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15 Summer Research Internships for High School Students

As a high schooler, you’re probably already thinking about your college major and career options. When it comes to exploring a subject or field you’re interested in, conducting research in it is a solid place to start. Research internships can offer the opportunity to do not just that, but also get real-world work experience and practical insight into the field of your choice.

Internships also provide a platform to build skills and knowledge, and create a professional network, apart from enhancing your college applications! College admissions officers seek students who demonstrate genuine interest in their chosen fields and have taken steps to pursue that interest – which is what internships signal. 

So if you’re an ambitious high school student looking for ways to boost your profile and further your academic goals, this list of summer research internships should definitely be on your radar!


This selective paid apprenticeship program, conducted by the Department of Navy, places high school students in Navy labs across the country to participate in STEM research. Every year, around 300 students are placed in 38 labs nationwide – making this a prestigious and competitive program. 

During this program, you can choose a field or subject you wish to conduct research in, based on your interests and location preferences. You would choose a lab accordingly. As an apprentice, you will work directly with and be mentored by Navy scientists, engineers, and researchers in laboratories, and engage in crucial naval research. While working on projects hands-on, you will gain valuable knowledge and skills in various STEM disciplines, such as engineering, computer science, physics, aeronautics, and more.


Cost/Stipend: No cost. Students receive a stipend – $4,000 (new participant) | $4,500 (returning participants).

Location: Varies.

Application Deadline: Applications open in August and close on November 1 every year. 

Program Dates: Eight weeks in the summer. Exact dates vary depending on the lab you choose.

Eligibility: High school students who have completed at least grade 9, and are at least 16 years old when the internship begins, can apply. Graduating seniors are eligible as well. There is room for some exceptions. Students are recommended to check whether their preferred lab choice has any other particular requirements. 


Conducted by NIH, this internship is ideal for high schoolers interested in exploring biomedicine and healthcare. HS-SIP allows students to engage in hands-on biomedical research, working alongside top scientists and mentors. During this program, you will work on current research projects, learn to analyze data and acquire essential laboratory skills.

This is a fairly competitive program. As an intern, you will have access to professional development programs offered by NIH, that are focused on core competencies required for careers in STEM fields, apart from educational and career guidance. At the end of the program, interns are invited to share their research with the NIH community on Summer Poster Day.


Cost/Stipend: No cost. Students will receive a stipend – $2,300-2,530 (students in high school) | $2,570-2,840 (students who have graduated high school)

Program dates: Eight weeks in the summer, typically June - August.

Application deadline: Applications close on February 1 every year.

Location: Students can choose from NIH campuses across the country. The NIH campus and labs are located in Bethesda, Baltimore and Frederick, MD; Research Triangle Park, NC; Hamilton, MT; Framingham, MA; and Phoenix, AZ. 

Eligibility: Students who are high school juniors or seniors at the time of application (or have recently graduated), and are 17 years or older on June 15, 2024, may apply. Do look through all the eligibility requirements before applying. 


Sandia National Laboratories is a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s ‘National Nuclear Security Administration’ (NNSA). Sandia offers strong internship opportunities for students during the summer and year-round. 

You can apply for internship roles in different departments at Sandia – technical, business, and Research & Development, which will allow you to work on national projects. With these internships, you will get hands-on experience in a cutting-edge research environment. As an intern, you will work with top scientists and engineers on projects that contribute to technological advancements. Your role as an intern could involve work in cyber security, energy, engineering, and software, under the guidance of a manager, who will help structure your work assignment, schedule, and the duration of your internship. 

  • Year-round internships: These allow students who attend local schools to work part-time at a Sandia site, working up to 25 hours a week for high school students, and up to 40 hours per week during school breaks.

  • Co-op internships: These are conducted in partnership with individual schools, and allow students to take time off during the academic year to gain work experience at Sandia, working up to 40 hours a week. They run for 3–8 months in the academic term and may include an adjacent summer term.


Cost/Stipend: No cost. Students will receive a stipend commensurate to the work they put in, and it will vary with the internship role.

Location: Livermore, CA | Albuquerque, NM | other Sandia sites.

Application Deadline:  Rolling deadline, as internship openings are continuously updated.

Program Dates: Year-round, if you choose that program option. For the Co-op internships, you can select your internship period, in coordination with Sandia and your school.Summer Interns - 40 hours per week | Year-round Interns - 25 hours per week.

Eligibility: Students who are at least 16 years old, are enrolled full-time in an accredited college, university, or high school, and are U.S. citizens can apply. Those applying must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for R&D, technical, or business roles. 


