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10 Great Genetics Internships for High School Students

Genetics is a branch of biology that deals with the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity. If you’re a high school student interested in genetics or biology as a whole, an internship in the field is worth considering! An internship can help you get some relevant hands-on experience in the field, build on your theoretical knowledge, and develop your professional and technical skills.

Not just that, an internship can boost your college applications, indicating to the admissions team that you are committed to gaining practical experience in your chosen field. Such experiences will also allow you to work on cutting-edge projects, mingle with like-minded peers, and get some guidance from experts regarding your future academic and career pursuits. 

To help you get started, here’s a list of 10 genetics internships for high school students!

Location: Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors aged at least 16 with U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

Application Deadline: Applications usually close in February.

Dates: June 10–August 1, 2024 (8 weeks)

Stipend: All students receive a minimum stipend of $500 for the program. Students from underrepresented groups will receive a minimum of $1,500. Housing and meals are not provided.

If you are looking for a chance to perform laboratory research and learn biomedical research skills, the Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR) can be a solid opportunity for you. As an intern, you will get to conduct research under Stanford faculty, researchers, students, and postdoctoral fellows and receive one-on-one mentorship at one of Stanford’s cutting-edge laboratories.

During the internship, you will attend safety training, work in labs full-time, and attend joint lectures. You can select one of these research areas—immunology, neurobiology, cancer biology, bioengineering, stem cell and regenerative medicine, cardiovascular biology, bioinformatics, and genetics and genomics. Once selected, you will be assigned a particular field of study (branch) based on your preference, and spend two months as a mentee. You’ll also get an opportunity to present your research and experience in the poster session at the end of the program. This is a fairly competitive program with a cohort size of about 50 students – at an acceptance rate of less than 3% (approximately).

Location: Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Eligibility: Bay Area (Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, or Santa Cruz) high school students who are at least 16 years old and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students must also have some prior knowledge of biology, chemistry, or computer programming.

Application Deadline: Applications usually close in February.

Dates: June 17–August 8, 2024 (8 weeks)

Cost: There is no fee to apply or participate in GRIPS. Some need-based scholarships are available for low-income students.

The Genomics Research Internship Program at Stanford (GRIPS) is directly offered by the Department of Genetics at Stanford University. This internship focuses on computational genetics and genomics and allows selected participants to work in a laboratory on a research project under the supervision of a lab mentor (faculty or visiting professionals). Students are required to commit to 20 hours of work per week for 8 weeks. 

In addition to the research-intensive lab work, you will attend other activities like panels and seminars on topics and careers in biomedical research, meetings with your mentor, professional development workshops, and community-building opportunities. Cohorts are usually kept small in this program, so make sure you submit as strong an application as possible.

Location: Virtual

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

Application Deadline: Deadlines vary depending on the cohort. The upcoming summer cohort deadline is June 26, 2024.

Dates: 8-week programs with multiple cohorts throughout the year, including spring, summer, fall, and winter. The upcoming summer cohort begins on July 15, 2024.

Cost: Starts at $1,990. Financial aid is available.

Founded by Harvard alumni, Ladder Internships is an endeavor to match qualified high school students with top startups in their field of interest. These startups are based all around the world, with companies like IPMD, Softenmind, and JuneBrain being part of the fold, with others constantly being added to the list. 

You can choose the field you wish to work in, from a wide range of industries, including technology, machine learning, AI, computer science, finance, environmental science, sustainability, business, marketing, healthcare, medicine, media, journalism, and more. As an intern, you will work on meaningful projects that contribute to the startup or nonprofit’s larger mission, and present your work at the end of the program. This internship program includes one-on-one training in communication and time management, among other skills, and group training sessions with fellow interns. You will be paired with a manager at the startup and with a Ladder coach, who serves as a second mentor.

The internship opportunities in this program span the globe, with a concentration in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and the UK. You can explore all the options here on their application form. If you are interested in genetics and biology, make sure you specify your interest in the medicine or health tech track in your application.

Location: NIH campuses: Bethesda, Baltimore and Frederick, MD; Research Triangle Park, NC; Hamilton, MT; Framingham, MA; and Phoenix, AZ

Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors who are at least 17 years old and live within 40 miles of their respective NIH campus can apply. You can confirm the additional eligibility requirements for the respective cohort programs—HiSTEP and HiSTEP 2.0.

Application Deadline: Applications usually close in February.

Dates: Multiple start dates are available between May and June and the students can choose any one based on their preference. The program runs for 8 weeks between May/June and August.

Stipend: $2,300–2,530 (if you are currently in high school) or $2,570–2,840 (if you have graduated high school). No housing is provided, but there is free parking on campuses. Some campuses also offer a Transhare program.

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP) allows high school students to conduct full-time clinical, basic, and translational research in one of the NIH Institutes and Centres (IC), one of which includes the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). HS-SIP offers research opportunities in biology, engineering, epidemiology, psychology, mathematics, chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, nursing, physics, computer science, bioinformatics, and other health-related fields. This institute conducts clinical and laboratory research in genomics and genetics, making it a great option for interested students.

Selected students are placed in research groups and are required to perform their research under the supervision of a Principal Investigator (PI). At the end of the internship, you will present your research on the Summer Poster Day. You will also have access to professional development programs and educational and career advising. The HS-SIP is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of around 7%.

Location: Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA

Eligibility: High school students who are at least 16 years old can apply.

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in March.

Dates: June 3–August 9, 2024 | June 17–August 23, 2024

Cost/Stipend: No cost but the students may need to pay for housing, meals, and transport; Unpaid.

