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Biological Sciences Internships

Lab Internships at the Center for Research on Health in Latin America

Program to take place in 2022

Lab technicians in coats

Internship placements at the Center for Research on Health in Latin America in biological research

Every year, the Center for Research on Health in Latin America (CISeAL) at Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE) welcomes students from OHIO, other universities in Ecuador and international institutions to complete internships at its facility. Participants analyze biological samples and data collected by CISeAL researchers. Examples of research topics include:

  • Mosquito biology, physiology and control
  • Molecular biological techniques for eradicating malaria in Ecuador
  • Chagas disease molecular biology, vector population dynamics and ecology
  • Social and biomedical program assessment
Ecuador lab outside

CISeAL is a state-of-the-art facility that is unique in Ecuador and the region. The 100,976-square-foot facility includes biosafety level 2 and 3 laboratories; a small animal facility; climate-controlled laboratories; offices for researchers, technicians and students; a clinical research suite; and a data management center. The experts affiliated with this center help students learn how to do sophisticated research (or engage in other projects) with significant local impacts in a new country.

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Deadline: Contact us for more information on applications for 2022.


Students may choose to participate for a minimum of two weeks during the summer. The dates are variable and will be established based on student interest and availability of researchers in Ecuador.

Arrangements may be made for other periods of time outside of summer.

The lab experience may be added onto another study-away program in Ecuador, such as the Tropical Disease Research and Service Learning Program, Community and Public Health Program or the Nursing in Ecuador Program.


Students are placed with host families around Quito, and the host families provide meals. PUCE staff coordinate the placements.


Students will receive an orientation and tour of Quito as well as another day trip, typically to a location such as Otavalo Indian Market or Mindo Cloud Forest.


Two credit hours will be assigned for the first two weeks of the program. Additional credits may be available upon request (up to one hour per week).

Students will work with Program Director Janet Duerr to select from the following list of courses:

BIOS 4910 – 2 hours

BIOS 4930 – up to 2 hours

BIOS 4940 - up to 9 hours

Graduate students may enroll in:

BIOS 6820

BIOS 6950

BIOS 8950


Ohio University students and students from other universities must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to participate. Internship placements will be determined on a one-on-one basis and be informed by the backgrounds of the students. Interviews will generally need to be conducted to determine if an internship experience is appropriate. No Spanish language experience is necessary. We will work with staff at PUCE/CISeAL to make sure placements are with individuals who have a high level of command of English.


Graduate Student Budget Worksheet

Undergraduate Student Budget Worksheet

Ohio University Students: Complete the GOIS Online Program Application

Third-year and fourth-year Heritage College medical students applying for faculty-directed programs must also obtain and send a letter from your clinical education office confirming that you have permission to include the program in your schedule and that you are in good academic standing.

Academic and Judicial Checks: An academic and judicial check on all OHIO students is conducted before application and prior to departure.

Non-Ohio University students: Follow the "Non-OHIO Graduate or Undergraduate Instructions" to enroll as a non-degree student at Ohio University before you apply for the Ecuador Internship Program.

Non-OHIO students can e-mail Global Health Coordinator Megan Massey for help with the enrollment process.

Undergraduates: Follow this link to enroll as non-degree student before you apply to the Tropical Disease Research Program.

Graduate students: Follow this link to enroll as non-degree student before you apply to the Tropical Disease Research Program.

*Once students have been notified of their nomination into the program, students will have two weeks to accept or decline their nomination through the GOIS system.

*A non-refundable deposit will be required upon acceptance into the program. The deposit will be applied to the program costs and deducted from the participant’s bill.


OHIO students can apply to the Office of Global Opportunities Summer Travel Grants and other funding opportunities available through the Office of Global Opportunities.

OHIO College of Health Sciences and Professions and Heritage College students can apply to Global Health Travel Awards.

Students participating in this program are eligible for the ITDI Travel Award.



Ohio University Office of Global Opportunities suggests you follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for healthy travel to your destination. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to a program.

Refer to the U.S. Department of State site for information related to safety and security at this destination. Also refer to International SOS for information related to safety and security at this destination. To log in to the International SOS website, please use the OHIO membership ID: 11BCAS000010.


U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year, apply for your passport now.

It is each student’s responsibility to determine the entry and exit requirements specific to his or her personal situation. In Ecuador, a visa would be required for stays beyond 90 days.

For more specific visa-related information, please visit OGO's Visa Information Page.

Information for non-U.S. citizens can be found here.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Janet Duerr, associate professor, biological sciences