Admissions

Take the first steps toward your future today.

Van Andel Institute Graduate School trains today’s students to be tomorrow’s professional scientists through an innovative, scientifically rigorous and problem-based Ph.D. program in molecular and cellular biology. Housed within Van Andel Institute, a world-class biomedical research organization based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Graduate School offers students an exceptional scientific education, mentorship by experienced faculty members and exposure to fields across the full spectrum of research.

Apply to the Graduate School

Learn how to start your journey to a Ph.D.

Learn More

International Students

Van Andel Institute Graduate School welcomes students from around the world.

Learn More

Financial Support

The Graduate School offers a strong financial support package for its students.

Learn More

VAI-MSU Graduate School Program

Michigan State University graduate students can complete their dissertation work in Van Andel Institute laboratories.

Learn More

Research Internships

To help undergraduate students prepare for the next steps in their academic careers, Van Andel Institute Graduate School is pleased to offer several outstanding programs.

Learn More

From Student to Scientist

Van Andel Institute Graduate School is intended for students seeking a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology that prepares them for leadership positions in biomedical research.

The program is open to all applicants regardless of race, gender, ethnic or national origin, religion or age. Individuals from demographic groups that are underrepresented among professional scientists are especially encouraged to apply. The Graduate School welcomes international applicants (those who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents). International applicants admitted to the Graduate School will be sponsored in the F-1 student visa program.

To ensure full consideration for fall admission, applications should be received by December 1 the year prior to that in which the student will matriculate. If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the Graduate School office at registrar@vai.org or call 616.234.5722. The next application period will open in July 2022.

Admission Requirements

Bachelor of Arts or Science (B.A. or B.S.) degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university prior to enrollment.
Typical preparation includes courses in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, physics and mathematics. Applicants with other academic backgrounds may be considered if they provide appropriate evidence of excellent training, qualifications and motivation.

Research experience

As an important part of admission criteria, research experience may include undergraduate research internships, summer research programs, Master’s thesis research or medical research clerkships. Successful applicants will demonstrate these experiences have provided a thorough understanding of what a research career entails, that they have passion for research and that they have exceptional talent and aptitude for science.

Overall academic excellence

The Graduate School does not have a GPA threshold; however, students should demonstrate a solid academic record and commitment to academic excellence.

Three letters of recommendation from faculty members

It is highly recommended that applicants acquire letters from faculty members who know them and their academic work and, if applicable, who supervised independent study or research. The recommenders’ contact information must be entered in the Supporting Information quadrant of the application and the system will automatically email the recommenders.

High competence in skills important to a career in scientific research

These skills include critical thinking, writing and public speaking.

We do not require the GRE.

A deep passion for understanding the mysteries of life and disease as well as a commitment to the improvement of health.

Good character

How to Apply

Step 1: Fill out the BioMedCAS application.

The BioMedCAS application will require standard personal information.

Van Andel Institute Graduate School requires letters of recommendation from three faculty members who know you and your academic work and, if applicable, who supervised independent study or research. The recommenders’ contact information must be entered in the Supporting Information quadrant of the application. The system will automatically email the recommenders who can then respond with their feedback to BioMedCAS by email.

As part of the BioMedCAS application, upload the following materials:

  • A personal statement. Tell us why you want to pursue a research-focused Ph.D. and, specifically, why Van Andel Institute Graduate School is right for you.
  • A personal curriculum vitae or resume
  • Electronic versions of transcript(s) of your academic records. Unofficial copies are acceptable for application, but official copies sent directly from your home institution(s) must be submitted prior to matriculation.
BioMedCAS Application

Step 2: International admission requirements

International applicants should follow the same application process as non-international students, but the following additional documents will be required before an offer of admission can be made:

Proof of English proficiency by one of the following methods:

1. Official scores from an English proficiency standardized test (TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo) sent by the testing agency to Van Andel Institute Graduate School. Official scores must be less than two years old. Minimum required scores are as follows: TOEFL PBT: 580, TOEFL iBT: 90, IELTS: 6.5, Duolingo: 110.

