Clinical Research Internship Program

Developing and empowering the next generation of cardiovascular health professionals through a cutting-edge research internship program.

Educating the Next Generation

The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) offers one of the most outstanding and unique internship opportunities available to undergraduates who are pre-med or planning a career in medicine. The goal of the research internship program is to develop and empower the next generation of cardiovascular health professionals by offering a robust research experience in the field of cardiology.

During this unique educational experience, the research intern is paired with a physician mentor who is actively engaged as a clinician and researcher at a nationally recognized hospital. At the conclusion of the program, the interns will showcase their research work at an open house and poster session. Many projects result in the intern having the opportunity to be an author on an article published in a national scientific journal. Some interns also have the opportunity to present their work at a national cardiovascular conference.

This internship is made possible thanks to philanthropic support from generous donors.

A photograph of the 10 2024 MHIF Summer Clinical Research Interns

Research Internship Details

Research Internship Overview

Research Internship Overview

Be a part of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation’s exceptional 12-week cardiovascular clinical research internship designed for undergraduate students who are pre-med or planning a career in medicine. During this unique educational experience you will be paired with a physician mentor who is actively engaged as a clinician and researcher at a nationally recognized hospital. You will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in groundbreaking cardiovascular research
  • Shadow a physician mentor in hospital rounds, watch procedures and listen as care teams discuss cases.
  • Observe an open-heart procedure.
  • Attend case conferences where cross-functional care teams discuss difficult cases.
  • Shadow cardiovascular nurses in the ICU and post-surgical care area.
  • Observe leading-edge cardiovascular diagnostic services.
  • Reflect on your career options while hearing physicians’ candid stories of career journeys and passions during lunch and learns.
  • Participate in interactive medical device industry tours and a hands-on tour of cardiovascular specimens at a nationally renowned heart registry.

At the conclusion of the internship, you will showcase your research work at an open house and poster session. Many projects result in the intern having the opportunity to be an author on an article published in a national scientific journal. Some interns will also have the opportunity to present their work at a national cardiovascular conference.

Location: On the campus of the flagship hospital of Allina Health, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Program dates: May 22 - August 9, 2024

Compensation: A $550 per week stipend paid bi-weekly to assist with expenses for housing and living expenses (no direct housing provided). Scholarship opportunities may be available for accepted applicants who need further support for travel or living expenses.

Key Dates

Application Opens: November 10, 2023

Deadline: January 3, 2024

Selection Notification: March 4, 2024

Program Dates: May 22 - August 9, 2024


  • Undergraduate or recent graduate from a four-year college and not yet accepted to medical school. Preference will be given to those who have completed their junior year by the start of the research internship. Strong applicants who have completed their sophomore year or just graduated from college may also be considered.
  • Must be enrolled in or a very recent graduate from an accredited degree program and not yet accepted to medical school.
  • GPA of 3.60 or above.
  • Applicants must be US citizens or have Permanent Resident status (be able to provide proof of employability through completion of the I-9 Form).
  • The program welcomes applicants from all backgrounds, including but not limited to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) individuals, individuals who are historically underrepresented in health-related sciences and medical fields, individuals who face greater obstacles to educational achievements and individuals who can contribute to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the health-related sciences and medical fields.
  • Must be able to complete 8-12 hours of independent, online CITI training (basic training required to participate in human subjects/clinical research) by April 30.
  • Available to participate full-time (at least 40 hours per week) in the internship May 22 through August 9, 2024.

Steps Before You Apply

  • Review the sample application PDF and prepare responses to the short answer and essay questions. Please note: this is an example and the application for the next cohort may change.
  • Write a personal motivation statement (3,500 characters including spaces).
  • Prepare a one-page resume (save as PDF or Word doc with file name First Name_Last Name).
  • Note that you will have the opportunity to make changes to your application before submitting.

