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Faculty FAQs

Career realities for rising scientists have changed dramatically in recent years.  In recognition of UNC’s prominent national role in responding proactively to these changes, UNC was one of a handful of institutions awarded a Broadening Experience in Scientific Training (BEST) grant from the NIH common fund.  This 5-year award allows us to offer an innovative new internship program to the life science graduate students and postdocs in your laboratory.  Here are answers to some FAQs many faculty mentors have when they first hear about the program.

If you have a question that is not answered here please contact Dr. Patrick Brandt at

No. As part of the internship application, trainees submit a signed Faculty Member Consent Form

ImPACT can fund a trainee for 160 hours.  How those hours are used is up to the trainee, the faculty mentor, and the internship host. Some hosts prefer a full-time arrangement (which would last roughly 4 weeks), whereas others prefer a part time arrangement.

Yes!  And we encourage them to do this so that the effect of internships on students’ time to degree and trainees’ publication records are not negatively affected by the internship experience.  We also encourage mentors to discuss this with the trainees to develop a realistic set of goals and expectations for their effort in the lab during the internship.  Note this is especially critical for trainees doing a part time internship where the 160-hour internship is spread out over several months.

ImPACT is funded by the School of Medicine, other university funds, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund endowment, and some industry donations.  Graduate students’ salary level will not change during the internship. The Office of Graduate Education will coordinate with your department finance and HR contacts to move the trainee’s stipend/salary/fees/health insurance to another source for the time corresponding to the internship.

Graduate student must have passed their qualifying exam. We anticipate funding 25 ImPACT internships per year.

Internships generally take place no sooner than March 1st and need to be completed by December 31st.

The US government recently stated that predoc and postdoc trainees paid on any federal grants (NIH, NSF, DoD, etc) are expected to engage in career development activities (Uniform Guidance 200.400-2).  NIH has interpreted this policy statement to mean that trainees participating in professional development and experiential non-bench training (including short-term internships such as these) do not need to report their effort differently.  For more information see

There are internship opportunities in the following broad career areas:

  • Business Development, Technology Transfer, and Entrepreneurship
  • Science Policy
  • Industry Research and Development
  • Teaching Intensive Careers
  • Outreach, Research/Program Administration
  • Science/Medical Writing

The list of companies is always growing and includes institutions in RTP such as BD, EPA, RTI, Rho, Sigma Xi, ETSI, AgBiome, Bayer Crop Science, NCBC, NC Board of Science and Technology, Parion, NIEHS, UNC Office of Tech Dev.

We are always looking for new internship providers.  Please contact Dr. Patrick Brandt  (, Director of the ImPACT program, to make an introduction.

There is no guarantee that trainees who pass phase 1 will be chosen by an internship provider since each provider will make the final placement decision. That said, ImPACT will only accept the number of trainees we believe we can place with internship hosts.  We will help broker relationships, and each internship provider has already stated an interest in hosting an intern.

The application process consists of two phases – 1) an internal UNC application wherein trainees are chosen by the ImPACT leadership team (deadline is February 1st), and 2) placement of the internal winners with one of our internship providers. Besides completing an online application, trainees must also submit the following documents.

Signed and scanned Faculty Mentor Consent Form

A personal statement that addresses what career path they are preparing for, and how their career development will benefit from an internship.

Current CV