Unpaid Internships for High School Students
Many students are interested in holding an unpaid internship within a Stanford science or engineering laboratory. The Office of Science Outreach is not able to help individual students identify a host lab or project, but you will find some tips in the document to the left.
Students must be at least 16 years old to hold an internship within a research lab, due to the university’s liability policies. Stanford cannot arrange on-campus housing for unpaid interns.
The Department of Labor uses six criteria to determine whether a student working in a lab is an intern or a university employee. To be classified as an internship:
- Training is similar to that which would be given at a school;
- Training is for the benefit of the trainee/intern;
- Intern does not displace regular employees;
- Intern works under close observation;
- Stanford derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern and on occasion, the department/lab’s operations may actually be impeded;
- Interns are not entitled to a job at the completion of the training/internship period.
Faculty interested in hosting interns informally will find a resource to help them here. (2nd bullet)