Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES)

Frequently Asked Questions

On this page:

Q: What kinds of accommodations does PIPES provide for incoming interns throughout the summer program?

  • Transportation: PIPES Staff will pick up and drop off students to and from Hilo Airport at the beginning and end of programming. We provide transportation during the entire week of orientation, to and from all huakaʻi, and to and from reflection camp. Interns will mostly rely on personal vehicles for day-to-day internship commuting. If students do not have any ground transportation on Hawaiʻi Island, PIPES staff can help coordinate support and encourage carpooling and cost-sharing.
  • Flights: Flight arrangements generally depend on the intern’s funding source. Not all interns’ flight accommodations will be met. PIPES will cover flights for interns to and from Honolulu for Hawaii Conservation Conference (HCC).
  • Housing: Interns are expected to acquire their own housing for the 10-week program; if PIPES is able to fund campus housing, it is very limited and preference is given to non-Hawaiʻi island residents/out-of-state interns.
  • Meals: Interns are responsible for their day-to-day meals; PIPES does not provide a meal stipend. Meals and or snacks are provided during: Orientation Week, Māhuahua (professional development) Workshops, Symposium, and Reflection Camp.

Q: How are projects determined for interns? Do interns get to choose their own?

The basis for projects are dictated by the internship program (REU, UH-HIP, MASSIP) that the intern enters into. REU projects are required to be research-focused while UH-HIP and MASSIP can be either research or experiential. Specific projects are then determined mostly by the host organizationʻs needs, criteria, funding, and intern interests are used to help PIPES make a good “match” between host and intern.

Q: Is this program for Native Hawaiians and/or Hawaiʻi residents only?

No, all undergraduates who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. See incoming interns page for eligibility requirements.

Q: Is PIPES open to 2-year college students or 4-year college students only?

All college undergraduate students (and recent graduates-- see question below) are welcome to apply to PIPES.

Q: If I just graduated in the Fall, can I still apply to be a PIPES intern in the summer?

Yes! We allow recently graduated students (within 6 months of graduation) to apply for PIPES.

Q: Do I need to be enrolled in a STEAM major to qualify?

No. All undergraduates, regardless of major, are eligible to apply.

Q: When will applicants know if theyʻve been accepted into the PIPES cohort?

The application review process typically takes 2-3 months for our PIPES staff. Accepted applicants can expect to receive an acceptance or rejection letter mid-April.

Q: Do I need to interview with all potential mentors/projects?

Yes! PIPES staff matches interns with multiple mentors/projects based on their interest and academic/career aspirations. Then interns are required to interview with all potential mentors. We ask all interns to reach out and schedule interviews with potential mentors.

Mentor FAQ

Q: When will mentors know if theyʻve been accepted as a PIPES host mentor?

The application review process, inclusive of interviews with prospective students and mentors, typically takes 2-3 months for our PIPES staff. Accepted applicants can expect to receive an acceptance or rejection email by mid-April.

Q: Do mentors get to choose their intern(s)?

After PIPES goes through an initial first cut of applicants, we give mentors a small pool of potential interns, whose interests fit the given project(s), to interview. Based on mentorʻs ranking of interns after interviews, funding, criteria, and application PIPES staff will make the final decision for the intern-mentor pairing.

Q: Do Mentors need to interview all potential interns?

Yes. PIPES will give mentor(s) a small pool of potential interns to interview after making our first cut of applicants.

Q: What kinds of PIPES program assignments do interns have to do during the internship?

Interns have 4 writing assignments due iteratively throughout the 10-weeks. Time needed for these is heavily dependent on the nature of their project and intern. We expect that each writing component will require at least 3 hours of work to complete. Interns are also required to present their 10-week experience to a public audience at the end of the program symposium.

Q: What is the mentorʻs kuleana (responsibility) for intern assignments?

Mentors need to review intern written assignments and presentations for content prior to being submitted. A timeline for review and submissions will be provided to mentors in the program calendar prior to the start of the summer program.

Q: Do PIPES internships need to be research focused?

No. PIPES internships are project based and can be experimental or research focused.

Q: How much time/weeks do mentors actually have with their intern(s)?

PIPES program activities take up three weeks (Orientation, Hawaii Conservation Conference and Symposium) of the summer internship schedule. 7 weeks will be devoted to the internship.

Q: How much does it cost to host a PIPES intern?

The cost of supporting an intern can range from $7,000-$10,000 depending on location. This includes stipends, airfare, lodging and project supplies. We highly encourage cost sharing when possible. Support PIPES with a one-time or recurring donation

If you have any other questions or concerns, please reach out to one of the PIPES staff. Mahalo!