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        The Werner H. Kirsten Student Intern Program        

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The Werner H. Kirsten Student Intern Program (SIP) is a program supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) (a part of the National Institutes of Health, NIH) in Frederick, Maryland. This program brings high school students from Frederick County, Washington County, and St. John's Literary Institution at Prospect Hall into the NCI laboratories. The process begins in the students' junior year when they apply to the program. Each scientist reviews the applications and selects a group of students to interview. After the interviews, both scientists and students list their choices and the final matches are determined by the administrators of the program. Students begin work in the summer full time with a stipend. They continue throughout the school year 3 hours per day as student volunteers for credit. Many SIP students return to work in the labs at the NCI at Frederick during their summer breaks from college.

Since the students are smart and capable, they only need guidance and resources, which I can provide. They have made a number of important discoveries. Students who have published with me and whose papers are represented in our papers are R. Mike Stephens, Nate Herman, Mark Shaner, Stacy Bartram, Elaine Bucheimer, Ryan Shultzaberger (another paper by Ryan), and Karen Lewis. (There is a complete list of SIP publications in the Schneider lab.) Many other student papers are still in preparation, I can't keep up with them!

After completing his year in the program, Philip Roessler gave an inspirational speech to incoming SIP students.

The official web site is the Student Internships at NCI at Frederick.

Science Fair Posters for Mike Stephens and Nate Herman new as of 2007 Aug 28

Conducting Interviews

Below is information which may be helpful in conducting your interviews:

Do not offer an SIP slot to a student. Students and sponsors are connected through a "matching" process aimed at getting the most students and sponsors into the SIP. Any attempt to influence the matching process by a sponsor asking a student to list them first and then listing that student first is unacceptable and will not guarantee a match. In addition, interviewing only a few students will not guarantee a match as there are many sponsors and some students will likely be chosen by many laboratories.

Interviews with students may be conducted one-on-one or in a group. We strongly suggest that a group be no more than three students, as some students may not project well in larger groups.

If the school system(s) is closed due to inclement weather, students are not expected to keep their appointments. Interviews should be rescheduled.

Students should be working on a specific project and provided a training plan at the start of the internship. Students are not to be used as "miscellaneous" staff and providing the student with a rough idea of the possible project during the interview process is encouraged.

Students must participate in the Laboratory Safety Training Day before they begin their internship. The Safety Training is scheduled in May. Please reinforce the need for the mandatory safety training during the interview process.

Students are required to work 40 hours a week for nine consecutive weeks during the summer. This time serves as a training period for students. Students should be provided training in laboratory techniques and safety procedures. Students may be excused from work for family vacation (NOT TO EXCEED TWO WEEKS); however, the intern must make up for the excused leave. This requirement should be emphasized during the interview process.

During the school year, all interns are required to work three hours per school day. Interns may be excused from their NCI at Frederick responsibilities on days when the school system(s) is closed (including inclement weather), after consultation with their sponsor. However, students must realize that their projects may require them to be at the NCI at Frederick on days that school is not in session; this should be defined prior to the start of the school year. These requirements should also be stated during the interview process.

Students are paid a stipend of approximately $2,900 for the nine weeks in the summer. The stipend is based on the number of days the student works. Interns will not be compensated for their service during the school year.

Students receive four credits towards their Maryland State Diploma for their internship.


For further information please contact:
Werner H. Kirsten Student Intern Program
NCI at Frederick
Building 427, Room 2
Frederick, Maryland 21702
Phone (301) 846-1106


Year 2001 student picture

color bar Small icon for Theory of Molecular Machines: physics,
chemistry, biology, molecular biology, evolutionary theory,
genetic engineering, sequence logos, information theory,
electrical engineering, thermodynamics, statistical
mechanics, hypersphere packing, gumball machines, Maxwell's
Daemon, limits of computers


Schneider Lab

origin: 1997 August 20
updated: 2014 Mar 06
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