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Stanford's GRIPS Program - 7 Reasons Why You Should Attend

If you are in high school and interested in research, it can be hard for you to figure out how to advance your knowledge past the high school curriculum. A summer pre-college program is a great way for you to develop the skills and network needed to pursue a future education and career. They help you build foundational skills, connect you to experts in the field, and offer college credit as you dive into a new experience. Attending such a program also signals to colleges that not only are you interested in research, but you are willing to take the steps to actively pursue further education. Pre-college programs double as residential experiences, giving you a taste of college life. 


The Genomics Research Internship Program at Stanford (GRIPS) offers talented high schools the opportunity to conduct research in computational genetics and genomics. Affiliated with Stanford University, this is a prestigious program that offers students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of research through immersive experiences and collaboration with leading scholars. 


What is the structure of the program? 

GRIPS is a 20-hour, eight-week long research intensive experience. The 2024 summer program is a hybrid experience that will start on June 17th and end on August 8th. 


The typical schedule is 9am to 1pm, Monday through Friday, through the entire internship period. Students will be placed in a research laboratory and conduct genomics research under the supervision of a lab mentor. They might also attend group workshops and must be able to come to campus when required to.  


In addition to their research activities, students will also participate in weekly journal clubs, panels and seminars on career paths in biomedical research, and regular check in meetings with their research mentors.


Who is eligible to apply?

GRIPS is open only to high school students who are residents from the Stanford community. Students must reside in one of the following counties:

  • Alameda

  • San Francisco

  • San Mateo

  • Santa Clara

  • Santa Cruz 


Students must be 16 or older and have some prior knowledge of biology, chemistry, or computer science. Students must have an unweighted GPA of at least 3.0 


What are the costs associated with the program?

There is no fee to apply or participate in GRIPS


What does the application process look like?

The application to GRIPS includes five components. One can access the application link here


  1. Essay: statement of purpose Here, you will summarize the reasons why you are applying to GRIPS and what you hope to gain by participating

  2. Essay: contribution towards a diverse scientific process You will be asked to elaborate on the following: 

    1. How do your personal obstacles, history, passions, and achievements equip you to make a distinctive contribution to the scientific community?

    2. Why is the inclusion of a variety of perspectives essential in the field of science?

  3. Unofficial transcript

  4. One page resume / CV

  5. Letter of recommendation You will be asked to provide a letter of recommendation from either a science teacher, internship mentor, academic advisor, or guidance counselor

7 reasons to apply to GRIPS


1. The program is prestigious

Stanford University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Attending GRIPS at Stanford will be a great addition to your resume. Because it is fully funded and offers an intensive, cutting edge research experience, it is a competitive and well regarded program. This could open a lot of doors when looking for research or career opportunities down the road. 


2. You can indicate to colleges your interest in genomics and research

Many students write that they are interested in biomedicine, research, or genomics. However, few students are able to actually demonstrate what steps they have taken to pursue their interests. By attending GRIPS, you have a tangible experience you can show to prove your passion for this field. You indicate to colleges that not only are you someone with unique interests, you are also motivated and passionate enough to find opportunities related to this interest. 


3. You’ll have access to world-class mentors

GRIPS features renowned Stanford faculty members and mentors who are experts in their fields. Students will be provided with access to top-notch instruction and mentorship within the genomics field. Mentorship is incredibly important when beginning to build a future career. You will work closely with your lab mentor during the program, meeting with them for regular one-on-one check in meetings. This means you can build a connection that will continue far beyond the program. When you apply to college, they can provide a great recommendation letter. When you apply for another research opportunity, they can provide you with advice and guidance. They will be someone to turn to whenever you have a question or an idea in the future and will help you develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field. 


4. The program offers great networking opportunities

In addition to your research work, you will also be asked to attend panels and seminars on career paths in biomedical research. Students will be given the opportunity to hear from renowned professionals in the field and gain an understanding of what future career paths in the research world can look like. This can serve as an incredibly valuable network for someone interested in pursuing a career in biomedicine. These professionals can become mentors who will help open potential doors for future research positions, recommendation letters, or jobs. 


5. You’ll gain hands-on research experience

Of course, the focus of the GRIPS program is research. You will be asked to join a real research lab and work with true experts in the field. You’ll be engaging in hands-on research projects, developing fundamental skills and knowledge on the research process. Because these are real research labs, you’ll be applying what you learn to real-world settings and problems. This is a great way to dive head-first into a new and exciting research experience and prepare yourself for a future career in the field. Even if you come in with little research knowledge, there is no better way to learn than through hands-on experience! 


6. You will get a unique taste of college life 

Students in this program will be able to experience the life of a Stanford student, interacting with Stanford instructors and walking on their campus. This is a great opportunity to get a quick taste of college life and prepare yourself adequately. It is also a great opportunity to check out Stanford and see if you like it—if you do, it’s a once-in-a lifetime chance to try and understand the campus culture, facilities, and workings before applying! 


7. The program is fully funded

The program comes at no cost at all and actually provides scholarships to help make the program more accessible. Students can apply for a scholarship as long as they have their high school principal, high school counselor, or financial aid officer write a letter that explains their financial need. This is an incredibly unique opportunity. Most programs that offer hands-on rigorous learning experiences at a prestigious university charge a very high price. The program cuts all costs, offering great opportunities in an accessible environment. 



If you are passionate about research in biomedicine, genomics, or other STEM fields then you could consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, an 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.


Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students.


Amelia is a current senior at Harvard College studying art history with a minor in economics. She’s enthusiastic about music, movies, and writing, and is excited to help Veritas AIs students as much as she can!


Image Source: Stanford logo

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