Program Components

In preparing for a career in medicine, this experience will position you well through a unique opportunity to participate in cardiovascular clinical research, shadow clinicians in action and witness everything from a routine day to extraordinary life-saving procedures.

  • Orientation: Three days of orientation will prepare you for your research project, ground you in cardiovascular essentials and introduce you to the colleagues you will be working with, including your research physician, staff mentor and fellow interns.
  • Research project: You will be paired with a physician who is the Principal Investigator on a research project and a staff mentor. In addition to capturing data from the electronic health record, organizing and analyzing the data and preparing conclusions, you may also write case reports and support other research projects.
  • Observations: To provide you with exposure to what a career is really like in the field of medicine, you will observe various cardiovascular procedures, shadow healthcare professionals and visit cardiovascular related departments at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Additionally, interns shadow healthcare professionals in the ICU and post-procedural care areas.
  • Field Trips: Minneapolis is a hub for headquarters of major medical device companies and start-ups. You will have custom tours of some major medical device companies, the renowned Visible Heart Lab at the University of Minnesota and the Jesse E. Edwards Registry of Cardiovascular Disease. This registry is a repository for heart specimens of almost every known type of heart disease, including rare congenital and adult heart diseases.
  • Poster Session: The culminating event of the research internship program, you will display your outcomes on a research poster and present to mentors, other medical professionals, MHIF board members, family and friends.
  • Cohort Activities: The internship draws talent from across the country. Many interns gain friends for life through their summer experience in Minneapolis. In addition to MHIF-organized activities, interns plan activities for the weekends. Past interns have enjoyed camping, hiking, canoeing, BBQs and exploring the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many applications do you typically receive?
150-250 each year.

How many research interns are accepted?
7-9 new interns plus one lead intern from the previous cohort.

Should I apply if my GPA is below 3.6?
A 3.6 GPA or above is highly preferred. The application has a space to explain extenuating circumstances.

Is a social security number (SSN) required to participate in this research internship?
Yes, a SSN is required by the US Internal Revenue Service of all employers who report wages (stipend). Further information regarding SSNs can be found on the Social Security fact page.

Can I submit a letter of recommendation with my application?
No. The online application with an attached resume are the accepted items.

The academic calendar for my school ends after Memorial Day or starts before the research internship program ends. Can I still apply?
Interns are to be available to participate full-time in the internship from May 22 through August 9, 2024 with the first three days of orientation being key to a successful internship. Explain your circumstances in the eligibility section for consideration.

I anticipate attending summer classes. Can I still apply?
This research internship is a full-time endeavor. It is not advised to apply.

What are the typical days/hours for this internship? What if I have a conflict?
The internship program begins May 22 and ends August 9. MHIF is closed on May 27 for Memorial Day, June 19 and July 4. If interns have an important conflict, it should be pre-approved and should be limited to no more than 1-2 business days during the internship.

Core intern work days/hours are Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. Projects may require additional hours as deadlines approach. There are also some evening events or early morning observations.

I will be applying to medical school or doing medical school interviews during the summer. Can I still apply?
Completing medical school applications is acceptable and needs to be completed outside of the research internship work hours. Attending medical school interviews are possible as long as the intern fulfills the expectations for the internship, which can require additional hours over and above scheduled work hours.

What statistical and software skills are needed?
Interns will be using statistical software (including R), Excel, Word, and PowerPoint to build and maintain data dictionaries, do data cleaning, data validation, data verification, and work with demographic data. While some training will be provided, a working knowledge of these tools will be helpful.

Do you provide housing support?
Generally we are not able to offer housing support. However, we share intern contact information for roommate collaborations and recommend researching the University of Minnesota campus (approximately two miles away), Facebook and Craigslist for short-term rental or sublet options. Scholarship opportunities may be available for accepted applicants who need housing/transportation support.

Can I apply again, if I am not selected this time?
Yes, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.

Where can send a question if my question is not answered here?

2024 Internship Application

Applications for the 2024 internship are closed. Applications for the 2025 cohort will open in November - keep watch for more details.

