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  • Ishaan Chawdhary

10 Medical Research Opportunities for High School Students

Experience with medical research is one of the best tools to help a student navigate their path into the medical profession. It can give them a head-start into their journey toward college, by offering them hands-on experience and an early exposure to the pressures and rewards of their chosen field of interest. Students have the opportunity to learn in a variety of venues, including universities, hospitals and clinics, and research centers, as well as meet with industry professionals. In this article, we list 10 of the best avenues to get an early start in the field of medicine for a high school student.


Here are 10 Medical Research Opportunities for High School Students:

1. Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program

Students at SIMR collaborate with Stanford faculty and researchers to conduct medical research. Students select one of eight study fields and are then allocated to a lab where they will be mentored one-on-one. SIMR is an 8-week program open to current juniors and seniors that gives a $500 stipend to participants.


Cost: None



2. Medical Immersion Summer Academy (MISA)

At MISA, students learn about healthcare through hands-on research, skills training (EKG, suturing, CPR, splinting, and taking vitals), shadowing, mentorship, and clinical immersion. They also participate in VIP lunches with health professionals, observe patients and medical procedures, and engage in patient-case workshops and discussions with physicians.

The five-day program is open to all high school students in grades 9-12. Students must be at least 15 at the time of applying.


Cost: $900



3. Indiana University Simon Cancer Center Summer Research Program

Participants in this six-week online program are partnered with mentors and spend 40 hours per week on assignments such as laboratory research, database research, or clinical research. They also attend weekly workshops and professional development sessions on issues such as seeking admission to graduate and professional programs of study. The program offers a stipend to participants.


Cost: None

4. Children’s Hospital Colorado—Summer Child Health Research Internship Children's Hospital Colorado offers this internship. Hosted by the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado, the program provides rising high school seniors, college students, and first-year medical students the opportunity to work with faculty on child health research. Interns will also have the option to take part in a lecture research series and will present their findings at the end of their internship. Interns receive a $3,500 stipend to help with travel and housing expenses.


Cost: None

5. Magee-Womens Research Institute High School Summer Internship Program

This is a four-week, 160-hour virtual internship for high school juniors and seniors that allows them to participate in basic, translational, or clinical scientific research at MWRI and Magee-Womens Hospital under the supervision of an investigator and their team. Interns also take part in sessions where investigators talk about their own adventures and perspectives in biomedical science. Interns will report their findings to other program participants as well as MWRI instructors and staff at the program's completion.


Cost: None


6. Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience High School Internship

This six-week internship is for high school juniors and seniors who are interested in brain structure, function, and development, as well as sophisticated imaging techniques and technology utilized in neuroscience. Interns in neuroscience gain hands-on experience with genetic engineering, microbiological preparations, histological staining, and microscopy by participating in laboratory research. Students will prepare a scientific abstract and give a short presentation at the end of the internship.


Cost: None

7. National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine & Healthcare

NSLC provides a forum for high school students to learn about contentious medical issues, current health-care concerns, and cutting-edge scientific research in areas like cancer and HIV/AIDS. Students will engage in clinical research, study medical examination, and surgical methods, and participate in diagnosis and treatment.


Cost: $3695



8. Stanford Medical Youth Science Program

This five-week online program provides intensive coursework in medicine and health science, professional development workshops, networking opportunities with health professions, college admissions guidance, and mentoring to high school sophomores and juniors. Students will also complete a college-level research project and get experience in navigating the medical profession.


Cost: None


9. Arthritis Foundation Summer Science Internship Program

This 8 week research program is organized by the Rheumatology and Immunology Laboratories at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco. The program is open to high school juniors and seniors. Selected students work in top research and clinical laboratories at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, under the guidance of renowned experts. Students work 40 hours per week in either basic laboratory research or clinical epidemiological/translational (patient-focused) research. The program offers a $1500 stipend.


Cost: None

10. National Institute of Health High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP)


HS-SIP provides students with the opportunity to do full-time biomedical research at NIH facilities, working alongside world-renowned professionals. Applicants must be juniors or seniors at the time of application and 17 years old at the commencement of the program to be considered. The program is 8 weeks long and offers a stipend of $2080 per month to selected students.


Cost: None

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, a selective 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 1500 students applied to 500 slots in the research program! You can find the application form here.

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