SPISE Internship Program
The Student Internship Program, launched in 2014 by the Caribbean Diaspora for Science, Technology and Innovation-New England, Inc. (CADSTI-NE) in collaboration with the Caribbean Science Foundation, facilitates internships for Caribbean post-secondary or tertiary students at U.S. biotech and high tech companies and laboratories, as well as at companies in the Caribbean. These internships are approximately 4 – 8 weeks in duration, and give the students first-hand working experience to see how Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are applied to research and development. Specifically, the internships at companies provide an opportunity for students to:
- See the diverse career paths available in that industry
- Learn new laboratory techniques and skills
- Observe how equipment is operated, maintained, and controlled
- Network with individuals associated with that industry
- Observe the operations and infrastructure of a company
By immersing students in such an environment, CADSTI-NE and CSF hope to increase the low numbers of Caribbean students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering. The long-term goal is to stimulate more technology-based entrepreneurship within the Caribbean, in order to help to diversify the economies of the region and raise the standard of living of the people.
Applicants must be graduates of the Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) and at least 18 years of age. Transcripts and essays are required. The deadline for submission is March 15. Other requirements are found on the application form, available from CADSTI-NE.
CADSTI-NE reviews the applications and notifies applicants of decisions around the middle of April. To select the students, the CADSTI-NE Admissions Committee ranks the students according to the student internship program criteria. Selected students are then matched to the available internships.
“My internship was eye-opening. I got to perform a whole lot of protein biochemistry lab procedures including SDS-PAGE and Capillary Isoelectric Focusing”– Candice Greene, 2014 summer intern and SPISE graduate.
“My internship at Alexion Pharmaceuticals was extremely rewarding. I adopted an interdisciplinary approach to biology that drew upon prior coursework and an innate passion to discover. I am more than thankful to CADSTI-NE and Alexion Pharmaceuticals for the opportunity to learn and grow!” — Liam Neath, 2015 summer intern and SPISE graduate.
“DEFINITELY a step towards personal improvement. I got to interact with a group of amazing people and work at a VERY impressive facility. A summer well spent!” Obe Joseph, 2014 summer intern and SPISE graduate.
2017 Internship Program
In 2017, CADSTI-NE successfully arranged 15 internships for SPISE graduates at the following institutions: Voyager Therapeutics (Cambridge, MA), VML (New Haven, CT), Peloton (Calgary), UCSD STARS (San Diego, CA), Sagicor (Barbados, Trinidad and Tampa), Foursquare Rum Distillery (Barbados), Emera Caribbean (Barbados), and TSL (Trinidad and Tobago). CADSTI-New England’s November 2017 Newsletter, below, features the fifteen SPISE Caribbean students who participated in the 2017 Internship program:
2016 Internship Program
For 2016, five interns were engaged in internships at Harris Paints, Foursquare Rum Distillery, Genesis Engineering Solutions and the STARS program at the University of California, San Diego. CADSTI-New England’s October 2016 Newsletter, below, features the five SPISE Caribbean students who participated in the 2016 Internship program:
2015 Internship Program
CADSTI-NE facilitated an additional 3 student internships in 2015 during the months of June – August, including 2 internships at Synageva BioPharma, and 1 internship at Foursquare Rum Distillery in Barbados.
2014 Internship Program
In 2014, CADSTI-NE facilitated 4 internships for students from the Caribbean, including 1 internship at Synageva BioPharma – a large biotech company in the Boston area, 2 internships at Foursquare Rum Distillery in Barbados, and 1 internship at a Boston University biology research laboratory.
Students in the biology/biotechnology internships observed and also carried out experimental techniques such as PCR, plasmid preparation, mutagenesis, genotyping, cell culture, transfection, SDS-PAGE, Western blot, Q-TOF LC/MS, HPLC, and capillary isoelectric focusing.
Students in the Foursquare Rum Distillery internships observed systems operators in the control room, chemists conducting quality control tests in the process and on the final product, and electricians and mechanical engineers servicing machinery such as the compressor, boiler, and pumps. Thus, the interns observed the practical applications of biology, chemistry, physics, math, computer science, and engineering to discovering, developing and manufacturing products.
Importantly, all of the students were exposed to the broad range of career opportunities possible with a degree in one of the STEM disciplines.