2. Official signed transcript from an accredited United States college or university showing completion of a baccalaureate degree or higher. Degrees earned online may not be used to verify English proficiency.

3. Official signed transcript from an international (non-U.S.) college or university showing completion of a baccalaureate degree or higher with instruction conducted primarily in English. If the transcript does not explicitly state that English was the primary language of instruction, an official signed letter from the Registrar’s (or equivalent) Office must also be submitted stating that English was the primary language of instruction. Degrees earned online may not be used to verify English proficiency.

4. English proficiency waiver – Van Andel Institute Graduate School may waive the English proficiency documentation (i.e., test score or official final transcript) requirement in the following two circumstances:

  • The prospective student holds a passport from a country in which the primary official spoken language is English, as indicated in The World Factbook; OR
  • The prospective student is currently enrolled in or recently graduated from a baccalaureate degree program (or higher) at an accredited U.S. college or university OR international (non-U.S.) college or university with instruction conducted primarily in English, and as a result, cannot submit an official final transcript prior to Van Andel Institute Graduate School admission. *Please note that an official final transcript will still be required for enrollment purposes prior to matriculation; the waiver is only for purposes of proving English proficiency prior to issuance of Form I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Waivers are not automatic. To be eligible for a waiver, the student must request the waiver and demonstrate suitable English proficiency during their Van Andel Institute Graduate School admissions interview to successfully complete the academic program and function safely on a day-to-day basis in the United States.

All transcripts from academic institutions outside of the United States must be accompanied by an official course-by-course evaluation, including U.S. GPA conversion, from World Education Services (WES), International Credential Evaluators, International Educational Evaluators or another agency approved by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. Transcript evaluations will be at the student’s own expense. Students are encouraged to submit the transcript evaluation(s) as soon as possible after submitting their application, because an admissions offer cannot be made until the evaluation is received and reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

Review Process

After you submit your online application, an in-depth review of your file is conducted by the admissions committee. All applications are reviewed with respect to openings in the program and the strength of other applicants. Attention is given to every aspect of an application, with emphasis placed on past scientific achievement as well as scholarly potential. Academic records, letters of recommendation, your personal statement and CV/resume are all taken into consideration.

December

Applications will be reviewed by a team of Van Andel Institute Graduate School faculty members.

January-February

Selected candidates will be invited to visit
Van Andel Institute for interviews. Visitors will meet with the admissions team, with faculty members who might serve as future research mentors and with current students and/or postdoctoral associates. In some cases, students may be interviewed virtually.

March

The admissions team will recommend admission for selected students; offers of admission will be issued by the Graduate School Dean.

April

Students receiving offers will respond with their decision by April 15.

Van Andel Institute Graduate School provides international students with the rigorous study of a world-class research institute and the support of a small, close-knit community. International applicants admitted to the Graduate School will be sponsored in the F-1 visa category.

Menusha Arumugam, Van Andel Institute Graduate School Ph.D. Candidate

“When you’re a scientist working in a lab, sometimes you can forget why you’re doing what you’re doing. In our lab, the work might directly impact patients, and I think when you’re constantly reminded that your work impacts real people, you’ll never lose the passion for what you’re doing.”

Menusha Arumugam, Van Andel Institute Graduate School Ph.D. Candidate

International admission requirements

International applicants should follow the same application process as non-international students, but the following additional documents will be required before an offer of admission can be made:

Proof of English proficiency (by one of the following methods):

1. Official scores from an English proficiency standardized test (TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo) sent by the testing agency to Van Andel Institute Graduate School. Official scores must be less than two years old. Minimum required scores are as follows: TOEFL PBT: 580, TOEFL iBT: 90, IELTS: 6.5, Duolingo: 110.

