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Summer Student Program

Primary Institution: The Jackson Laboratory
City: Bar Harbor
State: ME
Job Duration: start: either May 24 or June 7; end Aug. 10
Class Requirement: be enrolled as a full-time student or have at least one semester remaining before graduation
Minimum GPA: none
Position Type: Research
Discipline(s): Biophysics
Other Engineering
Interdisciplinary Physics: Biological Physics; Quantum Information; Etc.
computer science, computation biology
computer science, computation biology
computer science, computation biology
computer science, computation biology
Description: The Jackson Laboratory, a leading mammalian genetics research institution in Bar Harbor, Maine, has an 84-year history of educating and training science students through inquiry-based research mentorships.

The Summer Student Program was started in 1924 for college students and began accepting high school students in 1949. The programs were consolidated in the 1970s, with all students living together in a JACKSON-owned residence, Highseas. All high school students and college students receive a weekly stipend (currently $400/week), free room and board, and travel reimbursement. Total summer program participation by high school students was 12 in 2008 and 17 college students.

JACKSON is a world leader in mammalian genetics research, with a focus on using mice as models to study the genetic basis of such human diseases as cancer, diabetes, glaucoma, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative conditions like ALS. Our bioinformatics and computational biology programs are an essential resource for the biomedical research community, and our genetic resources programs offer student interns state-of-the-art training in cryopreservation, microinjection, DNA sequencing, and image analysis. In all of our programs, students conduct independent, hypothesis-driven research in mammalian genetics as a member of a sponsoring scientist's laboratory team and are guided in the fundamental steps in scientific research. They are exposed to the breadth of genetics research at JACKSON, to different paths leading to careers in science, and to social issues in science such as the ethical conduct of research and the humane treatment of laboratory animals. The summer students attend courses, conferences, workshops, and seminars held on campus.

Our programs provide life-altering experiences for students. In a recent interview, Nobel Laureate David Baltimore described his experience in the Summer Student Program. "When I was in high school ... I (went) to a program at The Jackson Laboratory. I realized within a few years that ... the discovery that research was something I could do was the most important moment of learning in my life."

Residential Life
Students lived in Highseas, a 32-room, mansion overlooking Frenchman Bay and surrounded on three sides by Acadia National Park. Highseas is located one mile from the main campus, just far enough away to be a refuge from the intensity of laboratory work but close enough to walk or bike easily. Built in 1912, Highseas was donated to the Laboratory in 1949 and was remodeled into a dormitory and conference center. The Highseas staff – Residence Supervisor (and family), two Residence Assistants, chef and kitchen assistant – provide supervision, recreational activities, and meals. The Residence Supervisor is typically a Visiting Scientist. The Residence Assistants are returning students from previous years. Over the many years of the Summer Student Program, we have found that the residential nature of the program is important to its success. This is particularly true because of the mix of students from very diverse geographic, economic, and cultural backgrounds. By having students live together in a beautiful, fairly remote setting, in a facility used only by the summer students, we encourage and facilitate close contact among the summer interns. Students come to recognize that enthusiasm for intellectual activity and scientific research is a shared value, that life with other highly motivated students is exciting, and that having an intense interest in science and math is not unusual. Friends made during this special summer are often friends for life.

Students have many opportunities for activities in Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, and the Maine outdoors. They entered a float in the local July 4th Parade, went whitewater rafting, enjoyed sea kayaking, camping at Mount Katahdin in northern Maine, and hiking and biking.
Stipend: $400/week
Benefits: Housing
Meal Plan
Travel Reimbursement
room and board is free
Application Deadline: 01/02/2009
Job Website:

Research/Internship Opportunity Contact Information

Primary Contact: Randi O'Rourke
Education Office
The Jackson Laboratory
Bar Harbor, ME 04609-1500
Phone: 207-288-6749
Fax: 207-288-6365
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