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. 

Summer Interns_3The 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 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, June 1-August 5, 2022 (start/end date flexible), $4000 stipend
  • Round-trip travel to Denver and housing are provided to all internsAward Announcement - Twitter Post
  • 50% of interns are selected from 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, 2022

*Please note activities may be revised due to COVID safety restrictions

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 2022 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 21, 2022, 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 2022 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 2022 is February 15, 2022.

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 $4,000 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, 2022
Applicants will be contacted starting:February 21, 2022
Start of Internship:June 1, 2022
End of Internship:August 5, 2022


Meet the RBI 2021 Summer Interns:



Ruby Aaron

Mentor: Craig Jordan; Maria Amaya

Project: The Effect of SF3B1 Dysregulation on Energy Metabolism in Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)


Hamza Ahmed

Mentor: Allison Porman Swain

Project: Investigating RME2 and IME4 in Candida albicans


Maya Brown

Mentor: Matthew Taliaferro

Project: Understanding the Mechanisms of mRNA Localization in Mouse Neuronal Cell Lines


Miles Daniels

Mentor: Neel Mukherjee

Project: Localization of MSI2 in Human Adrenocortical Cells


Marc Gorum

Mentor: David Bentley

Project: Constructing Lentivirus Expression Vectors for Wild-type and Mutant Versions of the Conserved Transcription Elongation Factor Rtf1


Alex Gutierrez

Mentor: Olivia Rissland

Project: The Effect of 2A Sequences on Peptide Bond Formation in Giardia lamblia


Ethan Madden

Mentor: Aaron Johnson

Project: Investigating the Role of R-Loops in PRC2 Regulated Gene Silencing


Landon Menuey

Mentor: Beat Vogeli

Project: Investigating a Unique Role for Z-RNA Conformations in Cell Necroptosis and Viral Infection


Sofia Orrey Valencia

Mentor: Traci Lyons

Project: CSTF2 and Polyadenylation


Cameron Ortiz

Mentor: Suja Jagannathan

Project: Elucidating the Role of DUX4-Induced Splicing Factor SRSF8 in SRSF3 Splicing


Cyndey Pittenger

Mentor: Linda van Dyk

Project: Characterization of RNA-Mango as an RNA Tag for Isolation and Imaging of Viral ncRNAs