Internships are a complicated issue given our mixed status as student and employee. Here are some resources and tips regarding this issue.

Our contract explicitly states, “Internships are not governed by this Agreement” (Article 8.6). This means our union's role in internships is extremely limited. Neither the contract nor the union have any direct impact on any internship or whether or not it can be taken for credit. This has always been governed by OHSU's academic policy and this therefore legally outside our purview.

OHSU’s academic policy regarding internships can be found on the GR FAQ Smartsheet here. This policy can also be found on O2 by searching for graduate researchers, clicking the Graduate Researchers | Graduate Researchers link. Then click on the link FAQ for GRs, it is under the stipend section.

For simplicity, the policy is “Internships are determined by school policy or procedures and will be assessed on a case-by-case situation. Faculty and Graduate Researchers should contact [email protected] to discuss individual internship requests.”

In the past GRs who have taken internships have had a few different outcomes:

  1. GRs take the internship as part of their research training for their PhD (this requires OHSU approval) and they maintain GR status and benefits.
  2. GRs take the internship in addition to their 40-hs/week of research training at OHSU (Article 10: Hours) as GRs can take on outside work (Article 8.5: Outside Work).
  3. GRs can take a Leave of Absence during the time of the internship. This ends the GR’s status as a union member and the protections provided for in our contract (including stipends and benefits, see Article 8.7 for full details).

For further questions about internships feel free to email [email protected] or [email protected].


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