2.Official signed transcript from an accredited United States college or university showing completion of a baccalaureate degree or higher. Degrees earned online may not be used to verify English proficiency.

3. Official signed transcript from an international (non-U.S.) college or university showing completion of a baccalaureate degree or higher with instruction conducted primarily in English. If the transcript does not explicitly state that English was the primary language of instruction, an official signed letter from the Registrar’s (or equivalent) Office must also be submitted stating that English was the primary language of instruction. Degrees earned online may not be used to verify English proficiency.

4. English proficiency waiver – Van Andel Institute Graduate School may waive the English proficiency documentation (i.e., test score or official final transcript) requirement in the following two circumstances:

  • The prospective student holds a passport from a country in which the primary official spoken language is English, as indicated in The World Factbook; OR
  • The prospective student is currently enrolled in or recently graduated from a baccalaureate degree program (or higher) at an accredited U.S. college or university OR international (non-U.S.) college or university with instruction conducted primarily in English, and as a result, cannot submit an official final transcript prior to Van Andel Institute Graduate School admission. *Please note that an official final transcript will still be required for enrollment purposes prior to matriculation; the waiver is only for purposes of proving English proficiency prior to issuance of Form I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Waivers are not automatic. To be eligible for a waiver, the student must request the waiver and demonstrate suitable English proficiency during their Van Andel Institute Graduate School admissions interview to successfully complete the academic program and function safely on a day-to-day basis in the United States.

All transcripts from academic institutions outside of the United States must be accompanied by an official course-by-course evaluation, including U.S. GPA conversion, from World Education Services (WES), International Credential Evaluators, International Educational Evaluators or another agency approved by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. Transcript evaluations will be at the student’s own expense. Students are encouraged to submit the transcript evaluation(s) as soon as possible after submitting their application, because an admissions offer cannot be made until the evaluation is received and reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

Visit our Admissions page for more information.

Living In Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids and West Michigan have a growing list of accolades — one of the top places to live, one of the top places to visit and one of the top cities for biopharmaceutical and research and development investment. Read more.

  • Tuition

    Tuition is waived for Van Andel Institute Graduate School students since they are fully supported by fellowships. Tuition for non-Graduate School students who wish to take courses is $25,000 for a full year (three semesters including summer). For individual courses, tuition will be assessed at a rate of $825 per credit hour.

  • Fellowships

    Students in the doctoral program at the Graduate School are supported by institutional (internal) fellowships for five years. These fellowships include a stipend of approximately $36,000 per year and health, dental and vision insurance for the student (and family). The Graduate School also provides a laptop computer and up to $2,000 per year to attend scientific conferences.

The VAI-MSU Graduate School Program is a collaborative venture through which graduate students in Michigan State University’s BioMolecular Sciences Program (BMS) can conduct their dissertation research in Van Andel Institute laboratories.

The BMS program is the gateway for first-year graduate students who will subsequently select one of the following degree-granting departments or programs:

MSU Departments:

MSU Interdepartmental Programs:

Join the Program

MSU graduate students interested in rotations in a VAI laboratory should contact the investigator directly to arrange a meeting to discuss their interests.

Financial Support

MSU graduate students conducting their thesis work at VAI will be appointed as graduate research assistants through MSU and will be paid the same stipend as their fellow graduate students at MSU. Stipend and tuition will be covered for the full term of the thesis project. Students must meet all the standard requirements of their respective graduate programs for graduation, and they will receive their degrees from the MSU program or department in which they enrolled.

Students can choose to have a VAI investigator as their primary thesis adviser or they can have two co-advisers, one from VAI and one from MSU. VAI investigators serving as primary thesis advisers will have adjunct faculty appointments in one of the participating MSU departments.

Advisers

Students can choose to have a VAI investigator as their primary thesis adviser or they can have two co-advisers, one from VAI and one from MSU. VAI investigators serving as primary thesis advisers will have adjunct faculty appointments in one of the participating MSU departments.

