How to Apply

WISP 2020-2021: Program Changes

Because of the pandemic, access to Dartmouth campus facilities, including research facilities and labs, is highly limited. For this reason, the fall matching process for the WISP research internship program was suspended. The WISP program will be active during winter term but with a different structure and focus. If restrictions on campus access are lifted, the matching process may be rescheduled for winter term so that students can engage in faculty-mentored research in the spring.

2021 Research Internship Application Process Timeline

  • Interview period:  March 16-23, 2021
  • Submit online Internship Preference form by March 24, 2021
  • Notification of Matches: March 28, 2021

First Steps

  • Review the program timeline.
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, be sure that you are eligible to work
  • Check 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)
    •  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.
  • 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.

Interview Process

All interviews must be completed at least one day before the Online Preference Form deadline. For 2019 the Preference Form Deadlines are October 20 for Round 1 and November 13 for Round 2.

Keep appointments

Be on time, and if your schedule changes and you need to reschedule, contact faculty immediately. If the internship is off-campus, factor in time involved getting there.


Review our 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 (available March 16).

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 (sophomores may apply for the Sophomore Science Scholars program).

Keep In Mind

These Are Paid Internships

WISP interns work 6-10 hours per week during winter and spring terms. Sophomores may work one or two terms, depending on their D-plans.

Interns are paid $10.00 per hour for up to 100 hours per term. This does count towards work-study requirements. Interns must complete the I-9 employment verification process prior to beginning their WISP internship.

Getting to Off-Campus Internships

Off-campus internships can be accessed through the Advance Transit bus system (it's free!).

Sophomores and Transfer Students

Sophomores: eligible for internships in chemistry, computer science, engineering, math, physics/astronomy.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: sophomores who find (or wish to find) a faculty research mentor on their own, should apply for the Sophomore Research Scholars program rather than a WISP internship. There are tips for finding faculty research mentors on the UGAR website.

Transfers: all internships are open to transfer women in their first year at Dartmouth.

You may not participate in another Dartmouth research program in the same year as a WISP internship (e.g. Sophomore Research Scholars, First-Year Research Experiences in Engineering)

Other Options for First-Year Research

WISP internship funding is only available for projects listed in the WISP online faculty project database. Other options for research in the first year:

  • First-Year Research in Experiences in Engineering (FYREE): Research opportunities for first-year students who are considering a major in engineering. 
    • Students who apply for FYREE cannot apply for Round 1 of WISP matching. Students who apply for but are not accepted to FYREE may apply for Round 2 of WISP matching. 
  • Students may seek their own research opportunities. See the Finding a Faculty Research Mentor page on the UGAR website.