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10 Paid Summer Research Programs for High School Students

For students at the high school level, research programs are another excellent method to learn more about a particular area of study and to refine analytical abilities. By choosing a reputable and paid research program, students showcase their dedication to research and willingness to take on academic challenges.

A summer research program also shows high school students' proactive approach to applying themselves beyond the classroom, strengthening their college application and resume. In this article, we’ve summarized 10 prestigious summer research programs offering a stipend!

Location: Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Cost/Stipend: No application cost, stipend of $750 provided.

Application deadline: TBD for 2025

Program Dates: 7 weeks, typically from mid-June to August.

Eligibility: Juniors and seniors who are at least 17 years of age

This well-known top-tier research program at Texas Tech University only accepts 12 students per year with an undergraduate acceptance rate of less than 3%. Selected high school students get to conduct research and receive guidance from faculty while working on one of seven research areas. Subject areas include nutritional science, computer science, mechanical engineering, history, and more.

This is a prestigious and advanced program diving into what conducting research is like, while making a great addition to your college application. Read our in-depth rundown of the benefits of applying for this program.

Location: Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Subject Areas: Medicine, biotechnology, diseases, and genomics.

Cost/Stipend: There is no cost to attend but all applicants must pay an application fee. Participants receive a minimum stipend of $500 for the program with students receiving a minimum of $1,500. Note that neither meals nor housing is provided. 

Application Deadline: TBD for 2025

Program Dates: 8 weeks, typically from June to August 

Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors aged at least 16 with U.S. citizenship or permanent residency are eligible to apply!

SIMR is a competitive and prestigious program in which 50 high school students work in a six-week research program within a Stanford lab alongside faculty, postdoc students, and researchers on medically-oriented research projects. Students get to train at eight medical research institutes specializing in bioengineering, stem cell and regenerative medicine, genetics and genomics, neurobiology, immunology, cardiovascular biology, bioinformatics, and cancer biology.

Through the program, students learn about laboratory safety, general laboratory skills, how to perform in-depth research, and how to develop and present a poster highlighting scientific results. Students receive guidance from a mentor in a state-of-the-art laboratory allowing for experiential learning in their medical research journey.

Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA

Subject Areas: STEM, Humanities

Cost/Stipend: Free of cost, stipend provided

Application deadline: January for US citizens and March for international students (tentative, based on previous years)

Program Dates: 2 months between June and August (tentative, based on previous years).

Eligibility: High school juniors, including international students, are eligible to apply. Recommended scores are 740+ for PSAT Math, 700+ for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, 33 for ACT Math, and 34 for ACT Verbal. If your scores are lower, you must provide other indicators of academic excellence. 

The Research Science Institute stands out as a highly esteemed program for high school students, renowned for its global reach, rigorous curriculum, and affiliation with MIT. Its exceptional reputation attracts a large pool of applicants, with an acceptance rate as low as 5%. The program offers a comprehensive research immersion, enabling participants to engage in a STEM and, in some cases, Humanities project from start to finish under expert mentorship. 

After an intensive week of classes, participants embark on five weeks of guided research and lab work, culminating in a final presentation. Beyond the invaluable hands-on experience gained, completing an independent project also showcases dedication and commitment to college admissions officers.

Location: The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine

Subject Areas: Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics, Cancer, Immunology, Metabolic Diseases

Cost/Stipend: No cost, a $6,500 stipend is provided

Application deadline: TBD for 2025

Program Dates: 9 weeks, typically from June to August

Eligibility: Seniors who have completed 12th grade and are at least 18 years old can apply!

The Jackson Laboratory’s Summer Student Program offers fellowships to high-achieving students interested in conducting independent, mentored research projects in genetics and genomics. Forty high school and undergraduate students are selected to develop projects, conduct experiments, analyze data, and present their findings. Specific research areas include bioinformatics, cancer, genomics, immunology, metabolic diseases, and more. 

Given that the program also targets undergraduate students, participants can expect a higher academic level of experience and a rigorous application process. The generous stipend and the program’s prestige make the SSP a well-regarded opportunity that can significantly enhance your college applications.

Location: NIH campuses

Subject Areas: Social sciences, Behavioral sciences, Biomedical sciences

Cost/Stipend: No cost, $2,300 stipend per month

Application Deadline: TBD for 2025, typically in Feb

Program Dates: 8 weeks, typically from June to August

Eligibility: Juniors and seniors of high school who are at least 16 years old can apply.

The High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP) at the NIH offers a unique opportunity for 11th and 12th graders to dive into full-time research and data analysis, working closely with professional mentors. Students can explore various fields, including biomedical, social, and behavioral sciences. 

The program is divided into two cohorts: HiSTEP, designed for rising 12th graders, and HiSTEP 2.0, for current high school seniors. With an acceptance rate of just 15%, getting into HS-SIP is competitive, making it a prestigious and valuable experience for students eager to gain hands-on research skills at the NIH.

Location: Fermilab, Batavia, IL

Subject Areas: Particle physics, Quantum Science, Computing

Cost/Stipend: No cost, stipend of $17.20 per hour.

