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12 Best Research Mentorship Programs

Are you looking for an opportunity to research your area of interest with the support of the best academics in the world? Here are some of the best research programs we’ve found that provide mentorship opportunities to high school students.


  • Programs from Ivy Leagues and other top colleges

  • Build relationships with the best minds in research

  • Programs in artificial intelligence, media, STEM & more

  • In-person and online options

  • Opportunities for students from all over the world

  • Opportunities to receive stipends

Excited about research but looking to build out a stellar research project you can call your own? Get matched with the brightest PhDs in the world for 1-1 mentorship and begin your research journey today! Check out Lumiere - we had 2100 students apply this past year!

10 Best Research Mentorship Programs

Subject areas: Engineering & Natural Sciences

Location: Princeton, NJ

Cost: Free

Application deadline: March 23, 2023

Program dates: 5-6 weeks over the summer

Program selectivity: High

Eligibility: Applicants must be high school students between the ages of 16-18

The Laboratory Learning Program is a full-time research experience in the sciences or engineering where students take part in ongoing research programs. This program ensures that students are closely supervised by Princeton faculty and research staff. Each research opportunity has its own schedule since they are customized according to the schedules of the research mentors! Please note that this program is not a summer camp, students who are accepted will have to find their own housing.

2. Veritas AI - AI Fellowship

Location: Virtual


  • $1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program

  • $4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship 

  • $4,700 for both

  • Need-based financial aid is available. You can apply here

Application deadline: On a rolling basis. Applications for fall cohort have closed September 3, 2023. 

Program dates: Various according to the cohort

Program selectivity: Moderately selective

Eligibility: Ambitious high school students located anywhere in the world. AI Fellowship applicants should either have completed the AI Scholars program or exhibit past experience with AI concepts or Python.

Application Requirements: Online application form, answers to a few questions pertaining to the students background & coding experience, math courses, and areas of interest. 

Veritas AI focuses on providing high school students who are passionate about the field

of AI a suitable environment to explore their interests. The programs include collaborative learning, project development, and 1-on-1 mentorship. These programs are designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni and you can expect a great, fulfilling educational experience. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of Python or are recommended to complete the AI scholars program before pursuing the fellowship. 

The AI Fellowship program will have students pursue their own independent AI research project. Students work on their own individual research projects over a period of 12-15 weeks and can opt to combine AI with any other field of interest. In the past, students have worked on research papers in the field of AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, AI & education, and more! You can find examples of previous projects here

Location: Virtual 

Application Date: May 21, 2024 for the summer cohort, and September 25, 2024 for the fall cohort 

Program Dates: 

  • Summer seminar - June 24, 2024 - September 2, 2024

  • Fall seminar - October 23, 2024 - February 19, 2025

  • Lab dates are flexible, but you must apply 4 weeks in advance.

Eligibility: High school students with good academic standing (>3.67/4.0 GPA) can apply. Most accepted students are 10th/11th graders! Only a couple of tracks require formal prerequisites, more details of which can be found here.

Horizon offers trimester-long research programs for high school students across subject areas such as data science, machine learning, political theory, biology, chemistry, neuroscience, psychology, and more! It is one of the very few research programs for high school students that offers a choice between quantitative and qualitative research! 

Once you select a particular subject track and type of research you’ll be paired with a professor or Ph.D. scholar (from a top university) who will mentor you throughout your research journey. You’ll work to create a 20-page, university-level research paper that you can send to prestigious journals for publication as a high school student. 

This program is a solid opportunity for you to pursue a research program in highly specialized fields, under the guidance of a top scholar. The program also provides a letter of recommendation for each student, as well as detailed project feedback that you can use to work on future projects and on college applications. Apply here!

