JDRF College Internship Program

I’ve alluded to this program a few times recently, but I figured I ought to share some information about it formally now that I have actually accepted an internship through it :grin:

Here is the link for 2018, it seems that they make a new webpage for it every year so you may have to google for the current one if you’re interested in applying

I ended up applying for this program as a graduating senior, because I didn’t find out about it myself until my junior year after the application deadline had already closed (it’s in early January, typically)! Really, it’s probably best suited for sophomores, juniors, or non-graduating seniors in college. They have a variety of types of internships available in different parts of the diabetes sector (research, technology, advocacy, marketing, business or nonprofit management), and allow you to rank your top 3 choices for type of internship you’d be interested in. This year, the application required me to answer a few questions in short (~200-300 words), and attach a resume and letter of recommendation from a professor. After submitting the necessary materials, finalists are selected (this year we were told that about 98 out of over 170 were selected as finalists), whose application packets get passed on to participating companies and institutions. They look over your application materials and reach out to you if they are interested in having you intern with them, and then you do the typical interview process.

After being notified that I was a finalist, I ended up being approached by 3 different research programs. One interesting aspect of this program is that it’s an internship matching program, and you can end up with your application materials being read by people across the country. I was contacted about a Summer Diabetes Research Program at Vanderbilt (which you can also apply for outside of the JDRF program), an internship in a lab at the Mayo Clinic, and an internship at a lab in Boston. The lab in Boston was most flexible with the start date, and I have accepted a 12 week internship with them starting soon after my graduation in the spring. I have viewed all of these opportunities as really exciting endeavors at pretty prestigious research institutions, and without the JDRF College Internship Program I would not have known about these opportunities!

Obviously this experience has been quite specific to my interest in research, and internships in the other concentrations will likely be with different types of companies or institutions.

Some potential downsides of the program: you get a stipend of $2000-$2500 for the summer from JDRF, and you have to manage your own housing and travel expenses. I’m quite confident that my costs are going to be higher than I will make from the stipend, but I (and my parents - who are funding whatever costs remain) think the experience will be worth it. Internships not in such a big city, or for a shorter period of time, may fare a little better on this front.

You also aren’t guaranteed a position if you make it to the finalists, making it there basically just means that JDRF will send your application on to potential employers.

There will also apparently be some sort of “leadership training academy” hosted by JDRF prior to the start of the internship, though I don’t know much about this yet. I’ll be sure to update on how that goes!


Yay, congratulations @glitzabetes!!! I’m glad it worked out for you and your internship sounds like such a cool opportunity!!! :clap::partying_face:


Really exciting! However, don’t delay too long in the internship mode. Your work is worth more than $200 a week. Don’t sell yourself short. One of the colleges my son is applying to, ensures that engineering internships offered through the school pay at least $30 an hour.

Are you sure the employer won’t be paying you additional money?


I’m not 100% sure that they won’t also pay me, but I am doubtful :stuck_out_tongue:

The internship is mainly intended to help with my grad school apps in the fall, I wouldn’t take such little pay if it were not for the fact that they’re doing really awesome research. (And I have reason to believe I will be doing more than washing glassware for 12 weeks, lol)

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@glitzabetes, this is really awesome, I am thrilled to read this. The offers you got look amazing!

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Have you already completed the GRE and Subject exam? Or is that still coming up?

Still coming up! I haven’t actually put down the money for a test date yet, I’ve been trying to get a feel for how much studying I’m going to need to do first :sweat_smile:

You will crush the GRE, but the subject tests are a different animal all together. And because so few people take them, the difference between great and amazing is pretty slim.

Story: My friend and I had roughly the same grades in college and the same test scores on the GRE.

(Don’t be surprised when they throw sections out. I got 100% on the logic section and every damn school said don’t even send that sections results :frowning:)

The difference between us was 3 questions on the subject exam, he got into Cal Tech and I didn’t. But I did get into every other school I applied for, so I ended up in Austin and never looked back. Turned out to be a good thing, because that was where I met my wife.


I actually have yet to see a grad program I’m interested in that wants any subject tests, and many have the GRE itself as optional. I’m taking optional as “recommended”, but a lot of the programs are explicitly like “GRE Subject Exam Scores Will Not Be Used/Seen by the Department”. I guess once I nail down my list of programs I want to apply to, I’ll have to look closely and see if any of them will actually look at the subject scores to decide if I need to take subject tests


I find it somewhat surprising that the subject tests are falling out of favor in your area. I will say it was the hardest standardized test I have every taken, and because of that really separated people. It was (is?) a unique challenge because the subject test coverage is so broad, and you had to decide to answer a question or not. answer correctly +2, no answer 0, wrong answer -1.

I just checked and in my field (Chemistry) it is still required for both of the schools I formerly applied for.


I’ve heard that the GRE in general may be falling out of favor because of the costs associated, not sure if that’s the true reason or not.

Thank you for your insight on the subject tests though, sounds kinda scary haha :stuck_out_tongue:


@glitzabetes: congratulations! All of your opportunities sound fantastic and the one that you chose sounds exciting! An offer to put in your back pocket - I live in Boston and would be happy to be a resource when you get to town! I think there’s a way we can connect offline to trade emails/text info. Congrats again! Jessica


@JessicaD that is so sweet of you to offer, thank you so much! :grin: I will be sure to PM you as it gets closer to me moving over there


Congratulations, @glitzabetes! Sounds fantastic!!