LHSI Program has supported the success of 1,000 interns


The Life-Health Sciences Internship (LHSI) Program marked a milestone: 1,000 interns have participated in the program since its inception. The program provides internship opportunities in health and science fields to second and third-year students, with students coming from 40 different majors across 12 schools and academic units.

LHSI began in 2007 as a collaboration between the School of Science and the School of Medicine. The first cohort included 36 interns in the 2007–2008 academic year. Now, the program can support 75–80 interns each academic year. All interns are paid by LHSI for their work.

Through the program, interns have access to a wide range of disciplines, including lab research, clinical research, and public health opportunities. LHSI partners with organizations such as the IU School of Medicine, Riley Hospital for Children, and Eskenazi Hospital.

LHSI works to support their interns through high-impact practices, including ePortfolios and undergraduate research.

“We try to keep in mind all the elements of what makes high impact practices high impact," Brandi Gilbert, director of the program, said. "To try to give students the opportunity to interact with each other so that they're not just going it alone at their internship site, and they can really interact with other interns and interact with us."

Interns within the program have high rates of success within their undergraduate careers. Throughout its history, the program followed up with students after they participated and found that an average of 81% of participants have graduated, with 18% of remaining students still enrolled and on track to graduate. Of students who have completed their undergraduate programs, 71% are in graduate or professional programs.

“Our program makes these students competitive," Gilbert said. "Since a lot of our interns are looking at grad school, they’re looking to be able to say that they had this substantial experience over multiple years, rather than just a summer experience that other university students might have.”

LHSI interns have been recognized for their excellence at IUPUI. This year, Ashley Remy, a senior ambassador for the program, was honored as the Student Employee of the Year during National Student Employee Appreciation Week.

LHSI’s social media features many success stories from previous interns.

Hayden Hurst, an intern during the 2022–2023 academic year, was offered a continuing summer position to work on 3D cadaver models. Hurst is part of a larger trend within LHSI, as over 40% of interns stay at their internship sites after the completion of the program.

“We've set students up to succeed so that they can stay at their internship site afterwards, where the supervisors want to open their own budget,” Gilbert said. “I think that’s really proof that we're doing something right, if the students are building those relationships and doing a good enough job where a department is willing to pay for them afterwards.”

James Wilcox, an intern from the first LHSI cohort, now serves as an assistant professor at the IU School of Medicine. Through foundations built within the program, alumni are returning to the university to continue to support student success.

“It's cool to think about the fact that we've had over 1,000 students in this program, and so many of them want to be healthcare professionals, scientists, and researchers, and a lot of them do want to stay in Indiana or come back after school," he said. "So that's 1,000 potential people that are out there continuing the work and using the relationships they built in this program.”

The work accomplished by LHSI interns contributes to IU's efforts to advance research and drive innovation.

For more information, contact the Division of Undergraduate Education Office of Communications at duecomm@iupui.edu.