Subject areas: STEM

Location: New York

Cost: Free

Application deadline: December 9, 2022

Program dates: 2 years for sophomores,1 year for juniors (6-7 weeks of mentorship, July - August)

Program selectivity: High

Eligibility: Applicants must be high school sophomores and juniors nominated by their high school teachers

Regeneron is a leading biotechnology company that invents, develops, and commercializes life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. They facilitate a High School Mentorship Program in an attempt to spread their enthusiasm amongst high school students who wish to engage in scientific research. This program aims to provide students an opportunity to work with Regeneron scientists both inside and outside the lab to develop their scientific knowledge and critical thinking skills. If you’re intrigued by industrial medicine innovation, do check out this program.

Subject areas: Law, medicine & STEM

Location: Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Cost: Free

Application deadline: May 2023 (based on last year’s calendar)

Program dates: September - May (year-long)

Program selectivity: High

Eligibility: Applicants must be high school sophomores and juniors from Philadelphia; students enrolled in Philadelphia public and public charter schools are especially encouraged to apply

The Provost’s Summer Mentorship Program (SMP) is a signature initiative designed by UPenn to increase college access for first-generation, under-represented students. It’s a four-week summer program where students engage in hands-on, experiential learning-based programming to explore various career choices. Based on your application, students are paired with one of the five affiliate University of Pennsylvania Professional Schools.

Subject areas: Art

Location: Ithaca, New York, or Rome, Italy

Cost: $1,680 per credit

Application deadline: December 5, 2022

Program dates: 3 - 6 sessions, January 23 - January 30

Program selectivity: Medium

Eligibility: Applicants must be at least 15 years of age and must be a high-achieving high school sophomore, junior, or senior (or the international equivalent)

The Cornell Art Mentorship Program is a new student-run opportunity created by B.F.A. (bachelor of fine arts) seniors in Cornell's College of Art, Architecture, and Planning. The program offers multiple courses in art, sculpture, and transmedia, and provides an exclusive opportunity for high school students in the Ithaca area to showcase their work in Olive Tjaden Hall's exhibition spaces. The program strives to create a professional experience for high school students where they can also ask questions about being an artist or anything that they may want to know in the art world.

Subject areas: Astrophysics

Location: Harvard or MIT

Cost: Free; Stipend paid by City of Cambridge

Application deadline: May 2023 (based on last year’s calendar)

Program dates: September - May (year-long)

Program selectivity: Extremely high

Eligibility: Applicants must be local high-school sophomores, juniors, and seniors

This program runs through the school year and gives students the opportunity to work alongside astrophysicists and climate scientists as mentors, on the Harvard and MIT campuses. It includes monthly workshops with the director and guest lecturers and an end-of-the-year symposium where students will present their research in talks at Harvard.

Subject areas: Chemical Research

Location: Stanford, CA

Cost: Free

Application deadline: May 1, 2023

Program dates: June 20th - July 1st, 2023 (based on last year’s calendar)

Program selectivity: High

Eligibility: Applicants must be over the age of 16 by the start of the program. US citizens and permanent residents - particularly women and under-represented minorities - are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to local students since this is not an on-campus housing program.

This program is hosted annually by the chemistry department at Stanford University and aims to provide cutting-edge chemical research to high school students. All the while shadowing a graduate student mentor as they work in the laboratory. Women and under-represented minorities interested in sciences are encouraged to apply!

Subject areas: Research & Innovation

Location: MIT

Cost: Free; receive funding up to $1,000

Application deadline: January 1, 2023

Program dates: ~6 months

Program selectivity: High

Eligibility: Applicants must be full-time high school students & must have permanent U.S. residency during the 2022-2023 academic year. U.S. citizenship is not required.

Rather than requiring students to have completed a research project before applying, THINK caters to students who have done extensive research on the background of a potential research project and are looking for additional guidance in the early stages of their project. The program is organized by a group of undergraduates at MIT and seeks proposals in the field of science, technology, and engineering, including green technologies and practical devices for software applications. If you have experience in research, this program would be a great fit for you.

