F.A.Q. for Students

Summer Research Internships

What will a typical week be like?

A summer research internship with the Aspirnaut™ program is an intensive immersion experience in biomedical research. Interns will work a standard 40-hour work week in a research lab under the guidance of a mentor and research team. Throughout the week interns will also participate in lab meetings, luncheons with Vanderbilt faculty and staff, and ACT/SAT/GRE prep courses. For high school students, the resident advisors plan social activities around work time so that interns have opportunity to explore Nashville. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of seminars and social activities planned by Vanderbilt’s Summer Science Academy.

Where will I stay?

Interns are housed on campus in residence halls.

How will I be paid?

  • Aspirnaut™ High School interns are paid in one payment after the successful completion of all program components.
  • Aspirnaut™ STEP-UP funded interns receive payment directly from the National Institutes of Health.
  • Aspirnaut™ Undergraduate Research Interns on the Pathobiology of Diabetic Nephropathy are paid in three payments: one payment at the conclusion of June, July, and August.
  • Berea/Aspirnaut™ Hal Moses Summer Research Interns are paid according to the Berea College pay schedule.

If I’m in high school, do I have a chaperone?

Yes, all high school participants are required to be in the presence of an authorized adult or resident counselor at all times. The administrative team will coordinate scheduling so that interns can conveniently get to where they need to be.

Can I bring my car?

High school interns are not allowed to use private cars during their stay. If a high school  intern needs to drive to Vanderbilt in her/her own car, it will remain parked for the duration of the program. Undergraduate students may bring their cars and will need to obtain a parking permit.

What do I need to bring?

If selected for the program, interns will receive a handbook that includes a detailed list of items to pack. Briefly, interns will need close-toed shoes and long pants for the lab. Casual clothing is fine in the evenings and on weekends. Interns may wish to bring a set of clothing appropriate for special occasions (final presentation day, poster session, one-on-one meetings with distinguished faculty and administrators). For the dorm room, interns will need twin sheets, towels, and toiletries.



How do I get involved in weekly Beaming of STEM labs if I’m an elementary or middle school student?

Check with your teacher or principal to see if your school is already a partner. If not, please ask your school to contact us at: email:contact@aspirnaut.org about partnering.

How will it benefit me?

The weekly STEM sessions are an activity designed to enhance the science, technology, engineering and math concepts you are already learning in school. The live sessions are “beamed” through internet access between Vanderbilt and your school. The beaming sessions are led by a Vanderbilt STEM undergraduate student, graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or faculty member. You can ask them questions throughout the session. The goal is that you achieve more highly in STEM subjects.

At the beginning or end of the beaming session, you can ask the session leader about their jobs or what it’s like to be in college. We love to talk about the fascinating things we get to do and tell you about why we do them. We hope you learn more about career choices and get to experience some of our excitement about discovering things.