BioHealth Capital Region Early Career Development Programs Critical for Workforce Growth

The BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) continues to grow at an extraordinary pace, spurred on by COVID-19 vaccine development funding, a thriving biomanufacturing community, a growing cell and gene therapy hub, and a healthy life sciences startup ecosystem. 

All of this growth and expansion requires a thriving workforce development system to attract, develop, and retain the life sciences workforce of today and develop the biosciences talent pool of the future.

This push at leading life sciences organizations to develop new workforce talent creates tremendous opportunities for those interested in starting a biosciences career or advancing their life sciences career. Whether you’re a high school student interested in a STEM career, a first-year student at a local community college or four-year institution, a Ph.D. candidate, or postdoctoral associate, opportunities to learn about the industry firsthand and acquire new skills abound.

It’s that time of year where early career development programs across the region are accepting applications.

To help out your search, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best early career development programs across the BHCR along with a list of deadlines, opportunities, and other resources to get you started. Some of the deadlines below are approaching soon – don’t miss out! 

Program: Early Talent Programs
Organization: Kite, a Gilead Company
Location/s: U.S., Europe

Kite, a Gilead Company, is a leading cell and gene therapy life sciences company with locations around the globe. Kite recently opened a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility just outside of Frederick, Maryland, adding yet another important anchor organization to the BioHealth Capital Region. 

To support the company’s rapid growth and build its talent pipeline for the future, Kite has invested in a robust and diverse program to develop life sciences talent. Kite’s Early Talent Program offers internships as well as rotations and apprenticeship opportunities. 

Kite offers paid undergraduate and graduate summer internship programs where participants have the opportunity to learn about cell therapy from leaders in the field. Kite is looking for interns with a love of science and a passion to help transform the way we treat cancer. 

Kite’s paid internships run approximately 10-12 weeks in the summer. The program offers placement in the U.S. and Europe. U.S. intern opportunities posted from October through January with selections made in early spring; in Europe Kite onboards interns twice a year in February and September. 

All Intern candidates must be enrolled in a fully accredited undergraduate or graduate program before and after the internship. U.S. work authorization is required to join Kite as an Intern in the U.S. Additional eligibility requirements are highlighted within the job posting. 

To learn more, click here to go to the Early Talent Program landing page. Click here to view the current program opportunities.

Program: CHIP
Organization: CVilleBioHub
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia Region

The CHIP Internship Program is approaching its third year and cohort in 2022. CHIP was started by CVilleBioHub, a growing organization whose mission is to increase the size of the Charlottesville area biohealth cluster it serves. CHIP is emblematic of the valuable programming that is part of the organization’s push to expand its biocluster, which is anchored by the University of Virginia.

CHIP is Charlottesville’s only internship program that connects local higher education institutions and programs with local biotechnology companies to provide industry experiences. The program offers a structured and engaging experience for interns; CHIP will connect local candidates to local companies, creating rewarding internship experiences while developing the region’s workforce of tomorrow. 

CHIP internships are 10-week paid industry experiences. The program runs from June to August and culminates with a final project showcase. CHIP participants will enjoy educational programming and networking throughout the summer months. Students at all levels of study who are Charlottesville area residents or attending an area college are eligible to apply for the program.

The 2022 Summer Cohort application window is now open, and CvilleBioHub will be accepting online applications through January 31, 2022. You can apply here. (Make sure to scroll down to see the application form). 

If you are a Charlottesville area life sciences company that would like to participate in the 2023 cohort (2022 is full), please contact CVilleBioHub directly

Program: Stem2VA
Organization: VirginiaBio
Location: Various Sites in Virginia

VirginiaBio, the state’s leading life sciences advocacy and networking organization, recently launched its Stem2VA Internship Program. The new program will offer up to 100 undergrad and graduate students a challenging and exciting opportunity to learn firsthand about life sciences careers. 

