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10 Research Internships for High School Students

Participating in a research internship during high school can greatly enhance your resume and bolster your college applications. Gaining hands-on experience in research not only offers insight into your chosen field but also facilitates a deeper understanding and application of theoretical concepts.

Research internships that offer full funding or a stipend are highly regarded for admission in colleges reflecting your skills and commitment to your academic interests. There is a huge competition for these internships. 

To make your journey smooth, we've curated a list of 10 fully funded/paid research internships tailored for high school students, providing an opportunity to earn compensation for your efforts and cover associated expenses.

Ladder Internships, a program founded by Harvard alumni, pairs high school students with startups and nonprofits across the world for virtual internships. Students have the flexibility to choose the field they wish to work in, from a diverse array of industries including technology, computer science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, finance, environmental science, business, healthcare and more. 

During the program, you will work on meaningful projects aligned with the startup’s larger mission, and present your work at the end of the internship. The program includes professional training in communication and time management, as well as group training sessions with fellow interns. Each intern will be assigned a manager at their organization and a Ladder coach for additional guidance. Typically requiring 5-10 hours per week, the virtual internships span 8 weeks. 

Note: 100% Financial aid is available. 

Location: Virtual

Dates: The summer 2024 cohort starts on June 3 and runs till August. Internship opportunities are also available for fall and spring.

Cost: Starts at $1990. 

Eligibility: Open to all high school students.

Deadline: Summer cohort (regular admission 1): April 14, 2024 | Summer cohort (regular admission 2): May 12, 2024

Microsoft's Discovery Program offers a four-week summer internship targeted at high school students, granting them entry into the world of computer science and the tech industry. Participants will immerse themselves in core computer science principles, benefit from the mentorship of seasoned Microsoft professionals, and gain essential skills that could lead to future career opportunities, potentially within Microsoft and other esteemed tech firms.

Designed for students deeply interested in technology and its applications, the program underscores hands-on learning and exploration. Catering to aspiring STEM enthusiasts, it aims to attract students genuinely passionate about forging a career path in the ever-evolving realm of technology.

Location: Redmond, Washington or Atlanta, Georgia

Dates: July 8 to August 2, 2024

Stipend: A stipend of $20 per hour will be provided

Eligibility: Open to rising first-year students of a bachelor’s degree program (graduating high school seniors) that live around Redmond, Washington OR Atlanta, Georgia who have an interest in technology

Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis

The UCLA BrainSport Summer High School Research Internship caters perfectly to students fascinated by neuroscience, research methodologies, and the intricacies of brain functions. It presents an unmatched opportunity to deeply engage in cutting-edge research alongside prominent scientists and clinicians specializing in brain health and sports-related concussions. Participants will not only grasp neuroscience fundamentals but also refine their research skills, contributing substantially to studies crucial for sports medicine and brain injury prevention.

Throughout the internship, individuals will engage in a diverse array of hands-on activities and projects, such as literature reviews, data collection, and analyses. These tasks will empower interns to actively participate in ongoing research endeavors. Leveraging state-of-the-art equipment and technology, participants will gain firsthand experience with techniques probing brain functionality and concussion impacts. Moreover, attending seminars, lectures, and discussions led by industry experts will expand their knowledge base, enriching their educational journey beyond their individual projects.

Location: University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Dates: June to late August (2024 Dates TBA). Work will likely be three to four half-days per week, for approximately 16 hours per week.

Cost: None

Eligibility: Rising juniors, with the intent that you may be a mentor for a rising junior next year. Recommended to apply especially if you’re interested in extending the internship into the academic year.

Deadline: Applications typically close in April. 

The UCSD Research Experience for High School Students (REHS) presents a unique chance to engage in ongoing research projects across an eight-week volunteer stint. Crafted to fully immerse participants in the scientific method, the program spans from formulating and testing hypotheses to conducting computational experiments and drawing conclusions. Engaging in regular laboratory meetings and group discussions, interns become indispensable members of the research community.

With a track record boasting 680 students from 73 different high schools, REHS stands as a testament to its impact, with an impressive 70% of alumni opting for college majors in computer science and engineering. Moreover, 65% of REHS graduates advance to colleges and universities ranked among the top 20 globally. The program entails software training, scholarly readings, and discussions with mentors and their graduate student teams, requiring a weekly commitment of 15-20 hours. This internship offers a rare opportunity for direct mentorship and invaluable insights into advanced scientific research.

Location: San Diego, CA

Dates: June 17, 2024 - August 9, 2024   

Cost/Stipend: Program with research project: $1,500. Program without research project: Free.

Eligibility: All high school students who reside in San Diego or can acquire housing there are eligible to participate.

