How to Apply

WISP 2021-2022: Potential Changes

The plan for the WISP research internship program is as follows:

  • Interviewing and matching: fall term
  • Research experiences: winter and spring terms

Be sure to monitor the WISP website and communications for any changes to the research internship program process and/or schedule. The WISP program will remain active throughout the year, regardless of any potential pandemic-related restrictions (e.g. restrictions on access to campus facilities, including research facilities and labs), although the timeline and format may change.

First Steps

  • Review the program timeline.
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, be sure that you are eligible to receive wages from Dartmouth
  • Think about your time commitments during winter and spring terms. Heavy time demands in athletics, music or other extracurriculars may interfere with some internships.
  • Complete the online profile form that will be used during the internship interview process. You will receive a copy of your submission via email.
  • Find projects that interest you in the WISP online database.
    • Read projects from a broad array of available departments
    • WISP internships are only offered for projects listed in the WISP database (this is NOT the same as the UGAR faculty project database)
    • Faculty may not "pre-select" students nor does WISP fund students who find their own research opportunities outside of the WISP database and matching process
    • Some projects at DHMC involve accessing internal systems, and these projects will require that students have a social security number

Email potential faculty mentors

Request an interview for projects that interest you. Do this early! Some faculty may limit the number of interviews they conduct.

Your email should include the following:

  • Subject header: WISP Interview Request
  • Describe your motivation: Your introductory paragraph should include your motivation for the specific project. Modify this for each project.
  • Interview request: Politely request an interview. You can include your availability, but be as flexible as possible. Faculty are very busy and may not have much scheduling flexibility.
  • Other information: Your internship profile form (copied from the email you received when you submitted your online profile form).
  • Follow up: if you do not get a response from a mentor within a day or so, follow up via email or phone.

Keep in mind that WISP internships are only offered for projects listed in the WISP online database. You are welcome to contact other faculty about research opportunities, but funding for those opportunities is not available from WISP. WISP funding is only available to students who are selected via the matching process described below.

Interview Process

Tips for the interview process:

Keep appointments

Be on time, and if you need to reschedule your interview, contact faculty immediately. Make sure you know whether the interview will be in person or via Zoom/phone. If the interview will be in person, be sure you are familiar with the location and factor in the time involved in getting there, particularly if it will be at DHMC rather than on campus.


Review the information about interviewing.

During the interview

Have paper and a writing implement to take notes. Ask questions about both general and specific aspects of the project. For example, ask about the overall project goals, the roles and responsibilities of interns, and the general and specific time commitment.

Online Preferences Form

This is an introductory research experience, so be open to considering research projects in areas and departments about which you know little. Listing only one or two projects may reduce your chances of being matched.

At the same time, only list projects on the form that you would accept. You may be matched with any of the projects that you list, and it is expected that you will accept the project with which you are matched. If you decline your match, you will not be eligible for WISP funding for that academic year.

  • Complete the Student Internship Preference Form.


  • Students view faculty provided internship opportunities. The database is available in late September. WISP internships are only available for projects listed in the WISP database.
  • Reach out to Potential Mentors: Email potential faculty mentors to express interest and arrange interviews.
  • Online Preferences Form: After the interview process, students and faculty complete a preference form.
  • Matching Process: WISP staff match students with faculty research mentors based on multiple factors (e.g. student and faculty preferences, funding availability, etc.)
  • Decision Notification: Students and faculty mentors will receive an e-mail from the WISP office indicating whether or not they have been matched.

Students who have made separate arrangements to work with a faculty mentor independently of the matching process are not eligible for WISP funding. There is one exception. if the faculty mentor has funds to pay the wages, the student may be part of the WISP Research Internship Program.


There are a variety of reasons why students are not matched in Round 1. Often, many students apply for the same project. If you decide to enter Round 2, consider broadening your interests to include projects in a variety of science departments. Students often find an academic passion where they least expect it!


Overly technical or complex project descriptions may intimidate students. Consider revising your project description to make it more accessible to first-year students. 

Wait for Match Results

If you are not matched in Round 1, there is a second round of projects, interviews, and matching. There are several reasons why students are not matched in the first round, so don't be discouraged. Often many students apply for the same project, and mentors can only select one or two interns.

WISP only funds students who are matched with faculty mentors through the WISP matching process. Students who find their own faculty research mentors outside of the WISP matching process are not eligible for funding from WISP. Students who find their own research opportunities may be eligible for the Undergraduate Research Assistantship at Dartmouth (URAD), starting in the spring of the first year (applications submitted the term prior to the term of research).