I am currently in a research internship where the topic which has been given to me is quite new to me and I don't think I'll be able to produce anything "publishable" by the end of session (4 months). I also have issues as I'm working for home and I wasn't provided any additional compute power via cloud.

If I only generate a report of what I studied and some nominal findings can I term the experience as an "internship"?

I am asking this because I am in the process of structuring my resume now and am planning to apply for grad school.

I am aware this is quite opinion based but a few answers will be highly appreciated and helpful!

1 Answer 1


Most undergraduate research experiences, even when successful, do not result in a scientific publication.

The time is simply too short and the experience of the student typically too little to produce a publication-worthy result in that time. Moreover, because the supervisor knows that, in many cases undergraduates are given tasks that will be useful contributions but are not even on a path for publication!

Moreover, even if you did end up with a publication, the people reviewing your application would have little way of telling how much was really done by you versus your supervisor and/or other coauthors.

The primary value of most undergraduate research experiences, from a grad school application point of view, is if your supervisor likes your work and writes you a nice letter of recommendation, talking about your aptitude for research, your good attitude, and your contributions to their project.

Bottom line: as an undergraduate, don't worry about publications (though they're great if you can get them). Worry instead about doing something useful and interesting that will earn you a nice letter of recommendation.

  • Thank you for this answer!! It was EXACTLY what I was looking for!
    – Academic
    Commented Feb 12, 2021 at 4:04

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