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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Graduate Student Internships for Career Exploration Program (GSICE)?

The Graduate Student Internships for Career Exploration Program (GSICE) is a program at UCSF that allows graduate students to do internships outside of academic research. The goal of GSICE is to provide students with hands-on experience in appropriate career environments in order to help graduate students at UCSF make informed decisions about which of the many career paths to pursue post graduation. The Graduate Student Internships for Career Exploration program consists of two main components: the GSICE training component and the GSICE internship.

Q: Does the internship site or the GSICE program choose who goes on what internship?

All internship sites make the final decision on which interns they wish to take on (or whether they wish to take any interns at that time). It is anticipated that the internship site will interview GSICE students themselves to determine who would be the best fit the internship. The role of the GSICE program is to identify and train talented and enthusiastic students and appropriately direct them to exciting internship opportunities. The internship sites themselves make all staffing decisions.

Q: I am a potential internship site, how much would an intern cost me?

We ask that internship sites provide the graduate students with remuneration that is at least as much as their graduate stipend and health insurance for a quarter. Please contact GSICE for more specific numbers. All for-profit entities are expected to be able to cover the cost of a student intern. If you are a non-profit or governmental organization that has a project needing an intern, there are limited funds that can be applied for that would help pay for all or part of a student. Please contact GSICE for information.

Q: I am an internship site and might be interested in taking on a GSICE intern, what do I do?

That's great! Please contact GSICE.

Q: How are students in the GSICE program chosen?

The process of selecting the annual GSICE student cohort involves a written application. The application is typically due in the Fall quarter of the academic year. Criteria used to evaluate a student during the selection process include evaluating the student's level of maturity, the extent of the student's communication skills, the ability of the student to work independently and as a member of a team, the dedication and work ethic of the student and the level of genuine interest of the student in the chosen area of potential internship.

Q: If a student is admitted to the GSICE program, what requirements does the student have to fulfill?

All GSICE students must participate in all of the GSICE training workshops and complete all outside work associated with them. Students must put in a good faith effort to work with GSICE to secure an internship placement. Students must also complete all evaluation exercises during and after the GSICE program. After completing an internship, all students will be required to turn in to GSICE a poster describing their internship. Additionally, if a student is still at UCSF at the time GSICE's big annual networking event, the student must participate in the GSICE seminar/poster session when it occurs.

As of 2015, students must now also register for the GSICE course, BMS 285: GSICE Career and Professional Development Training. The course is graded P/NP (Pass/Not Pass) or S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory). A major component of the grade will be derived from attendance.

Q: What if I want to do an internship and my PI says no (or I think s/he will say no)?

We understand that discussing the possibility of doing an internship with your PI can be very difficult and might not be received positively. We at GSICE are available to work through strategies to prepare you for this conversation and potential questions and concerns that might arise. However, it is up to the ultimate discretion of your PI and Graduate Program Director to allow you to be part of the GSICE program. They are not required to let you join the program.

Q: Is a PI (or Thesis Committee) required to let a student do an internship?

No. It is up to the ultimate discretion of a student's PI and Graduate Program Director to allow the student to go on an internship. They are not required to let a student do an internship.

Q: Will a student have a stipend and/or health insurance while s/he is on an internship?

Yes. The student's stipend will be covered by the internship site (most likely) or by the GSICE program (less likely). The student will also be guaranteed enough remuneration to be able to buy into student health insurance for the quarter that he/she is on an internship. Graduated students will be provided with an equivalent monetary amount as is provided to current students, but they will be responsible for finding their own insurance and health care provider.

Q: Will the GSICE program cost a student's PI (or the student's graduate program) any money?

No. While the student is on the GSICE internship, the student's stipend and health insurance will be covered either by a) the internship site (for-profit sites) or b) through a full/partial fellowship from GSICE (non-profit sites).

Q: Can a student do an internship if he/she is on a fellowship?

Many fellowships will allow a student to temporarily stop a fellowship for a period and then start it again at a later date. Each fellowship is different and will have to be investigated individually, but having a fellowship is not necessarily an obstacle to being part of the GSICE program.

Q: Can a student do an internship after graduation (or while on filing fee)?

Yes it is possible to do an internship after graduation. The current policy is that an applicant to the GSICE program must be a student when the application period for the GSICE program opens and the student must start his/her internship within a half year of graduating (i.e., if a student graduates this Fall quarter s/he must start the internship by the Summer quarter). The student must also be able to commit to participating in all GSICE training activities even if s/he are no longer a student. A student cannot do an internship during the quarter that s/he is on filing fee. During the quarter s/he is on filing fee, the student would be enrolled as a student and as such would be expected and required to fulfill their duties as a student (i.e., write the graduate thesis). All internships require full-time participation and therefore cannot be mixed with scholastic and lab endeavors.

Q: Who can be part of the GSICE program?

Please see the student eligibility requirements.

Q: Where can students do internships?

The list of sites that have open internships is constantly evolving. Currently, students have done or are planning to do internships in the following areas: research in biotech/pharma, science education, science policy, science communication, business relating to science, and law. Students are also welcome and encouraged to investigate and set up their own placements in coordination with GSICE.