What is a Research Internship

Collect. Analyze. And repeat. A research internship is a great way to gain experience in the career you're heading into. It provides you with a lot of information related to that field and presents problems and real-life situations that you may have to deal with during your career.

The research internship is also a great way to impress any potential employers you might have. Plus, you'll see how the career you've been dreaming of really is day-to-day. You may even find out it's too boring for you. But you'll probably end up loving it, even more than before your research internship.

Typically, research interships are saved for students who are on their last year of school or those who recently graduated. Most internships are paid, so you won't be doing all of this work for nothing.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Research Internship. For example, did you know that they make an average of $15.81 an hour? That's $32,889 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 20% and produce 139,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Research Internship Do

There are certain skills that many Research Interns have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Analytical skills, Detail oriented and Communication skills.

Learn more about what a Research Internship does

How To Become a Research Internship

If you're interested in becoming a Research Internship, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 74.4% of Research Interns have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 14.8% of Research Interns have master's degrees. Even though most Research Interns have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Research Internship. When we researched the most common majors for a Research Internship, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Master's Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Research Internship resumes include Associate Degree degrees or Doctoral Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Research Internship. In fact, many Research Internship jobs require experience in a role such as Internship. Meanwhile, many Research Interns also have previous career experience in roles such as Research Assistant or Volunteer.

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Research Internship Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Research Internship

Research Interns in America make an average salary of $32,889 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $87,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $12,000 per year.
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Research Internship Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Research Internship. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Research Internship Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Research Internship resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Research Internship Demographics

Research Internship Gender Statistics


46.2 %


43.3 %


10.5 %

Research Internship Ethnicity Statistics


69.2 %


13.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.1 %

Research Internship Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics


34.2 %


13.2 %


9.4 %
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Research Internship Education

Research Internship Majors

14.4 %

Research Internship Degrees


74.4 %


14.8 %


4.9 %

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High School / GED

Top Colleges for Research Internships

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

8. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
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Online Courses For Research Internship That You May Like

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SPSS data analysis made easy. Become an expert in advanced statistical analysis with SPSS...

Statistics / Data Analysis in SPSS: Inferential Statistics

Increase Your Data Analytic Skills Highly Valued And Sought After By Employers...

Data Management for Clinical Research

This course presents critical concepts and practical methods to support planning, collection, storage, and dissemination of data in clinical research. Understanding and implementing solid data management principles is critical for any scientific domain. Regardless of your current (or anticipated) role in the research enterprise, a strong working knowledge and skill set in data management principles and practice will increase your productivity and improve your science. Our goal is to use these mo...

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Top Skills For a Research Internship

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.6% of Research Interns listed Python on their resume, but soft skills such as Analytical skills and Detail oriented are important as well.

12 Research Internship RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For a Research Internship

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Research Internship. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Research Interns make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $47,710. Whereas in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, they would average $43,401 and $42,906, respectively. While Research Interns would only make an average of $39,507 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Rhode Island

Total Research Internship Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Massachusetts

Total Research Internship Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Jersey

Total Research Internship Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Research Interns

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Top Research Internship Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Research Interns and discovered their number of Research Internship opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that National Institutes of Health was the best, especially with an average salary of $34,797. NASA follows up with an average salary of $33,938, and then comes University of California Press with an average of $34,979. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Research Internship. The employers include Salesforce, VMware, and Advanced Micro Devices

Becoming a Research Internship FAQs

Do research interns get paid?

Yes, research interns generally get paid. However, whether a research intern is paid or not largely depends on the specific company and internship.

In a research internship, a person will undertake research work for a company to work on. In most research work, the intern will work under a professor independently or in the RD department of the company.

While it has been common for these research internships to be unpaid, the conversation around unpaid internships has been shifting, so it is easier to find paid research internships.

However, the biggest factor about whether an internship is paid or unpaid often depends on whether a person is getting university credit for the internship. In many cases, if a person is receiving credit for the internship, it will be unpaid.

This does not apply to all research internships, however, and it is important to carefully research all the internship options available to choose what will work best for you and your career goals.

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How do I get a research internship with no experience?

Typically, by nature, internships do not require prior experience. But if you are applying for a competitive internship where there are likely many other qualified applicants, a person will need to stand out.

Research-intensive internship programs for undergraduates offered by medical and graduate schools are always in high demand. Therefore, to get one, it is important to put in the best application possible.

This means taking what experience you have -- education, extra-curricular activities, and any prior work experience -- and showing how that will make you a qualified intern through your personal statement. A person can do this by drawing out transferable skills and highlighting personal achievements within these areas.

Additionally, a person can focus on getting the best letters of recommendation that they can find for their application. Ensure that the people you ask for letters of recommendation are from people who know you well, like you as an individual, and are qualified to speak to your educational and work achievements.

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How old do you have to be to be a research intern?

You have to be at least 18 years old to be a research intern. Typically companies hire research interns that are going into their junior and senior years of college.

These students typically have the career knowledge and soft skill sets needed to explore their career options through internships.

Since research interns assist in conducting research, compiling data, implementing ideas, and helping write papers, they must be experienced enough in these tasks to quickly pick up new ones.

The main qualifications to become a research intern are interest in the research subject and strong communication skills. Additionally, research interns usually need to be enrolled in a relevant degree program to qualify.

The short-term goal of a research intern position is to gain academic credit or work experience. The long-term goal is to turn the internship into a career.

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What does a research intern at Microsoft do?

Research interns at Microsoft contribute to the various research projects that Microsoft has available. These can include artificial intelligence, economics, and security, privacy, and cryptography -- whatever a person is interested in related to the product Microsoft produces.

At Microsoft, research interns are putting research into practice alongside some of the best researchers in the world. They will assist in forging new paths in whatever research area they are in by collaborating with other interns and researchers to ask the right questions.

In Microsoft's twelve-week internship, students are paired with mentors and expected to collaborate with other interns and researchers, present findings, and contribute to the community's vibrant life.

Research interns must be junior or senior students enrolled in a bachelor's degree program in computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, information science, or a related major.

Also, by the start of the internship program, candidates must have at least two years of programming experience, completed courses in calculus, probability, statistics, or machine learning, or demonstrated training in at least one social science methodology.

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What skills are required for a research internship?

Research interns need a wide variety of skills to be successful, but the most important is the ability to learn and take correction and good listening skills. The goal in a research internship, at least for the intern, is to learn as much as possible about the company, role, and industry and assess whether it is a good fit.

This means that learning and taking corrections alongside good listening skills are the most important skills for an intern as they directly relate to this primary goal.

Other important skills to have as a research intern include data collection and data analysis skills, as well as critical thinking skills. All of these are needed to do the research work that a person was hired to do.

Finally, interpersonal and networking skills are crucial to a successful research internship. One of the goals of an internship is to develop industry connections and networks that will prepare a person to successfully navigate the job market upon graduation.

This means meeting and engaging with as many contacts as possible during the internship.

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