Internship Program Boosts Career Confidence of Ph.D. Students

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Internship Program Boosts Career Confidence of Ph.D. Students

Two of our BEST institutions (USCF and UC Davis) recently published the article Internship Experiences Contribute to Confident Career Decision Making for Doctoral Students in CBE—Life Sciences Education. Here they report that their internship program model provided Ph.D. students with career development skills, allowing them to avoid “default postdoc” positions and navigate towards a career of their choice, while not impacting median time-to-degree.

The Graduate Student Internships for Career Exploration (GSICE) is a structured internship program created at USCF and replicated at UC Davis. Ph.D. students enrolled in the programs participate in a workshop-based internship course that emphasizes career exploration and career development skills while preparing students to go on internships.  After finishing the course, Ph.D. students are eligible to do an internship, which is typically full-time for three months and completed during training or just after the Ph.D. is awarded.  Participants reported that these internship programs helped increase their confidence in career exploration and career decision-making.


Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation provided funding for this study.

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