News | January 29

Project Onramp to Boost Diversity and Tap New Talent With 50 Well-Paid Summer Positions For Students From Low-Income Backgrounds

Massachusetts Biotechnology Industry Creates First-In-Nation Program to Open Doors to Life Science Careers

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Jan. 29 – The leading life sciences organizations in Massachusetts today announced the start of Project Onramp, a new program that matches talented, first-generation students from low-income backgrounds with well-paid summer internships. The internships are intended to serve as a stepping-stone to a rewarding career for a talent pool that has typically had difficulty gaining access to the burgeoning life science industry. It will also help growing Massachusetts biotechnology companies fill the additional 12,000 positions estimated to be created by 2023.

“Project Onramp is a prime example of how we can find innovative solutions to problems when industry and government come together,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This program will build on our goal of promoting workforce training and investing in the skills of Massachusetts works and I look forward to seeing its progress.

Project Onramp is sponsored by four organizations that work to build the industry in Massachusetts and maximize its positive impact on the community: MassBio, MassBioEd, Life Science Cares and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.

The Life Science Cares team joined Bottom Line staff & students to launch Project Onramp. Learn more at

David Lucchino, chairman of MassBio and CEO of Frequency Therapeutics, said, “For students seeking a career in the life sciences, there is nothing as effective as an internship at a local biotech company. But at many companies, internships go unpublicized and are reserved for those with personal connections. Project Onramp will break down those barriers and enable a new, diverse group of young people to contribute to the important work we’re doing in Massachusetts.”

The press conference was held at Framingham State University, a leading member of the state’s university system with a growing life sciences program. Framingham State sophomore Cristina Foster of Dorchester, a 19-year-old majoring in biology and the first in her family to attend college, has been accepted into the program and will be matched with an internship for this summer.

“I’m thrilled to be working in a Project Onramp internship this summer,” said Foster. “This real-world experience will help me reach my goal of becoming a pediatrician.”

Bottom Line, a nonprofit that helps first-generation-to-college students from low income backgrounds get into college, successfully graduate and find meaningful careers, will match students who are attending four-year colleges with summer internships of up to 12 weeks created by local biotechnology companies. The paid internships will include lab and scientific positions as well as business disciplines such as finance, human resources and marketing.

Life sciences companies that want to participate in this transformative program can get more information and commit internships to Project Onramp by visiting

“We’ve committed four internship slots for Summer 2019 to Project Onramp students,” said Julie Campbell, Head of Diversity & Inclusion for North America at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which has several business units in Massachusetts. “We are eager to engage with passionate, talented young people who can contribute to our success while building their own futures in life sciences.”