If you are a high school student with a passion for biology, machine learning, and computer science, you should definitely consider pursuing a biotechnology internship. Biotech offers a pathway to explore, understand, and ultimately contribute to groundbreaking developments that can shape the future of healthcare, agriculture, and more.
However, let's be clear right from the start – landing one of these internships is not an easy feat. Biotech internships for high school students require a certain level of knowledge, dedication, and a passion for the subject. But for those who are up to the challenge, the rewards are immense.
In this blog, we'll explore 10 biotech internships for high schoolers and why taking the plunge into this world of scientific discovery can set you on an extraordinary path toward a rewarding and impactful career in biotechnology.
These internships will also allow you to gain practical, real-world experience in the biotech industry, enhancing your résumé and increasing your competitiveness on college applications.
Location: Stanford University
Program dates: June 17 to August 4
Application Deadline: November 30
Eligibility: High school and community college students considering careers in biomedical and biological sciences and/or healthcare. Students must be age 16 or older at the time of the program to apply.
The Stanford Science, Technology, and Reconstructive Surgery Internship Program offers an extraordinary opportunity for students interested in biotechnology to explore the intersection of medical innovation and advanced biotech applications. Hosted by the prestigious Stanford University, this program provides a unique and immersive experience. It focuses on the cutting-edge field of reconstructive surgery, which relies heavily on biotechnological advances to improve patient outcomes. Participants gain hands-on experience working alongside leading reconstructive surgeons and researchers, exposing them to state-of-the-art biotech tools and techniques. This program not only equips students with practical skills in areas such as tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and medical devices but also instills a deep appreciation for the transformative impact of biotechnology in the medical field. The Stanford Science, Technology, and Reconstructive Surgery Internship Program is a superb choice for those looking to combine their passion for biotechnology with a commitment to medical innovation and patient care, setting them on a path to contribute to both the biotech and healthcare industries in meaningful ways.
Application deadline: Multiple deadlines throughout the year (Fall deadline on August 27, 2023)
Eligibility: All high school students
Program dates: 8-week programs with multiple cohorts throughout the year
Financial assistance: Available
The Ladder Internships are a remarkable opportunity for students interested in biotechnology, offering a transformative experience to young minds aspiring to make a mark in this dynamic field. These internships provide a structured pathway for high school students to engage in real-world research and innovation. What sets the Ladder Internships apart is their emphasis on mentorship, giving students the chance to work alongside experienced biotech professionals, learn the ropes of cutting-edge research, and contribute to meaningful projects. Participants gain hands-on laboratory experience, exposure to diverse biotech disciplines, and the chance to explore areas such as genomics, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. The program not only equips students with practical skills but also nurtures a deep passion for biotechnology. Moreover, it instills a sense of purpose by highlighting the potential to positively impact healthcare, the environment, and numerous other industries. Ladder Internships offer a valuable and well-rounded experience that can set students on a rewarding and impactful career path in biotechnology.
Program dates: End of June to Mid August
Application Deadline: January
Eligibility: Must be currently a high school junior or senior in the 2022-2023 school year (i.e. 11th or 12th grade at the time of application) OR a full-time CC student (within first three years of CC)
Stanford's SHTEM: Summer Internship stands out as an exceptional opportunity for students with a keen interest in biotechnology. Hosted by one of the world's leading research institutions, this program offers an enriching and transformative experience that immerses high school students in the realm of biotechnology. SHTEM provides a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum covering various aspects of biotech, from molecular biology and genetics to bioprocessing and bioinformatics. What makes this internship particularly valuable is the hands-on laboratory experience it offers. Under the guidance of distinguished faculty and researchers, students engage in real research projects, contributing to scientific advancements in biotechnology. This program fosters critical skills in experimental techniques, data analysis, and problem-solving, while also providing exposure to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and cutting-edge technologies. Additionally, the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of SHTEM encourages students to work alongside like-minded peers and experts in the field. By the end of the program, participants not only gain a deep understanding of biotechnology but also develop the practical skills and network needed to excel in the biotech industry.