10. Boston University's Research in Science & Engineering (RISE)

Location: Boston University Campus: Boston, MA

Cost: $8,558 (residential); $5,570 (commuter)

Application Deadline: February 14, 2023

Program Dates: July 2-August 11

Eligibility: Rising seniors

RISE is a 6-week non-credit program for academically-motivated rising seniors who are interested in scientific research. There are 2 RISE tracks available to students: Internship and Practicum. The RISE Internship track gives students the opportunity to conduct research projects with faculty mentors. Internship students will conduct research for 40 hours per week under the guidance of a faculty member, postdoctoral fellow, or graduate student mentor and will perform research in their chosen discipline to acquire valuable technical and analytical skills. The RISE Practicum track gives students the opportunity to conduct group research in computational neurobiology. Practicum students conduct collaborative research in a university setting under the guidance of a Boston University instructor.

Subject areas: 24 fields (e.g., biology, economics, engineering, mathematics, etc.)

Location: Mix of virtual and in-person

Cost: $4,700 (commuter option), $6,599 (residential option)

Application deadline: March 15, 2023

Program dates: June 20 - August 4, 2023

Program selectivity: Moderate

Eligibility: Applicants must currently be a high school sophomore or junior (outstanding 9th graders accepted on a case-by-case basis)

UC Santa Barbara holds a summer program each year that is focused on providing students with deep research opportunities. In the program, students spend 30-40 hours per week working with their research mentor and building a research presentation. The program also provides university credit with two additional courses as part of the program - research presentation techniques and introduction to research.

This program is unique because it allows students to be exposed to a wide variety of interdisciplinary research topics, and then rank a selection of projects they would like to work on. They offer programs in 24 different areas including the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. All students will choose a project and a research mentor (graduate student, postdoc, or faculty) to conduct hands-on, university-level research with.

Subject areas: Ecology

Location: Wave Hill (Bronx, NY)

Cost: Receive $3,900 as compensation for the 14-month program. Other benefits include earning 9 college credits and 30 hours of community service

Application deadline: Applications for 2023 are not yet open

Program dates: June 2023 - August 2024 (tentatively, based on last year’s schedule)

Program selectivity: High

Eligibility: High school student, 16 years old by June 15, 2023, and a New York City resident eligible to work in the United States.

This 14-month program offers motivated high school students a unique opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of ecology and participate in hands-on fieldwork and authentic science research. They also directly contribute to local efforts by participating in important field research with local scientists and restoration practitioners. If you're looking to work in the grassroots of ecological New York, this program is for you.

If you're looking for a real-world internship that can help boost your resume while applying to college, we recommend Ladder Internships!

Ladder Internships is a selective program equipping students with virtual internship experiences at startups and nonprofits around the world! 

The startups range across a variety of industries, and each student can select which field they would most love to deep dive into. This is also a great opportunity for students to explore areas they think they might be interested in, and better understand professional career opportunities in those areas.

The startups are based all across the world, with the majority being in the United States, Asia and then Europe and the UK. 

The fields include technology, machine learning and AI, finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, healthcare and medicine, media and journalism and more.

You can explore all the options here on their application form. As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project that is of genuine need to the startup they are working with, and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding you through the internship and helping you navigate the startup environment. 

Cost: $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Location:  Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application deadline: April 16 and May 14

Program dates: 8 weeks, June to August

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates and gap year students!

One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are interested in a selective, structured research program, consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, an online high school program for students founded by Harvard and Oxford researchers. The program pairs you with a full-time researcher to develop your own independent research project, in any discipline of your choice. Last year over 2100 students applied for 500 slots in the research program! You can find the application form here.

Are you looking for more kinds of programs? Here are some of our blogs like 15 best free summer programs for high school students for more free programs, and other virtual programs like 15 Virtual Research Opportunities for High School Students.

Dhvani (the-one-e) is a program manager at Lumiere, in addition to being an entrepreneur, dialogue facilitator, and boxer. She graduated from UC Davis where she studied Design, Psychology, and Sustained Dialogue. She has a passion for all things education, inclusion, and empowerment!



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