Neuroscience is a diverse and fast-evolving field. Through an internship that focuses on the subject, you can dive into its practical side and identify potential sub-fields to study at higher levels. Internships complement your theoretical knowledge by giving you experience in industry and application-based work. Also, they demonstrate your commitment to your field, a quality that can make your college application stand out to admissions officers!
Below, we’ve compiled a list of 10 neuroscience internships, from exploratory intensive research opportunities to paid work at major hospitals.
JHIBS is an in-person 8-week internship providing one-on-one mentorship, educational resources, and career guidance sessions in neuroscience and neurobiology.
Committed to empowering high school students from underrepresented communities, this selective program connects 6 talented students to mentors from the Hopkins faculty. The program aspires to train a diverse new generation of neuroscience researchers and clinical scientists.
Selected interns get the opportunity to shadow Johns Hopkins neurologists in the clinic, attend seminars on the neurological sciences, discuss their professional path in weekly career development sessions, develop their own research projects, and present their work at the final oral/poster presentation. To see the vast array of topics past interns have worked on, click here.
Application Deadline: March 1, 2023
Eligibility: Juniors or seniors from Baltimore City high schools
Program Dates: June, 2023 - August, 2023
Location: In-person at the East Baltimore Campus Stipend: Unspecified hourly wage, transport funds covered
Mass General, one of Harvard Medical’s oldest and largest teaching hospitals, offers an exciting opportunity to rising high school seniors and recent graduates.
At the program’s onset, students are divided into pairs [one high school intern and one undergraduate intern] and matched to a mentor from the MGH Neurology faculty.
Then, for six weeks, you follow an 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule, attend sessions by top neurologists, complete lab assignments, and even attend lab meetings. For your final presentation (presented to peers, mentors, faculty, and family at the end of the program) you work in your assigned pair. This end-to-end structure encourages deep study, preparing you for undergraduate research.
As a teaching hospital, MGH is well-equipped to provide all-around support in career advising, funding, application, or anything you need.
Application Deadline: March 1, 2023
Eligibility: All student interns must be living or studying in Massachusetts (must be able to provide a Massachusetts address)
Program Dates: July 5, 2023 - August 11, 2023
Location: In person at the Massachusetts General Hospital Stipend: $3400
This National Institute of Health (NIH) funded opportunity is well-suited to students craving hands-on research experience in neuroscience, especially neurological injury and neurodegeneration.
The program’s highlight is its focus on developing a professional foundation for college and beyond. During this internship, you will not only connect students with mentors but also work alongside lab technicians and graduate students. This professional exposure gives you an edge when taking on future opportunities.
Once selected, students get access to OSU’s facilities, join the Explorations in Neuroscience Journal Club, and learn how to analyze and author scientific literature, all while being paid!
Application Deadline: March 6, 2023
Eligibility: Open to high school students, students from underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply.
Program Dates: June 19, 2023 - August 4, 2023
Location: On campus at Ohio State University’s College of Medicine Stipend: Paid, unspecified.
Another NIH-sponsored program focused on biomedical research? You heard that right!
Through HS-SIP, you can boost your knowledge of neuroscience while simultaneously developing a strong grasp of the broad strokes of the healthcare industry. Field-specific research groups are placed across the NIH campuses, including the main one in Bethesda, MD. During your internship, you will attend development programs to sharpen your scientific foundations, take expert advice on your academic trajectory, and at the end, present your research on Summer Poster Day.
Forging connections in the nationwide NIH community of aspiring and renowned neuroscientists is an undeniable plus!
Application Deadline: Feb 1, 2024
Eligibility: Open to high school students, students from underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply
Program Dates: July, 2024 - August, 2024
Location: Multiple NIH Campuses Stipend: Paid, stipend annually re-evaluated
The MPFI internship offers a Neuroscience Internship Track featuring an exciting practical curriculum.
For example, for 40 hours per week, you participate in intensive lab work, gaining experience in “wet lab” techniques like genetic engineering and microscopy. After six weeks under the expert guidance of MPFI mentors, you emerge with a solid foundation in the brain’s structure and function, and advanced imaging techniques commonly used by neuroscientists.