Application Deadline: TBD for 2025, typically in January.

Program Dates: 7 weeks, typically from mid-June to August.

Eligibility: High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled in Illinois high schools.

The QuarkNet Summer Research Program at Fermilab, run by the U.S. Department of Energy, invites students to team up with scientists on exciting research projects. The topics can vary, but you’ll often dive into areas like particle physics, particle accelerators, quantum science, computing, and detectors. 

As a participant, you’ll get hands-on experience with data collection and deliver oral presentations, all while working alongside experts in the field. This program offers a unique and engaging way to explore cutting-edge science.

Location: Virtual, the visit to MIT (Cambridge, MA) is the only in-person element.

Subject Areas: Science, Technology, Engineering

Cost/Stipend: No cost. A $1,000 budget will be awarded to 6 finalists with weekly mentoring, and a paid trip to MIT’s campus.

Application Deadline: January 1 of each year

Program Dates: Finalists are announced in February and projects are completed by that year’s summer in June.

Eligibility: All high school students can apply as individuals or in teams of two

In case you have already prepared a research proposal but require expert help in completing it, the MIT THINK Scholars program is an excellent option. Unlike other programs, this one involves a competition where you submit a project proposal in science, technology, or engineering. Six finalists are awarded weekly mentoring sessions, technical support, up to $1,000 in funding, and a four-day visit to MIT’s campus.

Although it partially coincides with the school year, the program provides a unique opportunity to conduct research from beginning to end. Being part of this prestigious program will highlight your skills and greatly enhance your college applications.

Location: University of Chicago Campus, IL

Subject Areas: Data science, Computer science, Climate and Energy policy

Cost: No cost, a $6000 stipend is provided.

Application Deadline: TBD for 2025. 

Program Dates: 10 weeks from June to August (tentative, based on previous year’s dates)

Eligibility: Open to all high school students, particularly those with a familiarity with at least one programming language and relevant coursework (e.g., computer science, statistics, and math) 

The DSI Summer Lab, hosted by the University of Chicago, offers a 10-week paid research opportunity for both high school and undergraduate students, focusing on applied and interdisciplinary data science research. During the program, participants are paired with mentors specializing in various domains, including data science, computer science, climate and energy policy, among others. 

Mentors guide students in refining research methodologies, practices, and teamwork skills, while also providing specialized training in specific application areas. The program concludes with participants presenting their research findings through self-created videos, which are showcased in a professional conference format, allowing for peer interaction and discussion of projects.

Location: New York University Campus, NY (Specific Area depends on subject area/ lab choice)

Subject Areas: Computer science, Machine learning, Robotics. You can view all subject areas over here!

Cost: No cost, stipend provided

Application Deadline: TBD for 2025, typically in March.

Program Dates: 7 weeks from June to August, tentatively based on the previous year’s schedule. 

Eligibility: Rising juniors and rising seniors based in New York City are eligible to apply!

ARISE at NYU is a fantastic opportunity for 10th and 11th graders from New York City.

This seven-week summer program is completely free. Throughout the program, you’ll get to dive into hands-on research alongside NYU’s top faculty members. You’ll explore exciting disciplines like computer science, machine learning, robotics, and more! 

The program is split into two parts: the first two weeks are filled with engaging workshops, while the remaining five weeks are spent working side-by-side with your mentor in the lab. ARISE provides a unique chance to train in college-level research, develop professionally, participate in colloquiums, and make meaningful contributions to cutting-edge laboratories.

Location: Greater Syracuse Area

Subject Areas: Engineering, Computer Science

Cost: No cost; stipend provided

Application Deadline: While the dates for the next cohort have not been announced, expect the deadline to be 2 months before the internship.

Program Dates: 6 weeks during the summer months

Eligibility: Rising seniors in the Greater Syracuse area in good academic standing are eligible to apply!

Syracuse University presents a non-residential summer internship spanning six weeks, tailored for rising seniors within the greater Syracuse area. This internship is designed to immerse participants in advanced engineering and computer science research, aiming to ignite and deepen their passion for STEM careers.

Throughout the program, interns engage in university-level research projects under the guidance of Syracuse University’s esteemed research faculty, as well as graduate and undergraduate students. The end of the program is marked by interns presenting their research findings at a symposium alongside other high school and undergraduate research interns

If you’re looking for a competitive mentored research program in subjects like data science, machine learning, political theory, biology, and chemistry, consider applying to Horizon’s Research Seminars and Labs

This is a selective virtual research program that lets you engage in advanced research and develop a research paper in a subject of your choosing. Horizon has worked with 1000+ high school students so far, and offers 600+ research specializations for you to choose from. 

You can find the application link here

One other option — the Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are interested in doing university-level research in the subject of your choice, then you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students co-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.

Trisha Malhotra, an Ashoka University alumna, has 5 years of experience being a freelance writer and currently writes for Lumiere Education. She is passionate about music, reading, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as well as a devoted cat parent.

Image Source: MIT logo



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