If you’re a high school junior or senior in Illinois interested in exploring physics, mathematics, computer science, and engineering, this 6-week intensive summer internship is a great choice. The program is designed to encourage students to pursue STEM in college and as a career option.


As an intern, you will have the opportunity to work with scientists and engineers to conduct research and create content on Fermilab research. Fermilab (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory) operates under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and is one of America’s top labs for STEM research. Past work done interns in the TARGET program includes interviews with scientists and their current projects (e.g. Kentandu Cheidu interviewing her mentor Lauren Biron on the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) and participating in hands-on workshops to understand 3D modeling and computational thinking.


Cost/Stipend: No cost. Students will be paid $17.20 per hour.

Program dates: June 17, 2024 – July 26, 2024.

Application deadline: Applications typically close in February.

Location: Fermilab, Batavia, IL.

Eligibility:  Students who 

  • are enrolled in an Illinois high school;

  • are sophomores or juniors at the time of application;

  • have a 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale; and 

  • are eligible to work in the U.S. can apply.


SIMR is a solid medical program which offers both internship and research components. Here, you will collaborate one-on-one with a mentor, who will be a Stanford graduate student or a postdoctoral fellow, and engage in hands-on research. You will have to select one of eight study fields – Immunology, Neurobiology, Cancer Biology, Bioengineering, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Cardiovascular Biology, Bioinformatics, and Genetics and Genomics. You will be mentored by eminent scholars, researchers, and Ph.D. fellows in the field of medicine. This is a competitive program with a cohort size of about 50 students – at an acceptance rate of less than 3% (approximately).


You will spend a majority of your time in the program doing full-time lab work. During the last 2 weeks of the program, you will work on your research poster of your project, which you will present to your peers, teachers, family, and the Stanford community at the end of the program. Each subject track has a slightly different internship structure to help you get the best exposure to that branch, so be sure to read through the internship structures carefully.


Cost/Stipend: There is a $40 application fee, which can be waived. Students earn a stipend of $500 - $2,500. Housing and transportation are not provided. Please note: Stipends of $2500 and above are given on a needs-based system from special grants.


Program dates: June 10, 2024 - August 1, 2024.

Application deadline: Applications typically close in February.

Location: Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Eligibility: Current juniors or seniors who are at least 16 years of age are eligible.


This internship program is ideal for students keen on pursuing or exploring the field of neurological sciences. With a goal to make the field more inclusive and representative, this is an 8-week, fully-funded summer research program for high school students from underrepresented communities. As an intern, you will conduct research under the guidance and mentorship of expert researchers in the field and will engage in hands-on projects, discussions, scientific seminars, weekly personal and professional development sessions, and interactions with leading neuroscientists at JHU.


The program is also offered virtually, for students who cannot attend the program on campus. The program is open to 5-6 students and will provide them with an hourly stipend, and also covers transportation costs. At the end of the program, you will present your research via an oral or poster presentation. Take a look at some of the past projects!


Cost/Stipend: No cost. In-person participants receive an hourly stipend (amount varies), while virtual interns receive a stipend of $500.


Program Dates: 8 weeks, June 2024 - August 2024 (in-person); 5 weeks, July 2023 - August 2023 (virtual).

Application Deadline: March 1, every year.

Location: Virtual and in-person options. The in-person program will be held at the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology on the East Baltimore campus.


Eligibility:

  • Juniors and seniors from around the country are eligible to apply to the 5-week, virtual program.

  • Juniors and seniors residing in Baltimore City and the metro area, who have a strong passion and interest in science and medicine, are from underrepresented groups, and have an academically strong background are eligible for the in-person program.


If you’re inclined to conduct research in the field of history or are looking to build your knowledge base in American history, you should consider applying to this internship. The Student Historian internship program offers a chance to put the New York Historical Society's resources to use to conduct research and showcase your scholarly work with innovative digital projects. As an intern, you will participate in informative sessions with experienced professionals, where you can get valuable insight into the world of museums, libraries, digital humanities, and history. You will also work on your collaborative skills as you’ll be working closely with peers to enhance your historical analysis, communication, and digital media abilities. You will also actively participate in hands-on activities designed to deepen your knowledge of American history and the digital humanities.


Cost/Stipend: No cost. Interns who attend a Title 1 School or are eligible for free or reduced lunch will be offered a stipend to participate. Unpaid internships will be provided for all other accepted students, with the option to receive community service hours or school credit. Participation in this program can be used to fulfill the extracurricular requirement for the NYSED Seal of Civic Readiness. 

Program dates: October - June.

Application deadline: Applications will open in February.