The Scripps Research Translational Institute’s (SRTI) Student Research Internship Program is an 8-week program that focuses on translational science, where you’ll get a chance to learn about the genetic basis for various traits and diseases in humans and ways to integrate mobile technologies in healthcare. During the internship, you will learn study design and analysis methods like genomic/genetic association studies and mHealth trials. Further, you will get to observe clinical trials closely. You’ll also get to learn how to present scientific concepts—including study design, research findings, data analysis, and results interpretation.

You will be matched with a mentor who will guide you throughout your research and provide you with relevant career and professional advice while attending seminars and preparing your research proposal. The internship will conclude with a poster symposium where you will present your research.

Location: Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Eligibility: Rising high school juniors or seniors aged at least 16 from the metropolitan Atlanta area can apply.

Application Deadline: Applications usually close in February.

Dates: June 3–July 10, 2024

Stipend: $2,500 + weekday lunches and transportation allowance.

Emory University’s Department of Human Genetics hosts an annual paid summer internship program for high school students. The internship includes regular lectures to familiarize students with the field of genetics as well as broader medical and biological fields. The highlight of this internship is the hands-on laboratory and clinical work that you will be able to perform while receiving one-on-one mentorship from faculty, researchers, and clinicians.

You will also receive career and university application guidance and access to activities and events occurring throughout the year. Note that only around 20 students are accepted into this internship from around 200 applicants. You can read more about the experience and activities here.

Location: Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA

Eligibility: Applicants must:

  • Be rising high school seniors (i.e. students can apply their junior year).

  • Attend a high school in MA within commuting distance of the Broad Institute.

  • Have earned a B or better in science and math classes.

  • Be US citizens, permanent residents, or non-US citizens with employment authorization (i.e. DACA)

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in January. Applications for the 2025 program will open in mid-November.

Dates: June 24–August 2, 2024

Cost/Stipend: No cost; a $3,600 stipend + partial reimbursement for transportation costs is provided to the participants.

The Broad Summer Scholars Program (BSSP) provides opportunities to highly motivated high school students with a strong interest in science to spend six weeks at the Broad Institute. During the program, you’ll be matched with Broad scientists to conduct original, cutting-edge research projects in areas such as cancer biology, psychiatric disease, chemical biology, computational biology, infectious disease, genetics, genomics, and more. 

If you’re interested in genetics, you can opt to conduct research in areas such as Genome Regulation, Cellular Circuitry, and Epigenomics; Medical and Population Genetics Research; Genetic Perturbation Platform; and more. In addition to original research, you will get to explore scientific careers, attend interesting scientific talks, present your research to the Broad community in a scientific poster session, attend a college fair, participate in social events, and meet other students who share similar interests. 

Location: Genspace, Brooklyn, NYEligibility: Students at least 16 years old attending an NYC public or charter school within 45 minutes of Genspace are eligible.Application Deadline: Applications typically open in the fall and close in January.Dates: February 28–May 23, 2024 (spring session) | July 1–August 16, 2024 (summer session). Students must attend both sessions.

Stipend: $2,000

The Biorocket Research Internship Program is a 6-month long program for high school students who are interested in learning about genetic engineering and biology laboratory skills. You will work with 12 other teens to perform group and individual research with the support of scientist mentors. During the program, you will engage in research spanning DNA sequencing, genetic modification, and bioinformatics. This will teach you about the scientific process and build your network to include professionals and like-minded peers. You will also be able to refine your lab techniques and analytical abilities, by utilizing state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and technology.

Additionally, you will receive career guidance from your mentors along with a chance to tour labs and biotech companies in and around the city. This internship also presents a chance for students to learn and improve science communication skills and share their research and knowledge with their friends and family. Through this internship, you will develop a better understanding of the foundations of biotechnology while understanding the importance of ethical and conscientious biotech applications. You can take a look at previous projects here.

Location: Bar Harbor, ME and Farmington, CT

Eligibility: High school students and undergraduates can apply.

Application Deadline: Applications usually close in January.

Dates: June 1–August 10, 2024 (10 weeks)

Stipend: $6,500 + room, board, and travel

If you want to know what it’s like to conduct genetics and genomics research at a full-fledged laboratory, then Jackson Laboratory’s Summer Student Program is a great option. This selective program only accepts a total of 40 high school and undergraduate students. If selected, you will work with an accomplished scientific mentor to develop a project, perform research experiments, analyze the data, and report the findings. You will then present these findings and results to researchers, peers, and parents at the program’s concluding symposium.

Overall, this program will help you improve your laboratory techniques, science communication, and presentation skills, and also foster professional development. Tours, trips, and sightseeing are also included as part of this program. You can check out the complete list of available research areas here.

Location: DNA Learning Center at City Tech, Brooklyn, NY

Eligibility: NYC high school students in grades 9-12

Application Deadline: Applications usually close in May.

Dates: The first required lab training course will take place from August 26–30, 2024 and additional sessions will be scheduled during the school year. The research symposium will take place in late May/early June 2025.

Stipend: $500

The Urban Barcode Research Program at the DNA Learning Center offers high school students an opportunity to conduct hands-on laboratory research using basic and common scientific research techniques. The interviews are conducted in the summer typically in July. After interviews, 36 students are selected for this program.

During the program, you will use DNA barcoding under the supervision and mentorship of professionals and experts in the field and will learn about the interaction between biodiversity and human activity. The project will teach you about research proposal writing, sample collection, fieldwork, DNA isolation, DNA barcoding amplification, and analysis of findings. To establish basic knowledge in this field, training courses in biodiversity, science research, and conservation biology and lab training sessions are offered before you start working in the laboratory.

One other option — Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you would like to participate in a rigorous research program open to high schoolers, 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.

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students.

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.



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