Location: New York City
Program dates: July 1 - August 16
Application Deadline: February
Eligibility: 16 years of age or older by orientation date, Live OR attend a NYC Public or Charter School within 45 minutes of Genspace, Commitment to participate in the program from February to August
The Biorocket Research Internship Program at Genspace is an exceptional opportunity for students interested in biotechnology, offering a unique and hands-on experience in the dynamic field of synthetic biology. Hosted by Genspace, a community biotech lab in New York City, this program provides a transformative platform for high school students to engage in cutting-edge biotechnological research. What sets the Biorocket Program apart is its emphasis on hands-on learning, allowing students to conduct real experiments in a fully equipped biotech laboratory. Participants work alongside experienced biotech professionals, immersing themselves in projects related to gene editing, genetic engineering, and bioprocessing. This program not only equips students with practical biotech skills but also fosters a deep passion for the field, instilling a sense of responsibility for the ethical and responsible use of biotechnology. The Biorocket Research Internship Program at Genspace is an ideal choice for those looking to gain a strong foundation in biotechnology, ignite their curiosity for synthetic biology, and develop the skills needed to pursue further studies and a rewarding career in the field.
Program dates: 8 weeks from June - August
Application Deadline: January 16
Eligibility: High School Students who are at least 16 by the application deadline. Traditionally excluded populations are encouraged to apply.
The Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program is an exceptional opportunity for students interested in biotechnology, particularly in the context of environmental conservation and aquatic sciences. Hosted by the American Fisheries Society, this program offers a unique and immersive experience that combines biology, technology, and environmental stewardship. Participants gain hands-on experience in fisheries research, a field where biotechnology plays a crucial role in monitoring and conserving aquatic ecosystems. They learn to use advanced biotech tools for genetic analysis, tracking species, and studying the health of aquatic environments. This program not only equips students with practical biotech skills but also fosters a deep connection to the conservation of aquatic life and ecosystems. The Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program, with its strong focus on biotechnology in the context of environmental science, provides an excellent foundation for students looking to combine their passion for biotech with a commitment to preserving the natural world.
Program dates: July - August
Application Deadline: December 13
Eligibility: Rising High School Seniors. It is recommended that PSAT Math Scores be at least 740 or higher and the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score be 700 or higher. ACT math scores should be at least 33 and verbal scores at least 34.
The MIT Research Science Institute (RSI) is an outstanding program for students interested in biotechnology, offering a comprehensive and transformative experience that immerses participants in cutting-edge scientific research. Hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this highly competitive summer program is known for its rigorous and interdisciplinary approach to science. RSI exposes high school students to a diverse range of subjects, including biotechnology, and provides hands-on experience in conducting advanced research. Participants work on real-world projects, exploring areas such as molecular biology, genetics, and bioinformatics. What sets RSI apart is the depth of scientific exploration it encourages, fostering not only technical expertise but also critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This program enables students to work closely with distinguished faculty and researchers while collaborating with like-minded peers from around the world. RSI provides an invaluable introduction to the world of biotechnology, equipping students with practical skills and a profound appreciation for the role of biotech in addressing real-world challenges.
Location: Stanford University
Stipend: At least $500
Program dates: June 10 - August 1
Application Deadline: February 24
Eligibility: Students must currently be juniors or seniors at the time of application (as of the spring of 2024). Students must be in the graduating class of 2024 or 2025. Students must also be 16 years old or older by the start of the program. Students must currently be living in and attending school in the U.S. AND must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a green card in order to apply.
The Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR) is a highly prestigious and impactful opportunity for students interested in biotechnology and the life sciences. Hosted by Stanford University, this program offers a transformative experience that immerses high school students in cutting-edge biomedical research. SIMR is an excellent choice for aspiring biotech enthusiasts because it provides not only hands-on laboratory experience but also exposure to a wide range of biotechnological subfields, including genetics, immunology, and neurobiology. Under the mentorship of distinguished faculty and researchers, participants get to work on real research projects, contributing to scientific discoveries and advancing their skills in experimental techniques and data analysis. Additionally, the program fosters a dynamic and collaborative research community, allowing students to engage with like-minded peers and experts in the field. SIMR allows students to deepen their understanding of biotechnology, develop critical research skills, and gain insights into potential career paths in the life sciences, making it an ideal choice for those looking to pave their way into the biotech world.