Location: New York Historical Society, New York, NY.

Eligibility: High school students entering grades 10, 11, or 12 can apply. Applicants must live in and attend school in the New York City metro area (includes the five boroughs of New York City, as well as areas of New York State, Connecticut, and New Jersey).



This is a highly selective program that offers students an opportunity to work with and learn from faculty and researchers in Princeton laboratories while assisting them with ongoing research usually in the fields of engineering and the natural sciences. There are around 25 Princeton laboratories which accept about 40 interns every year. Princeton faculty lead research teams, which typically include postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students, and other staff researchers – along with interns like you. At the end of the program, you will be required to produce a 2-page research summary report. Research opportunities vary year on year, depending on the laboratory and the researcher’s focus. Some of the research projects that interns have participated in the past include:

  • Machine learning methods for power magnetics modeling

  • Heat pumps to save the world

  • Investigating heteroresistance to antibiotics

  • Machine learning for green power generation

  • Decoding human genetic variation in human health and disease

  • Biofuel oxidation at supercritical pressure

You can see the entire list of past research opportunities here.

The program is considered fairly prestigious as well, because of its association with Princeton University.


Cost/Stipend: None.

Program dates: 5-6 weeks in the summer, depending on the research project and the schedule of the researchers. Each research project has its own schedule. Interns work full-time, Monday to Friday, with no weekend activities.

Application deadline: Applications typically close in March.

Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.

Eligibility: Students who

  • are enrolled in a U.S. high school and are at least 16 years old. High school graduates who will not turn 18 by June 15, 2024, can apply (for the 2024 cohort)

  • are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. International students enrolled in a U.S. high school can also apply. Princeton does not sponsor visas for the program.


This national-level internship program is hosted by University of Texas, Austin and NASA. It’s highly competitive, with only 6-7 interns selected to participate every year. Interning in a NASA-associated program would come with a certain amount of prestige as well! During this program, high school student interns get the chance to work with NASA subject matter experts.


The program is focused on Earth and space research. Interns are usually tasked to assist scientists and researchers with analyzing and visualizing data – which are essential steps when working on a project and building foundational knowledge for aerospace engineering. All project teams will present their research during the Virtual SEES Science Symposium. The program includes a virtual, learning component, along with an on-site experience at the University of Texas, Austin campus. You will be expected to present your research at the program's concluding symposium. 


Cost/Stipend: None.

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in February.

Program Dates: May - July (tentatively, based on previous years)

Location: Hybrid (virtual component + on-site experience at the UT Austin campus)

Eligibility: High school juniors who hold U.S. citizenship can apply.


The Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program offers high school students the chance to work one-on-one with faculty researchers at George Mason University, developing their own independent research projects. As an intern in this program, you will work across disciplines like astronomy, nanoscience, game design, drug discovery, robotics, women’s health, stem-related entrepreneurship and more. 


You will gain hands-on experience using cutting-edge equipment and technology, develop and and learn to apply scientific writing and communication skills, explore STEM career choices through discussion forums and meetings with experts. and pick up creative skills, which are essential when conducting research. Previous projects include research in antibiotic development, measuring Volatile Organic Carbon (VOC), and diagnosis of tuberculosis through qPCR. You can look at previous research here! This program is fairly selective, with an acceptance rate of around 10%.


Cost/Stipend: $25 application fee (transportation and housing are not covered). No stipend is offered.

Program Dates: June-end to mid-August (tentatively, based on previous years).

Application Deadline: The deadline is not specified, but expect it to be around January or February.

Location: George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Internships can either be fully remote, entirely in-person, or hybrid. This depends on your mentor's choice and their requirements.

Eligibility: For the remote internships and in-person/hybrid computer lab internships, students must be 15 years or older by June-end, 2024. For the ‘wet-lab’ in-person or hybrid internships, students must be 16 or older by June-end, 2024.

Note: While the program accepts international applications, specific research labs may be unavailable for non-US citizens.


This program is designed to offer applied research exposure and experience to high achieving high school students. It’s a highly competitive program, with only 12 students accepted every year - an acceptance rate of less than 3%. Once selected, you will work one-on-one with expert scientists and researchers, attend weekly seminars, and participate in discussions, field visits and social activities. As a scholar in this program, you get the opportunity to conduct research across a wide range of fields.

While not a traditional internship, the program is structured like one. You will gain practical research experience and build your knowledge base, as you learn from experienced faculty members from the university. Research areas for 2024 include nutritional sciences, computer science, biology and microbiology, mechanical engineering, neurobiology, history, chemistry, and electrical and computer engineering.