Current MSU Students in VAI Labs

  • Student

    Peter Hwang

    Mentor

    Tim Triche, Ph.D.

Alumni MSU Graduate from VAI Labs

  • Student

    Peter Hsueh

    Mentor

    Brian Haab, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Daniel Barnett

    Mentor

    Brian Haab, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Sarah Keaton

    Mentor

    Lena Brundin, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Student

    Nanda Kumar Sasi

    Mentor

    Michael Weinreich, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Sander Frank

    Mentor

    Cindy Miranti, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Arkadeep Sinha

    Mentor

    Brian Haab, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Jelani Zarif

    Mentor

    Cindy Miranti, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Megan Goodall

    Mentor

    Jeff MacKeigan, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Aaron DeWard

    Mentor

    Art Alberts, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Chih-Shia Lee

    Mentor

    Nick Duesbery, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Charles Miller

    Mentor

    Michael Weinreich, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Sebla Kutluay

    Mentor

    Steve Triezenberg, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Laura (Gier) Lamb

    Mentor

    Cindy Miranti, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Yue Tingting

    Mentor

    Brian Haab, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Susan Spotts

    Mentor

    Cindy Miranti, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Katie (Sian) Martin

    Mentor

    Jeff MacKeigan, Ph.D.

  • Student

    Ying Chou Chen

    Mentor

    Michael Weinreich, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Internships

Opportunity Awaits

The journey to a Ph.D. starts far earlier than graduate school. To help undergraduate students prepare for the next steps in their academic careers, Van Andel Institute Graduate School is pleased to offer several outstanding programs.

For questions, please email undergrad@vai.edu.

Internship Opportunities

Summer internship programs are designed to provide undergraduate college students opportunities to be mentored by professionals in their chosen research field, to become familiar with the use of state-of-the-art scientific equipment and technology, and to learn valuable interpersonal and presentation skills. The goal of these programs is to expose aspiring researchers and clinicians to exciting advances in biomedical sciences that will help define their career paths.

Van Andel Institute is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We strongly encourage student applicants from minority serving institutions including historically black colleges & universities, tribal colleges & universities and Hispanic serving institutions, as well as McNair Scholars.

Each year, the Institute hosts 20-25 interns in its laboratories. Summer interns are paired with a scientific investigator and/or their designee for an intense 10-week research experience that provides interns with an understanding of the latest research methods, instruments and testing procedures. At the end of the internship, students give an oral presentation or poster presentation about their experience to the research staff.

Thank you to our sponsors and their generous gifts to support summer internship programs: 

  • Meijer Foundation 
  • Maas Family Foundation – Hope College 
  • Van Andel Institute Purple Community – Hope College 
  • Van Andel Institute Graduate School 

Van Andel Institute offers a research internship program (2 positions / 6-9 weeks) designed to provide medical students the opportunity to work closely with a research mentor on a project exploring the cellular, molecular and genetic basis of human disease. The goal of this program is to introduce medical students to the concepts and practice of design, implementation, interpretation and presentation of basic biomedical research. This program has a separate application process from the other internship programs. Find more information here. 

Thank you to our sponsor and their generous gift to support the medical student internship program:  

  • Van Andel Institute Graduate School

The Academy of Modern Engineering (AME) (previously the Grand Rapids Area Pre-College Engineering Program, or GRAPCEP) is one of four specialized programs within Innovation Central High School administered by Grand Rapids Public Schools. Applicants identified at the middle school level are mentored through field trips, group events, internships, and externships throughout middle school and high school. During the period between their junior and senior years of high school, they undergo intensive weekend training sessions to prepare them for scientific or engineering internships. Van Andel Institute (VAI) is one of the designated institutions that supervises these seniors. Since 2000, VAI has hosted 59 students. They have subsequently enrolled at (and graduated from) universities such as Michigan Technology Institute, Michigan State University, Howard University, and Hope College. For questions, please contact undergrad@vai.org. 