Location: Seattle, Washington
Stipend: Some internships provide stipends.
Program dates: 8-10 weeks (June - August)
Application Deadline: March
Eligibility: High school students
The SPARK Summer Internship Program in Washington is a great opportunity for students interested in biotechnology. This program provides a unique blend of biomedical research, entrepreneurship, and exposure to the dynamic healthcare landscape. What distinguishes this program is its focus on the practical applications of biotechnology, particularly in healthcare innovation and commercialization. Participants work on cutting-edge research projects, gain insights into translational medicine, and interact with influential professionals and policymakers in the biotech and healthcare sectors. SPARK's emphasis on entrepreneurship equips students with the skills and knowledge to bridge the gap between biotech research and real-world applications. This program not only deepens students' understanding of biotechnology but also fosters a strong connection between biotech innovations and their impact on healthcare and policy. The SPARK Summer Internship Program in Washington sets the stage for students looking to embark on a career at the intersection of biotechnology and healthcare, preparing them to drive transformative changes in the field.
Location: Rockefeller University
Program dates: June 24 - August 4
Application Deadline: January 5
Eligibility: Applicants must be current high school juniors or seniors
The Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program is a remarkable opportunity for students interested in biotechnology, offering a comprehensive and transformative experience in the heart of biomedical research. Hosted by one of the world's leading institutions for scientific research, this program stands out for its focus on cutting-edge biotechnology and its applications in the life sciences. Participants engage in hands-on research projects under the mentorship of distinguished scientists and researchers, gaining practical skills in areas like molecular biology, genetics, and genomics. What sets this program apart is its emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration, exposing students to a wide range of biotechnological approaches in biomedical research. The program not only equips students with laboratory expertise but also encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovative approaches to scientific inquiry. The Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program provides a strong foundation for students aspiring to pursue a career in biotechnology, offering them the experience, knowledge, and network needed to make significant contributions to the biotech and biomedical fields.
Location: DNA Learning Center, City Tech
Program dates: January - May
Application Deadline: Rolling
Eligibility: Students must be enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private high school in New York City. Students must reside in New York City. Students are required to complete two mandatory courses: Conservation Genetics and DNA Barcoding and Bioinformatics.
The Urban Barcode Research Program is an exceptional initiative for those interested in biotechnology, offering a unique and dynamic approach to research in the field. Hosted by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, this program challenges students to explore the world of biotech through an unconventional lens. What sets Urban Barcode apart is its focus on environmental DNA (eDNA), which involves using genetic techniques to study biodiversity within urban ecosystems. This innovative approach not only allows participants to delve into cutting-edge biotech methodologies like DNA barcoding but also enables them to address real-world ecological and environmental challenges. Students collect samples from the urban environment, extract and analyze DNA, and use bioinformatics tools to decipher the genetic diversity of species in their surroundings. This hands-on experience not only enriches their practical biotech skills but also instills a deep appreciation for the intersection of biotechnology and conservation. The Urban Barcode Research Program thus not only equips students with valuable biotech knowledge but also inspires them to apply these skills in addressing urgent ecological issues, making it an ideal choice for those looking to combine their passion for biotech with a commitment to environmental stewardship.
One other option - Lumiere Research Scholar Program
If you would like to dive further into research, you should also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.
Jessica attends Harvard University where she studies Neuroscience and Computer Science as a Coca-Cola, Elks, and Albert Shankar Scholar. She is passionate about educational equity and hopes to one day combine this with her academic interests via social entrepreneurship. Outside of academics, she enjoys taking walks, listening to music, and running her jewelry business!
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