Cheers to 20 Years of Interns!

During the past 20 years, 235 clinical research interns have contributed to 223 posters and presentations at national scientific sessions, 219 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and 59% of former interns are now practicing physicians!

In celebration of this 20-year landmark, we were excited to reconnect with Dr. Aaron Tande, MD, who was part of our first internship program in 2002. Hear what Aaron has to say about his internship experience 20 years later:

Intern Program Highlights

Since 2002, 235 research interns have contributed to…

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223 posters and presentations at national scientific sessions

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219 publications in peer-reviewed journals

Where are they now?

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59% are physicians

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24% are in medical school

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12% are in healthcare related fields

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5% are in non-healthcare fields

2021 interns at twins game

Intern Experience

During the summer research internship, interns will be exposed to a vast array of clinical research and educational experiences. They will be matched with a physician and staff mentor, who will guide them through a clinical research project throughout the summer. This valuable exposure takes place at a nationally ranked and award-winning hospital, Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In addition to many observations of surgery and procedures in the hospital, interns will embark on several field trips to destinations including the University of Minnesota Heart Lab, medical device companies and research organizations. Weekly Lunch and Learn presentations from the renowned cardiologists at the Minneapolis Heart Institute® and other guest speakers will offer exposure to the wide range of research happening at MHIF and unique career paths.

2024 Intern Program Donors

This cutting-edge educational experience is made possible by the generous contributions of individual donors, local foundations and industry organizations who share in the belief that hands-on experience is critical for tomorrow’s leaders. Financial support from donors means interns can work with both a staff and a physician mentor to learn about the research process and cardiology.

Thank you to the following generous donors for their contributions to the 2024 MHIF Internship Program:

Named Internships:

Heart Rhythm Intern

Cline and Dianne Hickok Intern

Leonardus Loos and Shelley Holzemer Intern

Dubes Family Intern

Pete Pierce Intern

Rose Peterson Memorial Intern

Discovery Intern

Drs. Richard and Jeanette Hoffman Intern

Program Donors:

M. Nicholas Burke, MD & Sue Slattery-Burke

Ivan Chavez, MD & Gail Chavez

Leah and Patrick Coveney

Jerry and Charlotte Golinvaux Family Fund (Bank of America)

Meghan and Russel Holmes

Hopkins Youth Hockey Association

David Hurrell, MD & Stacey Hurrell

Michael and Cara Jennings

Minnesota Hospital Association

Charles and Shirley Paterson

Denise Windenburg and Jill Schwimmer 

2024 Intern Poster Session

 Join us on Thursday, August 8 from 4 – 6pm for an open house and poster reception to celebrate the achievements of our 2024 research intern cohort! Learn about the internship program and the range of investigator-initiated research projects our talented interns have supported. The reception will be held at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation Learning Center (920 E. 28th Street, Suite 100). Wine, beer and light hors d’oeuvres will be served. We hope to see you there!

Special thank you to our exhibitors for their support of this year’s poster session:

Platinum Supporters:  
The logo for Edwards Lifesciences. The letter E surrounded by a grey background and underneath states Edwards

Gold Supporters:    
Boehringer Ingelheim Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Novo Nordisk Inc.  
Interns group photo

Support the Intern Program

Help fund the next generation of cardiovascular experts!

Give the Gift of Hope
4 photos of families smiling

The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) strives to create a world without heart and vascular disease. To achieve this bold vision, we are dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health of individuals and communities through innovative research and education.

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, we can continue this life-saving work. Please make a gift to support the area of greatest need.

Brad Paisley at Heart 360: Concert for Heart Research

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Brad Paisley at Heart 360 Concert

Ready to celebrate with a community that has heart? We are excited to announce Heart 360 Concert for Heart Research on Saturday, November 2 at The Armory with headliner and award-winning country music singer Brad Paisley! Purchase GA tickets via Ticketmaster, or Premium VIP tickets today: