Biology Research Internship Program (BISP 197)

The Biology Research Internship Program is a partnership between UC San Diego Biological Sciences, Academic Internship Program, and off-campus research partners. This program provides opportunities for students to gain BISP 197 credit for internships in approved labs through AIP.

Why BISP 197?

Through BISP 197 internships, students will:

  • Participate in the design of a project
  • Acquire data analysis experience
  • Engage in an individual research project
  • Practice essential lab techniques
  • Present their learning in the form of a paper, presentation, or report to their lab

For more information, please make an appointment with the BISP 197 internship counselor by contacting To see all the requirements for the course, please visit the Division of Biological Sciences BISP 197 website.  


How to Apply

UCSD students can apply directly to open labs with postings that specify BISP 197 enrollment in InternLink. All students must meet AIP requirements to be eligible for BISP 197. It is highly recommended that prior to applying, students meet with the BISP 197 Internship Counselor to discover which internships may best fit the student's professional goals. After securing an internship, students must complete the AIP Learning Agreement.

Click here to see current BISP 197 lab opportunities!

If you have found an internship outside of AIP and you would like to see if it is eligible for BISP 197, please complete AIP's Student Developed Internship Form. All internships need to be pre-approved by AIP before moving forward with the BISP 197 Learning Agreement. An AIP Counselor will contact you upon receiving this form with questions and steps for pre-approving the internship.


Application Timeline

AIP recommends that students apply for internships the quarter before planning to participate in BISP 197. The best time to apply for internships through AIP is between Weeks 4-6, leaving time to complete AIP's Learning Agreement for BISP 197. The Learning Agreement deadlines for BISP 197 can be found on AIP's website. 


Current BISP 197 Students

Please refer to the Division of Biological Sciences' website for BISP 197 regarding participation requirements, and review all emails sent to you by the AIP Counselor. 


BISP 197 Student Spotlight

Fall 2016 Spotlight: Joanne Nadhem

Major: General Biology

College: Earl Warren College

Internship: Thomas Lab at The Scripps Research Institute

Description of Project: The Thomas lab is investigating potential new treatment opportunities for Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases. They are currently focusing on different types of treatments, glatiramer acetate, mesenchymal stem cells and a novel mitochondrial targeting compound, NM20. The project encompasses two aspects of larger projects in the Thomas lab. One aspect involved the characterization of a novel mouse model for Parkinson’s disease. Mice that are deficient in two important genes, Park2 and Mcl1, will be assessed in a variety of motor functions, reminiscent of Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Specific assays include the following: Behavioral measurements: rotarod assay, open field assessments, climbing activity, T-maze. Molecular measurements: quantitative PCR analysis, ELISA. Neuropathological measurements: Immunohistochemistry.

Most important thing learned during the internship: The most important thing I have learned in my internship is to always aim for a higher position that involves more learning and includes more challenges that can test my knowledge and interests.

Memorable experience: The most memorable experience I had was handling mice, I have never thought that I will have to inject them, feed them, and do all sort of tastings on them. But it was definitely an eye-opener that made me learn a lot about myself and that I am capable of breaking any boundaries that can stop me from achieving something great.

Advice to future BISP 197 students: My advice to any student is to take an advantage of all the opportunities that this program provides, it definitely test the interests and capabilities of the student and allow them to work with professionals and see how the things that we learn in class, researchers are currently use them to cure a disease.

I recommend this program to any student who is ready to put the time and effort into learning new things and expanding their knowledge because this program does not only provide the students with experience but also show them that this opportunity allows them to make career decisions.

Interested in BISP 197?

Contact Jillian Payne for more information.