.
  • Mayo Clinic Ventures. Mayo Clinic Ventures develops and guides Mayo Clinic intellectual property toward commercialization.
  • Mayo Medical Laboratories. Mayo Medical Laboratories and the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology's Clinical Microbiology and Clinical Chemistry programs involve processing and analysis of patient samples.

Off campus

  • Carleton College (science departments). Carleton College is a leading liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota.
  • St. Olaf College (science departments). St. Olaf is a leading liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota.
  • University of Minnesota Rochester. University of Minnesota Rochester is an innovative health careers-focused undergraduate university in downtown Rochester.

Application process

The Career Development Internship is competitive. Applications are collected for an internal deadline and then reviewed internally and by the external Career Development Internship partner of interest.

Internship awards are based on:

  • Matching qualifications and interests of the applicant with the proposed Career Development Internship partner
  • Permission of the Ph.D. thesis mentor

Mayo Graduate School students are eligible to apply if they have successfully completed all written and oral qualifying exams, are in good academic standing (average GPA of 3.0 or higher), have selected a mentor and an area of research, and are making satisfactory Ph.D. thesis research progress.

The Career Development Internship application includes the following documents, to be combined into a single PDF and submitted to Mayo Graduate School. Application deadlines will be shared with current students on an ongoing basis.

  1. A copy of the curriculum vitae, beginning with applicant's name, email and phone contact information, and including information about the applicant's educational background and research productivity (publications, abstracts and meeting presentations).
  2. A one-page single-spaced statement of interest, indicating which of the Career Development Internship experiences is requested and an explanation for why the applicant is interested in this particular opportunity. The statement should include information that the applicant wishes the Career Development Internship partner to consider, including a brief description of the student's thesis research. The internship partner will use the statement of interest to select the applicant.
  3. An email from the applicant's Ph.D. thesis mentor granting permission for the 100-hour Career Development Internship experience.

Applicants may indicate only one Career Development Internship partner in their application.

Internship plan

Selected applicants will be given contact information for the Career Development Internship partner and have the responsibility to initiate contact. Working with the internship partner, the student will develop a Career Development Internship plan to be summarized in a two-page single-spaced PDF document and copied to the internship partner contact.

The internship plan summary should indicate how the 100-hour internship will occur (a single block of time or multiple contacts), the name and contact information for the Career Development Internship partner mentor, and a brief description of planned activities.

It should also contain a budget proposal estimating reimbursable costs associated with any ground travel and accommodations. Meal costs are the responsibility of the intern. For internship experiences involving travel off campus, trip and reimbursement arrangements must be made through the Mayo Graduate School office.


At the end of each 100-hour experience, the intern will have a summary meeting with the Career Development Internship partner adviser to review the experience. Within 30 days of completion of the internship experience, the intern will submit to the Mayo Graduate School office a brief report (one-page format) and complete an evaluation survey.

Similar surveys will be provided to the internship partner adviser. The focus of the evaluation will not be on the intern's performance but rather on the value of the internship experience.

May 07, 2015