Thank you to our sponsor and their generous gift to support the Academy of Modern Engineering program:  

  • Van Andel Institute Graduate School

Why Intern at VAI?

Summer interns gain a wealth of hands-on research experience during their time in the Institute’s labs. They play key roles in the day-to-day operations of the lab and have the opportunity to work closely with and learn from technicians, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, lab managers and their principal investigator.

Experiments

Interns design and conduct experiments as part of the projects underway in their assigned lab. The experimental approaches and specific techniques vary widely, depending on the lab’s expertise and the demands of their current projects. Approaches range from molecular biology (DNA, RNA and proteins) to cell biology (culturing and characterizing mammalian cells) to structural biology (X-ray analysis of protein crystals) to bioinformatics (making sense of huge volumes of genomic information). Interns are expected to maintain accurate and complete records of their work in lab notebooks, and to comply with appropriate lab safety guidelines.

Weekly meetings

Most labs have weekly meetings at which lab members (including interns) describe and discuss their results. Interns are also encouraged to attend weekly journal clubs during which recent papers from the scientific literature are presented. Van Andel Research Institute often hosts seminar speakers from other institutions, and each Friday a VARI scientist presents recent work in a Research in Progress talk.

Workshops

Several workshops and lunch events are designed specifically for summer interns. These include:

  • Workshops on effective oral communication, on preparing scientific posters and on career pathways
  • A lunch with postdoctoral fellows to discuss steps in scientific training and the range of career options
  • A workshop on the process of applying to and selecting graduate schools
  • A symposium with students presenting their research projects, via a talk or a poster, to Institute scientists.

Social events

Other events encourage team building and social interaction, such as an ice cream social and a field trip to a West Michigan Whitecaps baseball game.

Program Details

The following program details apply to all summer interns with the exception of medical student interns. For more information on requirements for that program, please visit our Medical Student Research Internship Program section.

If you applied for the 2022 Summer Internship Program and have questions on this year’s program details, please email Michelle Love at undergrad@vai.edu.

The following program details apply to all 2023 summer interns with the exception of medical student interns. For more information on requirements for that program, please visit our Medical Student Research Internship Program section.

Undergraduate students are required to complete their internships in one of two sessions in 2023:

  • Session I: TBD
  • Session II: TBD

Assignments may involve the use of potentially hazardous chemicals, hazardous or radioactive materials or may be in areas where such materials are used. Adherence to safety policies and procedures along with proper storage and disposal methods are required.

The pay range for summer interns is based on a 10-week assignment at 40 hours per week. The pay rate is $15.00 per hour.

Student Interns are not eligible for holiday pay on the following days the Institute officially closes for business:

  • Memorial Day – Monday, May 29, 2023
  • Juneteenth – Monday, June 19, 2023
  • Independence Day – Tuesday, July 4, 2023
  • Labor Day – Monday, September 4, 2023

Local area colleges/universities may have student housing available. Students are responsible for their own travel, housing, room and board.

GVSU:  https://www.gvsu.edu/internhousing/ 

  • Tentative Move-In Dates: May 2023   |   Specific Dates: TBD 
  • Tentative Move-Out Dates: August 2023   |   Specific Dates: TBD  

Aquinas:  https://www.aquinas.edu/residence-life 

  • Tentative Move-In Dates: May 2023 | Specific Dates: TBD  
  • Tentative Move-Out Dates: July 2023 | Specific Dates: TBD

If you require additional information on housing options, please contact Michelle Love at undergrad@vai.edu. 

Student Interns will be offered FREE parking in the Michigan Street Development ramp during their internship. During the orientation process, Physical Security will provide Student Interns with a parking permit for their vehicle. The parking structure is located on Michigan Street, directly north of VAI. Parking in this ramp is contingent upon availability. Additionally, there are bike racks available for your use outside of the main entrance.