Cost/Stipend: No cost. Stipend of $750 + free housing and meals

Program Dates: June 16, 2024 - August 1, 2024 (7 weeks)

Application Deadline: February every year

Location: TexasTech University campus, Lubbock, TX

Eligibility: Students who will be at least 17 years old by the program start date, will graduate in 2024/2025, and are U.S. citizens or permanent residents


Fermilab operates under the U.S Department of Energy, and is America’s premier lab for particle physics research. The lab offers this 7-week research internship for high school students who are keen on exploring research in the field of engineering physics. As an intern, you will contribute to Fermilab research. The fact that the program is offered by a government-affiliated body can make it a prestigious addition to your profile, especially if you’re planning to pursue STEM.


The lab works in the fields of particle physics and accelerator research, and as an intern, you will work on projects involving particle physics, particle accelerators and detectors, computer science, and quantum science to analyze data. You will also be tasked with data collection via entrance and exit surveys, writing a research abstract, and giving oral presentations! 


Cost/Stipend: No cost. Students will be paid $16.20 per hour.

Program Dates: June 17, 2024 – August 2, 2024.

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in January.

Location: Varies based on lab choice.

Eligibility: Open to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are U.S. citizens or those who have a permanent resident status with Illinois high school enrollment. Proof of medical insurance is required.


The Air Force Research Laboratory Scholars program is a paid internship opportunity for academically-motivated high school students keen to explore the field of aerospace engineering. As a scholar, you will be mentored and guided by full-time AFRL scientists and engineers. You will also get to tour AFRL laboratories and work on innovative research with experts. 


The program offers a range of research topics to choose from, and you can take a look at the different mentor bios here. You can apply to upto 3 topics per AFRL site. Some of the topics offered this summer are Advanced Carbon-Based Conductors for Aerospace Applications and Characterization of High-Temperature Structural Materials. The program also offers projects including 'Advanced Robot Controller Design and Implementation' that require you to apply computer science concepts.


Cost/Stipend: No cost. Students will be paid $492.40 per week.

Program Dates: The program typically offers summer internships, with a limited number of positions during the fall and spring semesters. Dates vary each year. ARFL internships typically run 10–12 weeks, with a minimum requirement of 8 weeks. They can last up to 14 weeks based on mentor preferences and funding availability.

Application deadline: Deadlines vary based on the chosen site.

Location: Several locations across the United States. Find one that works for you!

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


The Idaho National Laboratory, part of the U.S. Department of Energy, offers 6-week internships to high school students that allow them to conduct research and apply traditional STEM concepts to real-world problems. During the internship, you’ll spend 80% of your time in the lab with your mentor, and 20% will be centered around enrichment and skill-building activities.

The internships cover a range of research topics. As an intern, you could work on advanced transportation technology, clean energy, critical infrastructure protection, and cyber security. You can view projects across different subjects through past Intern Poster sessions. Internship opportunities are divided based on research subjects and the skills required for each. You can apply to as many, based on any potential areas of interest you have. The program also offers internships in business administration, finance, and accounting internships along with their STEM internships. In each area of interest, the number of research topics is vast.


Cost/Stipend: A stipend is provided, but information on the exact amount is not available.

Program Dates: 10-16 weeks in the summer.

Application Deadline: Typically, applications close in the spring.

Location: Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID.

Eligibility: High school students above the age of 16, who hold a U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status are eligible to apply. (Exceptions can be made for foreign nationals who attend an accredited U.S. college or university).


Conducted by a highly esteemed institution, this internship offers a unique chance for students to explore diverse subjects remotely. As an intern, you will engage in cutting-edge projects and collaborative efforts for hands-on experiences beyond the traditional classroom. 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.


This program will help you develop technical skills and will foster a success-oriented mindset. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration, reflecting real-world tech scenarios for enhanced adaptability and resilience. Themes cover information science, engineering, arts, linguistics, psychology, biology, neuroscience, computer science, technology, philosophy, and design. The networking opportunities within Stanford's community and contributing to real projects make this a great choice.


Cost/Stipend: None.

Program dates: June 17, 2024 - August 9, 2024.

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in January.

Location: Virtual.

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.


Bonus! 

Here are a few more summer research internships you can consider as a high school student: 


Looking for an immersive internship experience?


Check out Ladder Internships!


Ladder Internships is a selective, virtual internship program where students work with startups and nonprofits from around the world! The startups range across a variety of industries. As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project that is of genuine need to the startup they are working with, and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship. Apply now!


One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you’re interested in pursuing independent research, 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: Stanford University logo


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