April 9, 2021

Biotech internships in a pandemic? Diversity-boosting Project Onramp adjusts to COVID-19, moves into Philadelphia, plots further expansion

Looking to summer 2021, Project Onramp is preparing for more remote internships, but these won’t be limited to students and companies in Massachusetts.  

“In addition to all the Massachusetts students, we’ve been able to offer companies some students who are from schools as close as Connecticut, but also UCLA, Rice University and the University of Chicago,” Neel said. “So, we’ve been able to broaden their reach because of the remote work.” 

And the program has set up shop in another state: In February, Project Onramp announced its expansion to Philadelphia. 

Project Onramp, a program sponsored by four Massachusetts-based organizations, kicked off in January 2019 with the goal of giving first-generation students from low-income backgrounds a steppingstone to careers in the biotech industry. Internships play a big role in this career path but can be hard to come by for students who may not know how to secure an internship, don’t have personal connections to people in the industry or are unaware that working in biotech is a viable career option. 

As part of an ongoing and strategic effort to support the development of a diverse workforce talent pipeline for the life sciences industry, the MLSC partnered with MassBio, MassBioEd, Life Science Cares, and Bottom Line to launch Project Onramp.