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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?

All internship sites provide the graduate students with remuneration that is at least as much as their graduate stipend and health insurance for a quarter, and usually much more.


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.

Students register for the GSICE course, GRAD286: GSICE Career and Professional Development Training. The course is graded Pass/Not Pass or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.


Q: What if I want to do an internship and my Thesis Advisor says no (or I think they will say no)?

We understand that discussing the possibility of doing an internship with your Thesis Advisor can be very difficult and might not be received positively. The GSICE staff 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 Thesis Advisor and Graduate Program Director to allow you to be participate in the GSICE Program.


Q: Is a Thesis Advisor required to let a student do an internship?

No. It is up to the ultimate discretion of a student's Thesis Advisor 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 they are on an internship?

Yes. The GSICE Program requires that students maintain health insurance during their internship. Current students can l earn more about their options for continuing their student health insurance while on leave by reviewing the UCSF Student Health ‘Leave of Absence’ policy. Graduated students may extend their student health insurance for one quarter after they graduate by purchasing a UC SHIP Continuation Plan. In some cases, students negotiated successfully for the internship employer to cover the cost of insurance. More specific information regarding student health insurance is described in the 2019 GSICE Guidebook. GSICE students may book an appointment with a staff member to discuss their options.


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

No. While the student is on the GSICE internship, the costs associated with the student's stipend and health insurance should be covered by the internship organization. More specific information regarding student health insurance is described in the 2019 GSICE Guidebook.


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

Typically, the student paid from extramural fellowships will temporarily stop their fellowship tenure and stipend for the duration of a full-time internship, and resume it once they return from their leave of absence. However, each situation is different, and should be investigated individually. Students should book an appointment with the GSICE staff member to discuss the specific funding situation as it relates to the proposed internship.


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

Yes, it is possible to do an internship after graduation. However, a student cannot do an internship during the quarter that they are on filing fee. During the quarter they are 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). More specific information regarding student health insurance is described in the 2019 GSICE Guidebook.


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.