STEM2VA will match Virginia-based students at a two- or four-year plus degree-awarding institution with enriching experiences in the life science industry. The program is seeking scholars with an interest in becoming future scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs across a variety of disciplines, including research and development, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, digital health, and medical devices/equipment. 

These summer internships are paid and run about eight weeks with the specific dates of the internship to be determined by the employer. The program runs from June 6 to July 29, 2002. The internship requires a 40 hour/week commitment from the participant. 

Stem2VA is currently accepting applications; the deadline to apply is January 31, 2022. To learn more about the program, click here. The program application can be found here. If you have additional questions, you can contact the Program Director at vbcintern@vabio.org

Program: Biomanufacturing Associate Apprenticeship Program
Organization: GSK/Montgomery College 
Location: Rockville, Maryland

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), an industry-leading pharmaceutical, consumer products and healthcare company, launched an apprenticeship program in coordination with Montgomery College several years ago. Initially, the apprenticeship was for a Validation Technician at GSK’s Rockville, Maryland site, which is home to the global vaccines U.S. R&D Center and Biopharm Manufacturing facility. At the time, the Validation Technician Apprenticeship was the first of its kind. 

The GSK/Montgomery College Apprenticeship relationship has only grown over the past few years to support the BioHealth Capital Region’s workforce development push. The apprenticeship program now features a Validation Tech and Biopharmaceutical Associate opportunities. These two apprenticeships are part of GSK’s global apprenticeship program that has approximately 200 apprentices at locations across the world.

Those accepted into the program can expect the following schedule/benefits:

  • Immersion in the world of biotech
  • Acquisition of highly-specialized skills
  • Support from Montgomery College professors, GSK mentors, and a cohort of other apprentices from around the world
  • Full-time participations for 2-4 years
  • A 40 hour work week, with roughly 20% of that time spent taking courses through Montgomery College
  • A salary and eligibility for the same benefits as a full-time GSK employee
  • Tuition and expenses fully covered and a debt free associate degree

If you’re interested in learning more, click on the links below:

Program: Biomedical Careers Initiative (BCI)
Organization: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Location: Various Maryland Locations

The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Biomedical Careers Initiative, or BCI, is a robust internship program that exists to help JHU biomedical Ph.D. candidates and postdoctoral fellows better understand career options outside of academia while also providing real-world, industry experiences to explore and assess.

Since its inception in 2013, BCI has helped scores of JHU trainees obtain paid internship positions across a wide range of non-academic, industry fields, including biotechnology and pharma, science policy, and consulting, among others. The program is highly structured and designed to provide tailored support to both interns and BCI intern host companies, which include some of the BHCR best-known companies.

The deadline for internship applications is February 15, 2002. You can view current opportunities here. To start the application process, candidates should email the completed Intent to Apply Form along with your resume and cover letter to BCI. If you have additional questions, please email Dr. Amy Braun.

Program: Maryland Technology Internship Program (MTIP)
Organization: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Location: Various Maryland Locations 

The Maryland Technology Internship Program (MTIP) was launched in August 2018. In its first two years, the program helped approximately 200 unique organizations across a variety of tech-related fields fund 310 paid internships in Maryland.

The program, which is administered by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and funded by the State of Maryland, is a critical component to the BHCR workforce development efforts. Along with increasing access to capital, workforce development remains one of the region’s leading challenges, cited again and again at BHCR conferences and panels by entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and talent executives.

MTIP is focused broadly on the tech sector and can offer both interns and companies support beyond intern wage reimbursements. The MTIP team has helped companies craft internship descriptions, evaluate funding opportunities and deliver training while also providing guidance on an as-needed basis to interns seeking advice. 

MTIP offers unique opportunities for both interns and for regional tech companies looking to start and/or build out a viable internship program. 

You can view current MTIP spring and summer paid internship opportunities here

MTIP also has an upcoming 30-minute webinar event where you can learn more about the program’s benefits:

You can also reach out to Annie Weinschenk, Assistant Director, Maryland Technology Internship Program at mtip@umbc.edu for more information.