How to Apply

The application deadline has passed for the undergraduate 2022 Summer Internship Program. Applications for the 2023 Summer Internship Program will be accepted starting December 1, 2022. The application deadline for the undergraduate 2023 Summer Internship Program is  February 1, 2023.

At Van Andel Institute, the health and safety of our people is our number one priority. As a condition of employment at Van Andel Institute, all employees are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. “Full vaccination” is defined as two weeks after both doses of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine has been administered.

Van Andel Institute is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We strongly encourage undergraduate student applicants from minority serving institutions including historically black colleges & universities, tribal colleges & universities and Hispanic serving institutions, as well as McNair Scholars. 

For the 2023 summer research internship program, undergraduate college students must have completed at least one year of higher education (equivalent to 24 credit hours) by May 1, 2023, be enrolled in a science-related degree program, and maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. Applicants that will graduated with a bachelor’s degree during the course of the 2023 summer internship program (between April 1, 2023 – September 1, 2023) are ineligible. Applicants are also ineligible if dually enrolled in a high school and undergraduate program, and/or enrolled in a master’s program. Applicants are also ineligible if dually enrolled in a high school and undergraduate program, and/or enrolled in a master’s program.

International students are eligible to apply if they meet the requirements for the program and are legally permitted to work and earn income in the United States. Van Andel Institute  does not sponsor visas for interns.

If interested in the Medical Student Research Internship Program, please read the eligibility and application details below.

  • Please review VAI research laboratories to identify your top five labs of interest.
  • Prepare a single PDF file including the following three (3) documents as an attachment for your online application:
    • A cover letter to introduce why you would like to participate in this summer internship and your career goals.
    • A resume that includes your education, research experience, skills, volunteer experience, and publications (if any).
    • A current official transcript (Fall 2022) from your college or university. Applicants will be responsible for uploading their college or university transcripts to their online application. Any transcripts received via email or from your institutions transcript delivery service will not be accepted.
  • Two (2) current letters of recommendation (due by February , 2023): Ask professors, research mentors and/or supervisors to submit letters of recommendation, on institute letterhead, in PDF electronic format to undergrad@vai.edu. Letters of recommendations can be addressed to the Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee:

Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee (98001/VAIGS)
Van Andel Institute Graduate School / Van Andel Institute
333 Bostwick Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2518

Completed applications for the 2023 summer internship program will be reviewed by Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee and Van Andel Institute faculty after February 15, 2023. Applicants selected for interviews are generally contacted by mid-March and employment offers are extended by the end of March. If additional summer opportunities become available after this time, waitlisted applications may be considered.

For questions, please email undergrad@vai.edu.

COVID-19 may affect on-site internships. Updates on summer internships will be provided by the Research Advisory Committee, VAI COVID-19 Task Force and the Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee at: https://vaigs.vai.org/undergrad-research/program-details/

If you have questions about the summer internship program or the application process, please email the Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee at undergrad@vai.edu.

Medical Student Research Internship Program

Van Andel Institute (VAI) offers a research internship program designed to provide medical students the opportunity to work closely with a research mentor on a project exploring the cellular, molecular and genetic basis of human disease. The goal of this program is to introduce medical students to the concepts and practice of design, implementation, interpretation and presentation of basic biomedical research.

We expect to support two internships, depending on the needs of the Institute’s faculty and core directors/managers. This program is competitive, based on recommendations, previous experience and a personal meeting, telephone interview or interview via Zoom. Students are expected to work full-time for the duration of the internship, so participation in this program is not compatible with working at another job.

2022 Application Process

Applications will be accepted starting December 2021. Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis from December 1, 2021 through March 1, 2022 until both positions are filled for the medical student internship program.

The internship will be a six to nine-week research experience based on the time availability of the applicant.

Each applicant’s internship will be based on their research interests selected on the application form. Each experience will be different based on the research question, mentor and status of the project. Work environments include any of the basic science laboratories and core technologies at VAI.

