Research Interns (Paid)

From the Office of the Provost of Vanderbilt University regarding interns in University Central Schools see Interns and Observers in University Central Schools.

Current Process for Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Research Interns are students (high school, undergrad, or graduate) appointed for educational purposes only.  Students employed to perform duties in the lab or data entry MUST go through Vanderbilt Temporary Services (VTS).  Registered Vanderbilt students hired to perform duties in a lab or an office must go through Vanderbilt Student Employment. (This includes Vanderbilt students who are on summer, or other, break)

BRET Research Intern appointments are paid student appointments of a short duration, where students join a lab expressly to gain educational experience that will contribute to their careers. These individuals must be 18 years old or older and currently involved in their overall educational training. This position is not eligible for employee benefits through HR, however the PI/department may wish to purchase health insurance for the student intern through the BRET office. The Office of International Student and Scholar Services also has health insurance information on their website.

Students should not apply directly to the BRET office.  The BRET office does not coordinate individual students with a Research Intern appointment.

A department/division representative of Vanderbilt should coordinate the application within the department before sending the application to in the BRET Office.

For Medicine, Pediatrics and Surgery, Research Intern applications must be submitted by the same managers who approve Postdoctoral Appointment requests.

The BRET office is not authorized to approve patient contact or patient record review.

Research Interns are divided into several categories based on:

Qualification of the Student -

  • Pre-baccalaureate - These individuals have not received a bachelor’s degree at the time of starting the internship and are usually undergraduates of colleges or universities other than Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt students go through Student Employment.   If, for some reason, the intern has not yet turned eighteen, please follow instructions for minors on this summer position website.
  • Post-baccalaureate - These individuals hold a bachelor’s or higher degree at the start of the internship experience. This category also includes early arriving IGP and CPB students who will be working in a research laboratory over the summer prior to matriculation into the graduate program in August.

Method of Compensation -

  • Salary - Funding source is generally a research grant.
  • Stipend - Funding source is generally a training grant or institutional funds. There are two requirements for appointment to a stipended position:
    • The intern must belong to a program. Interns over the summer can be part of the Summer Science Academy, either within a defined track or as an independent participant. Please contact Dr. Beth Bowman for further information.
    • The interns must be informed that their stipend is taxable and that they are responsible for reporting appropriately to the IRS. We strongly recommend that departments provide this information to interns in writing and keep a signed copy of the document for their records.


Faculty should consult the Business Officer of their department to determine which of the above categories would work best with their funding source(s).