Internships and Hands-On Learning

Learning Beyond the Classroom

There are many opportunities for Biology Majors at Merrimack College to learn about and apply biological principles outside the classroom through internships, summer research opportunities and experiences in professional laboratories.

  • You’ll gain practical, on-the-job experience.
  • You’ll develop professional and personal confidence and maturity.
  • You’ll learn human relations skills.
  • You’ll make professional contacts 
  • You’ll develop skills that are difficult to learn and practice in the classroom. 

Merrimack Intern Profiles

Gabby Angelini spent the first part of her summer studying abroad in Italy. The second portion she spent as one of two interns for Pfizer, Inc., the world’s largest research based pharmaceutical company. Pfizer gave Gabby a stipend and allowed her to work on projects with high impacts for the department. Gabby’s main project was to use basic cell culture techniques and digital PCR to determine the instance and the source of low-level mutations.

“Initially I was very nervous to work at Pfizer because all I knew was that it was the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. But once I got there everyone was so welcoming and willing to help me out and all my anxiety disappeared. Working at Pfizer was such a positive experience, from the lab experience to the warm, team-like atmosphere. After interning at Pfizer, I have decided that I want to pursue a career in industry and will look into pursuing a Master’s degree in molecular or cellular biology.“

Gabby currently works as a research associate at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Lloyd Hoehle spent a significant portion of her semester also gaining valuable experience as an intern for Pfizer, Inc. Lloyd spent twenty hours per week as an intern for Pfizer within Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, and Metabolism. Describing her projects as “advanced” and “innovative,” Lloyd enjoyed her experience. In the future, she hopes to gain experience in a clinical setting and eventually apply to medical school.

Lloyd currently works as a clinical research coordinator at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.

Biology Internships for Academic Credit

To receive academic credit for your experiences, please enroll in BIO 4095 Biology Internship. The biology internship is an intensive work/study experience co-supervised by our Internship Coordinator and a mentor in the workplace.

  • Students are placed according to interest in a variety of public, private or non-profit work setting
  • Internships are usually in biomedical, pharmaceutical and/or biotechnology laboratories and facilities; medical, veterinary and/or dental clinics; and environmental and ecological positions.
  • Prerequisites are typically junior or senior standing as a biology major and consent of the Internship Coordinator.
  • The internship does not fulfill the departmental upper level elective requirement.

Global Field Studies Program

Named in honor of the creator, the program provides students with intensive learning experiences in applied ecology, conservation biology and human ecology in environmentally significant locations across the globe. This program invites students to witness and compare the biological complexity of natural ecosystems, to appreciate their natural beauty, rich history and to understand the effects of human activities on these systems. Recent courses have included field studies in Belize, but in past trips students have traveled to Tanzania, the Amazon River Basin in Brazil, Australia and the Galapagos Islands.


The Department of Biology at Merrimack College is a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance. The HHMI SEA PHAGES project engages freshmen and upper level students in a unique research based curriculum as part of a global consortium investigating bacteriophage (viruses that infect bacteria) biology and evolution. Students isolate new and novel bacteriophage from soil samples collected in the field, name their new discovery, take electron microscope pictures and purify phage DNA and send it to be sequenced. The bioinformatics phase of the project continues as they identify the viral genes during the whole genome annotation. Two students are selected to present the findings of the group at the Annual HHMI SEA PHAGES Symposium.

Helpful Links

Take a look at some of the internships, summer research and job opportunities for biology majors: Campus Access 
Lists environmental and health and medical internships.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  
Offers a broad range of undergraduate programs, student jobs, internships and career development programs.

Columbia University
Lists summer internship opportunities in biology across the U.S. in fields ranging from biomedical to marine biology.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Offers student opportunities.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Includes thousands of experiences in the sciences for students and teachers at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Massachusetts Biotechnology Council
Search for internships with member companies in Massachusetts.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Offers summer research program.

National Institutes of Health
Learn more about its Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research.

O’Brien Center for Career Development
The Center is located on the second floor of the Sakowich Center at Merrimack. You can login to the Advantage System to find listings of internships, co-ops, full-time work positions and other career information.

Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation.

Rochester Institute of Technology
Provides info on biology, biotechnology and biomedical internships for undergraduate students.

Shoals Marine Laboratory
Students can gain exceptional experience and training in field and laboratory research in marine biology.

Texas A&M
Lists internships and jobs with a focus on wildlife, ecology, fisheries and more.

Internship Coordinator

Mark Birnbaum
Professor of Biology
Mendel 352