At Van Andel Institute, the health and safety of our people is our number one priority. As a condition of employment at Van Andel Institute, all employees are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. “Full vaccination” is defined as two weeks after both doses of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine has been administered.

Medical students must be currently enrolled and in good standing with their medical school.

Van Andel Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Affirmative Action Employer. We strongly encourage undergraduate student applicants from minority serving institutions including historically black colleges & universities, tribal colleges & universities and Hispanic serving institutions, as well as McNair Scholars. 

International students are eligible to apply if they meet the requirements for the program and are legally permitted to work and earn income in the United States. Van Andel Institute does not sponsor visas for interns.

Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis from December 1, 2021 through March 1, 2022 for internships with employment start dates between April 1, 2022 – November 1, 2022. Completed applications will be reviewed by the Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee, as well as the VAI faculty and core directors/managers. Any inquiries regarding your application should be made via e-mail to undergrad@vai.edu; inquiries will receive responses as information becomes available.  

All offers for the Medical Student Research Internship Program positions will be contingent upon the satisfactory results of a Background Investigation and Drug Screen. 

Physical Demands
Assignments may involve the use of potentially hazardous chemicals, hazardous or radioactive materials, or may be in areas where such materials are used. Adherence to safety policies and procedures along with proper storage and disposal methods are required.

Salary
The Medical Student Research Internship Program will be limited to a 40 hour work week with pay at $16/hr.

Summer Holidays
Student Interns are not eligible for holiday pay on the following days VAI officially closes for business for the summer:

  • Memorial Day – Monday, May 30, 2022
  • Juneteenth – Monday, June, 20, 2022
  • Independence Day – Monday, July 4, 2022
  • Labor Day – Monday, September 5, 2021

Housing
Local area colleges/universities may have student housing available. Students are responsible for their own travel, housing, room and board.

If you require additional information on housing options, please contact Michelle Love at undergrad@vai.edu.

Parking and Bike Racks
Student Interns will be offered FREE parking in the Michigan Street Development ramp during their internship. During the orientation process, Physical Security will provide Student Interns with a parking permit for their vehicle. The parking structure is located on Michigan Street, directly north of VAI. Parking in this ramp is contingent upon availability. Additionally, there are bike racks available for your use outside of the main entrance.

  • Please review VAI research laboratories to identify your top five labs of interest.
  • Prepare a single PDF file including the following two (2) documents as an attachment for your online application:
    • A cover letter to introduce why you would like to participate in this summer internship and your career goals.
    • A resume that includes your education, research experience, skills, volunteer experience, and publications (if any).
  • Request a letter of good standing from your medical school (Academic Dean’s Office, Academic Student Affairs or Academic Affairs) to be emailed to undergrad@vai.edu.
  • Two (2) current letters of recommendation: Ask professors, research mentors and/or supervisors to submit letters of recommendation, on institute letterhead, in PDF electronic format to undergrad@vai.edu.
  • Letters of good standing and letters of recommendations can be addressed to the Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee:Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee (98001/VAIGS)
    Van Andel Institute Graduate School/Van Andel Institute
    333 Bostwick Avenue NE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2518

Complete VAI’s online employment application thoroughly, in addition to uploading your cover letter and resume as a single PDF file.

Questions about applying for the summer internship program?

If you have questions about the summer internship program or the application process, please email the Undergraduate & Internship Program Committee at undergrad@vai.edu.

Guest Students

The Institute hosts guest students who are seeking academic credit through their college or university. To receive academic credit, students must receive approval from their home institution, by completing and submitting the individual application for guest students to Van Andel Institute Graduate School:

The individual application for guest students may be submitted as PDF files to Michelle Love/Undergraduate and Internship Program Committee at undergrad@vai.org or via mail to address:

Michelle Love, Administrative Assistant
VAI Graduate School
333 Bostwick Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2518