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You can get a mentor who is a professional scientist or engineer in industry or government through MentorNet. Apply online at at anytime during the year. Open to Dartmouth men and women undergraduates, graduates, post docs and junior faculty.

Women in Science Project
6243 Parker House, 2nd floor
(Located in a two-story white frame house)
Hanover, NH
Phone: (603) 646-3690
Email: WISP@Dartmouth.EDU
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Why WISP at Dartmouth?

Nearly the same percentage of men and women enter Dartmouth with an interest in the sciences, math and engineering. However, fewer women continue on to major in science. Ongoing research tells us that while women are just as capable as men there are societal, cultural and academic discouragements that can affect who persists in, and who leaves the sciences. WISP offers connections, information, and opportunities to help young women students develop their talent and potential. The WISP research internship program capitalizes on first-year students’ strong motivation upon entering college by providing connections with faculty, graduate students, and other researchers as well as the opportunity to experience science research first-hand.

“Working in a laboratory setting for the first time completely solidified my passion for science and has made the lab my office of choice. I love working in the science field, and my internship started me off on that path!”

Benefits of a WISP Research Internship

1. Good mentoring teaches life skills like critical thinking, responsibility, time management and assertiveness.

2. A research experience can sharpen the focus of high-caliber students who are already interested in science as a career.

3. A good research mentor provides valuable coaching, support and feedback in developing future science scholars.

4. A first-year internship can be an entry point for future research opportunities on campus during their undergraduate years.

Selected Findings from the 2011 Post-Internship Questionnaire

  • 90% of the interns indicated the experience met or exceeded their expectations
  • 80% felt that a major in science, math or engineering was likely
  • 41% explored a field about which they knew little or nothing
  • 67% developed a better understanding of the research process in their field
  • 91% will seek out another research experience
  • 71% plan to keep in touch with their sponsor
  • 71% agreed that presenting a poster at the symposium was a satisfying way to culminate the internship
  • 79% felt well prepared to talk about their research work with symposium attendees
“I strongly believe that if it were not for that internship, I would never have had the incentive to continue to study science.”

The Value of Being a WISP Sponsor

(from 2011 Sponsor Post-Internship Questionnaire)

  • 90% said the quality of their intern's work in the lab met or exceeded expectations
  • 89% said the quality of their intern's work on her science poster met or exceeded expectations
  • 97% rated their overall experience as a WISP sponsor as positive or very positive
  • 71% asked their interns to continue working after the WISP internship concludes

WISP Sponsors share the most positive aspects of being a WISP internship mentor

The most positive aspect of being a WISP Sponsor:

  • Helped me gain a better understanding of first and/or second year students
  • Improved my teaching skills
  • Enhanced my mentoring skills
  • Students provided a fresh perspective on my research

Impact of WISP

Responses to our 20th Anniversary WISP alumnae survey in 2011 indicate that 67% of the respondents currently work in a science-related field. The factors at Dartmouth that encouraged these alumnae to pursue a career in the sciences were: specific classes; faculty advisors or mentors; and undergraduate research experiences.

* Number of WISP research interns since 1990:                1,494

* Number of Dartmouth faculty who have mentored interns: 300

* Number of women (at Dartmouth) who majored in the sciences:  45 in 1990 vs. 102 in 2010

For more information:

See "WISP by the Numbers" and selected findings from 2011 WISP Alumnae Survey in  Anniversary Booklet




Last Updated: 11/15/11