Deadline: March 15 (tentatively, based on previous years)

The Student Research Internship Program (SRTI) spans over 10 weeks during the summer and is tailored for high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students alike. Its core objective is to prepare individuals interested in health sciences, statistics, and computational/computer science to assume leadership roles in translational medical research. SRTI stands out for its pioneering work in translational research, focusing on personalized healthcare through the exploration of genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic markers of health and disease.

Throughout the internship, participants collaborate with and learn from a diverse team of scientists, including globally recognized experts in genomics, bioinformatics, digital medicine, and community engagement. The program is specifically designed to provide ambitious high school students with the training and insights necessary to excel as future trailblazers in translational medical research. This hands-on experience not only deepens understanding of research methodologies but also lays a foundation for emerging as leaders in the field.

Location: Scripps Research Translational Institute, La Jolla, CA

Dates: Multiple sessions are available:

  • Session One: June 3 - August 9, 2024

  • Session Two: June 17 - August 23, 2024  

Cost: None

Eligibility: Highly motivated students in high school, college, or professional training (medical/law/graduate/business school) may apply. Please note that high school students must be at least 16 years of age before the start of their internship.

Deadline: March 30 (tentatively, based on previous years)

This program is aimed at providing high school and community college students early exposure to cutting-edge research in an academic environment as well as introducing students to the diversity of research topics pursued in engineering. Conducted by a highly esteemed institution during the summer, this internship offers a unique chance for students to explore diverse subjects remotely. 

You will spend most of the time conducting research from where you are located (if you are working on hardware projects, materials will be sent to you) while maintaining regular communication with your mentors and group members. You can anticipate a commitment of 30-40 hours per week, guided by Stanford's renowned faculty and industry experts who provide valuable insights into the evolving tech landscape.

Location: Virtual

Dates: June 17 to August 9, 2024

Cost: None

Eligibility: Students who will be in grades 11-12 at the time of application, OR full-time community college students (within the first 3 years of community college), are eligible to apply.

Deadline: February 23 (tentatively, based on previous years)

Veritas AI, led by Harvard graduate students, focuses on offering programs tailored for high school students eager to delve into AI and data science projects. Although not following a conventional internship structure, participants have the opportunity to collaborate one-on-one with mentors hailing from esteemed universities such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT, CMU, and others.

Spanning 12-15 weeks, students embark on a distinctive journey at the AI frontier, working on individual projects aimed at creating impactful research papers. These papers undergo review and can be submitted for publication to high school-level journals, providing students with a tangible outcome from their research endeavors.

Note: 100% financial assistance is provided for this program. 

Location: Virtual

Dates: You can find all available dates for the summer cohort here

Cost: AI Fellowship - $4900

Eligibility: High school students

Deadline: May 19, 2024

The SIMR program, with an acceptance rate of 3% (about 50 students), offers individual mentorship with Stanford faculty from various departments. Students choose from research areas like immunology, bioengineering, neurobiology, cancer biology, stem cell and regenerative medicine, genetics and genomics, bioinformatics, and cardiovascular biology. They collaborate with postdoctoral fellows, undergraduates, graduates, and established researchers.

Location: Stanford School of Medicine (Stanford University), Stanford, CA

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

Stipend: All students receive a minimum of $500 for the program. 

Eligibility: Juniors and seniors of high school who are at least 16 years old can apply. Permanent U.S. citizens or permanent residents. 

Deadline: February 24, 2024

The High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP) at the NIH allows 11th and 12th graders to conduct full-time research and data analysis under professional mentors in various research areas such as biomedical, social, and behavioral sciences. The program includes two cohorts: HiSTEP for rising 12th graders and HiSTEP 2.0 for current high school seniors. With a competitive acceptance rate of 15%, HS-SIP provides a valuable opportunity for students to gain hands-on research experience at the NIH.

Location: NIH campuses

Dates: July 2, 2024 - August 1, 2024 (8 weeks)

Stipend:  $2,300 per month

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

Deadline:February 16, 2024

The QuarkNet Summer Research Program at Fermilab, overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy, offers students the opportunity to collaborate with scientists on research projects. While project topics can vary, Fermilab typically focuses on areas such as particle physics, particle accelerators, quantum science, computing, and detectors. Students participating in the program can expect to engage in tasks like oral presentations and data collection as part of their research experience.

Location: Fermilab, Batavia, IL

Dates: June 17, 2024 - August 2, 2024 (7 weeks)

Stipend:  $17.20 per hour

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

Deadline: January 15, 2024

One other option

If you’re interested in pursuing rigorous research in a subject of your choice, you could also consider applying to one of the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs, selective online high school programs 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. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!

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.

Image Source: Microsoft logo



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