All your efforts will be remunerated with an hourly wage and channeled into your final research project, which you will share with fellow researchers at the end of the program. In the past, interns have developed projects on neural circuits, real-time phase extraction, and futuristic technologies on the neuroscience horizon.
Application Deadline: Feb 1, 2024
Eligibility: High school students from Palm Beach or Martin County
Program Dates: June 12, 2023 - July 21, 2023
Location: On-site Stipend: $12/hour
DUNE’s primary goal is to empower STEM enthusiasts from weak socioeconomic backgrounds.
Given the lack of diversity among neuroscientists, DUNE is attempting to level the playing field for students of all backgrounds by curating an engaging, informative neuroscience experience.
Over these eight weeks, you will be paired with a Duke neuroscience lab, where you will come face-to-face with advanced equipment. When not refining your research project with your mentor, you will attend lectures by field leaders, and learn a lot about careers in neuroscience.
DUNE encourages scientific curiosity, allows interns to play around and make mistakes, and helps them reach the next level in their academic journey.
Application Deadline: Late March
Eligibility: Rising juniors, rising seniors, and students attending high school in the research area of North Carolina are encouraged to apply
Program Dates: June - Early August
Location: Duke University Campus Stipend: Unspecified stipend
Neuroscape is a great opportunity for those interested in medicinal technology. Launched in 2017, this program features an incredibly student-centric model geared toward training for a professional research career.
If selected, you will work independently with a team of mentors and also attend group sessions each week that cover interesting new topics like neuroanatomy and machine learning. With a good mix of cutting-edge modern innovation and traditional research training, this internship might “change your views on the medical and science world”.
Application Deadline: Applications open in January/February, and close after several weeks
Eligibility: High school students studying in SFUSD Schools
Program Dates: Decided as per student’s availability
Location: UC San Francisco (Mission Bay Campus) Stipend: No information mentioned
Another exciting option for tech-savvy students is the Health Tech field at Ladders Internships.
Fully focused on professional exposure, Ladder connects selected students directly to relevant start-ups, where they are mentored by experienced industry professionals. If you’re someone who prefers learning by doing, then Ladder’s detailed week-by-week action plan will be a great fit. Therein, you will ideate, refine, execute, and present a fully independent, real-world project in your chosen field.
Application Deadline: April 16, May 14
Eligibility: High-school and gap-year students
Program Dates: June to August
Location: Remote Stipend: None, certificate granted upon completion (Program cost: $1490, financial aid available)
CNI-X brings neuroscience and society together. Its curriculum is a mix of niche topics in clinical neuroscience, including but not limited to Neurosurgery and Ethics, Interventional Psychiatry, and NeuroLaw and Forensic Psychiatry. In their own words, it is a “sampler menu” of the vast field of neuroscience.
Your daily itinerary on the Stanford campus will be filled with a variety of topic-specific lectures, group brainstorming sessions, and networking with your cohort. In your assigned teams, you will work to ideate a novel solution to social issues that arise from neuroscientific problems. This interdisciplinary project will deepen your critical thinking, and let you collaborate with other passionate students.
For a fast, energetic, and inspiring summer, apply to CNI-X. About 30% of applicants win a spot in this program.
Application Deadline: March 1, 2023
Eligibility: High school students with demonstrated enthusiasm for the program
Program Dates: July 10, 2023 to July 21, 2023
Location: In-person at Stanford University Stipend: None. Program fee: $2590 (Scholarships available for students from low-income backgrounds)
This laboratory-centric experience offers collaborations with real scientists and rigorous training in the know-how of a research environment.
If selected, you spend seven weeks working on a research project with a mentor. You will also get the opportunity to work in Columbia’s neuroscience laboratories and engage with graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and past BRAINYAC members. Essential skills like data analysis, reading scientific literature, microscope use, and dissection are taught along the way.
This program has reportedly been transformative for its students, and the community around Columbia.
Application Deadline: Open between September 26, 2023, and October 23, 2023
Eligibility: High school students nominated by partner programs, from select schools in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx
Program Dates: June 2024 - August 2024
Location: New York Stipend: No information available
One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program
If you are interested in conducting research in neuroscience or biology, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I 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.
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.