Co-op and Employment Opportunities

Basic Co-op Information

The Experiential Learning in Industry (ELI) course gives master's students the opportunity to engage in six-month paid positions at top pharmaceutical, device, and biotechnology companies--all while earning a salary, gaining valuable industry experience, and earning course credit. Any student interested in applying for a co-op must read the Co-op FAQ prior to contacting the Program Director, Jacquelyn Schell, Ph.D. ([email protected]).



  • The ELI, also known as a co-op, is an opportunity for masters students in biotechnology to receive course credit while they work on-site at a biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, or medical device company. ELIs may also be available in other businesses that provide relevant services/expertise to the aforementioned companies including patent law, licensing, regulatory and consulting. ​
  • ELIs are NOT guaranteed and are competitive. You can only register for BIOL 2180 after you receive permission from the Graduate Program Director.


  • ELI positions are 6 months in duration. You may apply for an ELI position that takes place either January-June or June- December.


  • If you are enrolled in the 2 year Masters program you may apply for an ELI that begins during January of your first year, June of your first year or January of your second year.
  • If you are a 5 th year Masters student interested in pursuing an ELI, you must petition to the Graduate School to extend your time in the program to 1.5 years. You may apply for an ELI that begins during January of your first year or June of your first year. To extend your 5th year Masters to 1.5 years, you and your research advisor must fill out and sign a petition to alter your course of study. The petition must be delivered to the Graduate Program Director 2 weeks before you wish to alter your course of study (mid-January). 5th Year students participating in an ELI will have time for status changes (full-time/part-time/less than part-time). Please speak with the Program Director about your specific situation and see the guidelines for registering for courses for Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering masters students (Brown 5th Year Students) below.
    View Course Guidelines


  • If you are a Masters student who is pursuing the ScM degree and needs to do research for your thesis in a professor’s lab, you must discuss with your professor your interest in an ELI opportunity. It is best to have this discussion prior to starting your thesis research. An ELI opportunity is a serious commitment to work full time at a company for six months. This six months will significantly detract from your time to do thesis research in your professor’s lab.
  • To be eligible for an ELI opportunity, all Masters students pursuing the ScM degree must fill out a consent form documenting your discussion with your professor, the agreed upon time for your ELI and your professor’s consent to this plan.
    Download ELI Consent Form
  • If you are interested in an ELI for the January-June term, you must e-mail your CV to the Graduate Program Director by October 1st . If you are interested in an ELI for the June December term, you must e-mail your CV to the Graduate Program Director by March 1st . Late CVs will not be considered. CVs must be sent as a Word document. E-mail to [email protected]. If you are pursuing the ScM degree you must also submit a signed professor’s consent form. Your CVs will be reviewed, edited if necessary and returned to you via e-mail. Your final CV should be saved as a PDF document in preparation for submission to an ELI opportunity.
  • Brown University has dynamic relationships with numerous companies and companies have changing needs and resources. Each year, multiple companies with ELI opportunities will request that CVs of prospective students be sent to them by the Graduate Program Director or submitted to the company online directly by you. You will be informed of these companies, the method of CV submission and the deadline of CV submission by the Graduate Program Director.
    Download CV Template


Brown University has dynamic relationships with numerous companies at various locations throughout the United States. Affiliated companies can change from year to year. Companies that have hosted ELI students in the past include Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Sanofi Genzyme, Amgen, Molecular MS Diagnostics (MMSD), and Boston Scientific.

  • If you participate in an ELI opportunity, you are expected to work full time, typically 35-40 hours each week. The company will pay you in the range of $20-$25/hr. Specifics are determined by the company.
  • As per standard practice in the industry, the company may ask you to sign a confidentiality agreement, a non-compete agreement or other agreements on condition of employment. Each company has their own policies.
  • If you participate in an ELI opportunity, you will need to be covered by your own health care insurance or plans. The company will not provide health insurance, nor health care services.
  • If your ELI position is beyond a reasonable commuting distance from Providence, you will be required to move close to the company and obtain temporary housing. Moving expenses and housing are NOT covered by the company, nor Brown University. Companies may provide helpful informational resources. If you are not willing to relocate for an ELI, you should disclose this to the Graduate Program Director when submitting your CV so that you can be matched appropriately.
  • You will receive 1 credit for successful completion of an ELI. The ELI course has a standard 1 credit tuition fee associated with it.
  • If you are an international student or you are not a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., visa restrictions may apply. Please contact and work with the Office of International Student Scholars (OISS) to determine your eligibility to participate in an ELI.
  • You must complete the entire ELI as initially agreed upon between you and the company. Failure to do so will result in an INC for a grade.

Potential industry partners offering co-op experiences to our students: 

  • Abiomed
  • Adler, Pollock & Sheehan
  • Amgen
  • Becton Dickenson (BD)
  • Bluebird
  • Boston Scientific
  • Cocoon Biotech
  • CRBard 
  • Eli Lilly
  • Genentech
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • Millipore Sigma
  • ModeRNA
  • New Balance
  • Pfizer
  • RI Orthopedic Foundation
  • Roche
  • Sanofi-Genzyme
  • Thermo Fisher
  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals