Project Onramp Meets Its Goal of Placing 50 Mass. Students from Low-Income Backgrounds into Summer Internships at Local Biotech Companies
Massachusetts Biotechnology Industry Embraces New Model That Opens Doors to Careers in Life Sciences
May 8, 2019 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) - Project Onramp today announced they have placed more than 50 students in well-paid internships with top companies for summer 2019 through its first-in-the-nation Project Onramp program. The program will give the students – many of them the first in their families to attend college – hands-on experience and a valuable start towards a career in biotechnology.
“Project Onramp has created a new model for extending opportunities in the thriving biotech industry for high-achieving students who don’t have the personal or family connections that often play a big part in awarding internships,” said David Lucchino, chairman of MassBio and CEO and co-founder of Frequency Therapeutics. “The enthusiastic response from leading life sciences companies in Massachusetts has been overwhelming.”
Established industry incumbents as well as rapidly growing startups have created a total of 50 internships for Project Onramp students for summer 2019. Other firms are contributing by providing training, meeting facilities and mentors for our students.
“We jumped at the chance to offer an internship to a Project Onramp student,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D, president and CEO of Cambridge-based Syros, a leader in the development of medicines that control the expression of genes. “In addition to their solid academic credentials, these students bring an unmatched level of drive and commitment. Providing these opportunities to young people who have been historically underrepresented is important to the health and future of our growing industry.”
Syros’ intern is among several Project Onramp interns that will be sponsored by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center as part of its Internship Challenge. The state-funded workforce development program enables small and mid-sized life sciences companies to hire paid interns by reimbursing them for stipends of up to $8,160 per intern.
In addition to scientific and lab opportunities, Project Onramp is providing internships to students in business disciplines such as communications, administration and marketing. Syros’ intern will be assisting in the Human Resources department.
Project Onramp was created in 2019 by the state’s leading life sciences organizations: MassBio, MassBioEd, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and Life Science Cares, working with Bottom Line, a non-profit that helps first-generation-to-college students get into school and succeed. The program is open to undergraduate students who are working with Bottom Line, and is supported in part by funding provided by the State Universities of Massachusetts.