RBI Summer Internship Program

The RNA Bioscience Initiative (RBI) Summer Internship Program is a 10-week hands-on, mentored research opportunity for undergraduates who want to gain real-world laboratory experience in RNA biology, chemistry, biochemistry, genomics, and bioinformatics. 

2022 Interns at RNA Society Meeting

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is located in the Denver metro area. Interns are mentored by faculty from the biomedical research departments at CU Anschutz, including researchers studying fundamental aspects of biology and the molecular bases of cancer, developmental biology, autoimmunity, and infectious disease. Please visit our Research & Faculty page for a complete list of possibilities.

Undergraduate students with a strong interest in RNA research are encouraged to apply for this program. The program is especially intended for undergrads wishing to gain research experience in advance of applying to graduate school. Applicants may designate three preferred potential mentors from the RBI-faculty, or they may contact an RBI faculty member ahead of applying to pre-arrange an internship match (please note this on the application). All matches are made only after selection from the entire applicant pool.

The RNA Bioscience Initiative was started in January 2016 with $20 million in funding from the Dean’s Office of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The mission of the RBI is to cultivate a vibrant center of discovery and innovation in RNA biology, informatics, diagnostics, and therapy. Our goal is to provide a fluid pipeline from basic to clinical RNA research on our campus and beyond, and to train the next generation of researchers.

Program Highlights

  • 10-week program, May 28 - August 2, 2024 (start/end date flexible). $4500 stipend.
  • Round-trip travel to Denver and housing are provided to all internsAward Announcement - Hamza Amed
  • 50% of interns are selected from URM and/or SACNAS-affiliated students 
  • Opportunities for hands-on research experience in the lab of a research mentor on one of a broad range of cutting-edge RNA research projects
  • An orientation day to the RNA Bioscience Initiative and Internship Program
  • 2-day hands-on bootcamp to become familiar with common molecular biology techniques used in RNA biology labs
  • Weekly RNA-related small group seminars from core RBI faculty
  • Mentoring meetings with PhD students and postdocs affiliated with the RBI
  • A short oral presentation at the end of the project to develop science speaking skills
  • Spend the summer in Denver, CO, which offers a great balance of urban and outdoor activities

 Application Deadline: February 15, 2024




RNA Bioscience Initiative Summer Internship Program (RBISIP)

The RNA Bioscience Initiative Summer Internship Program (RBISIP) offers internships to provide research experience and an opportunity for undergraduate students to explore and apply academic theory in a biomedical research lab.

Application Information

A committee of RBI faculty will select highly qualified undergraduates for RBISIP 2024 positions. Demonstrated interest of the applicant in RNA Bioscience in the application essay will factor strongly.

Applicants will be contacted by email starting the week of February 26, 2024, continuing until all slots are filled. Applicants will have seven days to accept the internship offer and will be asked to sign a letter of acceptance agreeing to complete the program requirements. If the applicant needs to make a decision on another offer for a summer program before being contacted by the RBISIP, they may contact the RBI to request an expedited decision. Please note that RBISIP is a full-time training program that spans 10 weeks. Therefore, fellows may not combine their research work with any other daytime commitments.

Eligibility and Requirements

All college undergraduates who will be re-enrolling Fall 2024 are eligible to apply. RBISIP can only accept U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Interns are required to attend orientation and weekly lectures given by RBI researchers and/or mentors. Applicants whose institution is in session into June may request approval for a late start date. Interns must present their work at the end of the internship to members of the RBI. Any publications, patents, posters, talks or projects that result from an intern's participation in RBISIP must credit the program by including the funding acknowledgement.


The application deadline for Summer 2024 is February 15, 2024.

You must complete the application in program portal. Application components include:

  • A one-page (maximum) essay detailing the applicant's academic activities, the applicant’s interest in the RBISIP, expectations from the program, and future career goals. The essay should also include the reasons for selecting their desired mentors/projects
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one from a science professor/lecturer from a course completed by the applicant) submitted along with application through the program portal. Letters must be submitted by the submission deadline.
  • Official college transcript 

Stipend and Housing

Interns will be paid a stipend of $4,500 via direct deposit in three installments. Housing is included, for those interns who require it. In addition, for those traveling from some distance, the flight to/from Denver to begin and end the program will be arranged by the Program at no cost to the intern.


Important Dates: 
Applications Due:February 15, 2024
Applicants will be contacted starting:February 26, 2024
Start of Internship:May 28, 2024
End of Internship:August 2, 2024


Meet the RBI 2023 Summer Interns:

Emily Allen

Emily Allen

Pronouns: she/her

Undergraduate Institution: Gonzaga

Major:  Biology

Mentor: Olivia Rissland, PhD

Project: Cotranslational regulation of MetAP2 by the Ribosomal-Associated Quality Control Pathway

Audrey Combs

Audrey Combs

Pronouns:  she/her

Undergraduate Institution:  Colorado college

Major:  Molecular biology

Mentor:  Aaron Johnson, PhD

Project:  Investigating potential therapeutic applications of HOTAIR lncRNA transfection

2023_Samantha Del Pozo

Samantha del Pozo

Pronouns: she/her

Undergraduate Institution: Loyola Marymount University

Major:  Biochemistry

Mentor: Jay Hesselberth, Phd

Project:  Effects of Clp1 5’-RNA kinase on tRNA processing measured by nanopore direct RNA sequencing

2023_Samira Diaz De Leon

Samira Diaz De Leon

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Undergraduate Institution: Washington State University

Major:  Biochemistry (Molecular Biology emphasis)

Mentor: David Barton, Phd

Project: Sexual RNA replication among picornaviruses

Catalina Galvan

Catalina Galvan

Pronouns:  she/her

Undergraduate Institution:  University of Texas, Austin

Major:  Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Mentor: Linda van Dyk, PhD and Eric Clambey, PhD

Project:  Analysis of ORF75 expression in individual macrophages infected with MHV68

Noorjihan Mohammed

Pronouns: she/her

Undergrad Institution: Cornell University

Major:  Biological Sciences

Mentor: Suja Jagannathan, PhD

Project: The effect of introns on premature termination codon readthrough

Clara Sandberg

Pronouns: she/her

Undergraduate Institution: Middlebury College

Major:  Molecular biology and Biochemistry

Mentor: Aaron Johnson, PhD

Project: Investigating potential therapeutic applications of HOTAIR RNA transfection

Eleonora Sarkisyan

Eleonora Sarkisyan

Pronouns:  she/her

Undergraduate Institution:  California State University, Northridge

Major:  Cell and Molecular biology

Mentor: Mario Santiago, PhD

Project: Impact of various interferon subtypes on different stages of SARS-CoV-2 life cycle

Nicole Sheptov

Pronouns: she/her

Undergraduate Institution: Colorado State University

Major:  Neuroscience

Mentor: Matt Taliaferro, PhD

Project: Understanding RNA localization regulation by TDP43

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