STEM Research Internship Opportunities in Paris
Biology research internship opportunities are available to Stanford students in Paris in three renowned French scientific institutions: the Institut Pasteur, the Institut Curie, and the ICM. This is a truly unique opportunity as the research internship positions in these prestigious institutions are most often reserved for graduate students.
The Institut Curie was born out of the determination of one woman, Marie Curie, and one important cause: the fight against cancer. Since then, Institut Curie has become an international center for several types of cancers, working with a multi-disciplinary approach to fulfil its three missions: research, care and transfer of knowledge. Institut Curie's internationally-renowned Research Center is composed of over 1,000 researchers working in 86 research interdisciplinary teams in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology and radiobiology.
The Institut Pasteur is an international research and education institute that is committed to advancing science, medicine and public health. It is a private, non-profit foundation with recognized charitable status entrusted with four core missions of public interest – research, education, the health of populations and people, and innovation development and technology transfer. It is one of the most famous scientific research institutions in the world.
The ICM (Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière – Brain & Spine Institute) is an international brain and spinal cord research center whose innovative structure make it the only institute of its kind in the world. Located in the heart of the reputed Pitie-Salpetriere hospital, the ICM is a pole of excellence for the central nervous system. It brings patients, doctors and researchers together with the aim of rapidly develop treatments for disorders of the nervous system and enable patients to benefit from them as quickly as possible.
Curie, Pasteur, and ICM researchers generously propose spots in their labs to qualified Stanford-in-Paris students, and you will contribute to the institutions’ different ongoing research projects. As in all research internships of this kind, part of the work entails observation and learning under the guidance of research supervisors, but much of your work will be active and contributory as well.
To be eligible for these internship opportunities, students are expected to have academic experience or some background in biology, bioengineering or other specific fields depending on ongoing projects. You do not need to know French, as much of the research is performed in English. This is indeed the main language of work and communication within the international research teams of these institutions. Language should therefore not be a major obstacle.
Part-time research positions are available during the academic year at the Institut Curie (autumn, winter, and spring quarters) and at the ICM (winter quarter only). Students are expected to devote two entire days a week, or approximately 15 hours a week, to research in the labs. Students must also submit a research report at the end of the quarter, or an equivalent work presenting their findings. This experience offers 5 units of academic credit S/NC.
Full-time research positions are also available during the summer at the Institut Pasteur and at the Institut Curie. This is a unique opportunity for Stanford-in-Paris students to return to Paris over the summer to accomplish their French experience. Stanford students who have not participated in the Stanford in Paris program during the academic year are also welcome to apply for the summer internships.
Summer internships usually last 7 weeks, from around mid-June to late July. Students will be expected to work full-time in the lab (5 days a week). Daily schedule can vary, but it is usually 7-8 hours per day. As is the case for most summer research, no academic credit would be granted. Please also note that these are unpaid positions.
However, if you are accepted, the Stanford in Paris program will provide financial support for this experience (only for returning Stanford-in-Paris students). The program will cover your airfare, as well as your room and board expenses for the duration of the summer internship. Students are accommodated in a host family in Paris, unless you prefer to oversee your own housing arrangements (“live-out”).
The application process for the summer internships takes place between February and early April. Selection is done through resumes, letters of interest and online interviews. The latter can be held in person at the Institut Pasteur or at the Institut Curie for students participating in the Paris program in winter, thus easing the process. If offered a position, students need to confirm their own engagement by beginning of April.
“During my time at the Pasteur Institute, I was exposed to cutting-edge research and immersed in innovative academic projects. The mentors I have met through the Institute have been very supportive and continued to find ways for me to learn new techniques while contributing to landmark research projects. I highly recommend spending time at the Institute as you would truly advance your higher education and use your Stanford education in a more applied setting.” —Adonis Rubio, '21