Posted: October 24, 2017

Implementation of a Graduate Internship Program to Broaden Training Experiences for the Future Biomedical Workforce


Since the ASPIRE Internship program launched in fall 2015, 30 graduate students and 16 postdoctoral fellows have participated in internship positions offered in partnership with 18 companies or organizations in a variety of career areas, including science policy and advocacy, nonprofit management, college teaching, biotechnology, healthcare data analytics, and craft beer brewing. Moreover, we have had significant interest in these positions from trainees, with 100 applicants and many other trainees indicating interest if the opportunities were to be offered again in the future. To establish, maintain, and grow this program, we have participated in greater than 150 meetings with individuals from local and national organizations either in-person or via phone. We have drawn extensively on our alumni and advisory board to initiate internship opportunities. Efforts to cultivate existing relationships, as well as forge new ones, are ongoing. In the future, we plan to increase the variety of internships offered by expanding nationally and delving into career areas not currently represented.


Experiential Learning, Internship, Graduate Training, Biomedical, ASPIRE


Ashley E. Brady, PhD, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Kimberly A. Petrie, PhD, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Roger G. Chalkley, DPhil, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Kathleen L. Gould, PhD, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine