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Research Opportunities for High School Students: A Comprehensive Guide to 27 Summer Programs

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There are many noteworthy summer research initiatives for high schoolers, offering a valuable avenue for students to engage in during their summer break. For those who might be wondering how to manage their time between research and regular schoolwork, services that offer to write me a lab report with DoMyEssay can be a lifesaver, allowing students to focus more on their research endeavors.

Research experiences are highly regarded, ranking as top-tier extracurricular activities according to the College Vine classification system, providing a significant edge in the college admissions landscape. The value of a research endeavor increases substantially when the participating program is competitive or when the student’s research work gets published or gains wider recognition..

This article presents 27 summer research opportunities available for high school students. The offerings of these programs vary, providing options for free participation as well as others that come with a participation fee.

Table of Contents

Summer Research Opportunities for High School Students

  1. Research Science Institute (RSI)

Recognized as the premier high school STEM research program, RSI invites around 80 students annually to participate in a collaborative effort between MIT and CEE. Students engage in individual research projects under the mentorship of researchers from Boston, culminating in a presentation of their findings to a larger audience at a conference. The program saw approximately 1600 applicants for 80 positions in 2019, indicating a competitive 5% acceptance rate.

Cost: Free

  1. Simons Summer Research Program

Running from June 27th to July 29th, the Simons Summer Research Program allows high schoolers to immerse themselves in hands-on research across disciplines, including science, mathematics, and engineering. Participants work alongside faculty members, learning about research methodologies and laboratory equipment while experiencing life at a research institution. To apply, individuals need to be 16 years or older and obtain two letters of recommendation. The program selects participants at an 8% acceptance rate and provides a stipend.

Cost: Free

  1. Spark Summer Internship Program (Spark SIP)

Tailored for students keen on computer science and related fields, Spark SIP connects participants with leading industry experts and offers hands-on research experience in practical settings. Participants must be available to commit to a full-time schedule of 30-40 hours per week for a duration of 8-12 weeks over the summer. A stipend of up to $500 is awarded.

Cost: Free

  1. Boston University’s Research in Science and Engineering Internship (RISE)

RISE offers a 6-week, non-credit initiative for academically driven rising seniors with a passion for scientific research, available in two tracks: Internship and Practicum. The Internship track pairs students with faculty mentors for full-time research in a specific field, fostering the development of technical and analytical skills. The Practicum track involves group research in computational neurobiology under the supervision of a Boston University instructor.

Cost: $8,558 (residential); $5,570 (commuter)

  1. Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE)

ARISE blends college-level workshops with hands-on laboratory research in areas such as civil and urban engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, and robotics, specifically designed for high school sophomores and juniors. Participants receive guidance from graduate students or postdoctoral researchers at NYU Tandon School of Engineering for seven weeks. The program includes presentation skills training and concludes with participants presenting their research to an audience of NYU faculty, peers, and other experts. A minimum stipend of $750 is provided to each student.

Cost: Free

  1. California Academy of Sciences Internship for Careers in Science (CiS)

Initiated in 1996, this initiative aims to introduce students from San Francisco’s underrepresented communities in STEM to the worlds of science and sustainability. Participants benefit from mentorship, develop professional skills, and engage in seminars and conferences, all while receiving a stipend for their contribution. This initiative is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the realm of science.

Cost: Free

  1. UC San Diego Academic Connections Research Scholars

Each summer, 25 students are chosen to engage in individual research projects alongside UCSD faculty in fields such as Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, and Nanotechnology, with full access to the university’s laboratories. This six-week program is tailored for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors eager to dive deep into research.

Cost: $4,200

  1. University of Iowa Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP)

SSTP is a selective program targeting sophomores and juniors who are prepared for intensive research across disciplines, from Biochemistry to Religious Studies. With faculty mentorship, students immerse themselves in the university’s research environment for five weeks. This program is distinguished by its breadth of research opportunities and its commitment to nurturing young scholars. Applications are usually due by February 18th.

Cost: $6,395

  1. Anson L. Clark Scholars Program

For six weeks, the Clark Scholars Program offers a holistic research experience in a wide array of disciplines, enabling close collaboration with faculty through personalized research projects, seminars, and field trips. Limited to 12 participants annually, this competitive program seeks applicants who are at least 17 years old by the start date and offers a $750 stipend. Applications usually close on February 16th, marking an exclusive opportunity for in-depth academic exploration.

Cost: Free

  1. Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists (PROMYS)

PROMYS dedicates six weeks to nurturing the talents of mathematically inclined students through a program that emphasizes problem-solving and discovery. Open to all high schoolers above 14, the program includes lectures, seminars, and collaborative problem-solving, with around 80 students accepted each year. The application deadline is usually set for March 15th, promising a distinctive setting for exploring mathematical problems.

Cost: $5,150 (with financial aid available for families earning under $60,000 annually)

  1. University of Illinois High School STEM Research Program

This program invites rising juniors and seniors to gain hands-on research experience in various STEM fields, including but not limited to cancer research, pharmacogenomics, and engineering disciplines. Participants, paired with a peer and a mentor, commit to 30-35 hours per week for six weeks, delving into projects that match their interests and ambitions. This program represents a significant stepping stone for future STEM professionals.

Cost: Free

  1. The Summer Science Program (SSP)

Since its inception in 1959, the Summer Science Program has been a rigorous, research-oriented experience organized by its alumni. It offers participants a mix of classroom instruction, laboratory work, lectures by guest speakers, and educational excursions in three distinct areas: Astrophysics, Biochemistry, and Genomics. The program, aimed at current sophomores and juniors, is known for its selectivity, admitting only 10% of applicants.

Cost: $7,450 (financial assistance available for families with incomes below $70,000 annually)

  1. Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR)

In the SIMR program, participants engage in medical research alongside faculty and researchers from Stanford. Participants choose from eight areas of study and are assigned to a laboratory where they benefit from personalized mentorship. The eight-week program accepts current juniors and seniors, admitting around 50 students annually. Program applicants are required to be at least 16 years old by the start of the program. A minimum stipend of $500 is provided to all participants.

Cost: Free

  1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Summer Student Program

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) provides a Summer Student Program that allows students to pursue independent research, supplemented by various activities and educational opportunities. Under the mentorship of experienced research staff, students spend eight weeks immersed in their projects, culminating in a presentation at a poster symposium.

Cost: Free

  1. Research in Materials Science Program (RIMS)

Hosted by the City University of New York’s Advanced Science Research Center, RIMS provides students with the opportunity to engage in research within ASRC’s state-of-the-art facilities and participate in professional development workshops over an eight-week period. Participants receive a stipend, and entry into the program is highly competitive.

Cost: Free

  1. The Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program

This ten-week initiative at The Jackson Laboratory is centered on genetics and genomics research, targeting undergraduates and high school seniors who are 18 years old and have completed the 12th grade at the time the program begins. With a selection rate of about 3%, or roughly 40 students annually, participants embark on independent research projects mentored by professionals, aiming to present their work at the program’s end. A stipend of $6,000 is provided.

Cost: Free

  1. Perimeter Institute International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP)

ISSYP caters to juniors and seniors who are passionate about theoretical physics and planning to study it further in college. Transitioning to a completely online format, this program was once hosted in person at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario. It features discussions on cutting-edge theoretical physics topics, short courses, keynote lectures, and mentorship sessions. With its competitive nature, ISSYP accepts only 30–40 students each year.

Cost: $195

  1. Carnegie Mellon University’s Summer Academy for Math and Science (SAMS)

Carnegie Mellon University offers SAMS to current sophomores and juniors from underrepresented groups interested in gaining college credit and mastering essential concepts in advanced math and science. The program includes classroom instruction, research projects, and professional and academic enrichment, all taught over a six-week period by the university’s esteemed faculty.

Cost: Free

  1. NIH High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP)

The HS-SIP at the National Institute of Health invites high school juniors and seniors to engage in full-time biomedical research in NIH’s world-class facilities under the mentorship of globally recognized scientists. The selection process for the program is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of around 15%. Over eight weeks, participants receive a stipend of $2,080 monthly, offering an unparalleled introduction to the biomedical research field.

Cost: Free

  1. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Summer High School Internship

This eight-week, full-time program is tailored for rising seniors, especially from communities underrepresented in biomedical science. Participants gain practical experience in laboratory techniques and safety in Fred Hutch’s training labs, attend research and professional development seminars, and are mentored by the center’s research teams. Interested students can usually apply starting February 1st, with a stipend provided for their involvement.

Cost: Free

  1. Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program (SSRP)

Rockefeller University hosts SSRP, an intensive, full-time research program running from June 27th to August 11th (tentative). Open to high school juniors and seniors over 16, the program requires a recommendation letter for application. It’s important to apply early as the application period closes in the fall, prior to the summer session.

Cost: Free

  1. Coriell Institute for Medical Research Summer Experience

The Coriell Institute, a forefront in stem cell and genetic research, offers a four-week Summer Experience for select students to collaborate with leading scientists. Participants engage in research, attend lectures, partake in data analysis and resume-building workshops, and present their results. Students work in the institute’s Cytogenomics and Stem Cell laboratories and receive a $1,000 stipend. Candidates must be at least 17 years old by the start of the program.

Cost: Free

  1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute Jump Start Program at the University of Maryland

This one-week, intensive summer program at the University of Maryland exposes 50 students to the frontiers of biomedical science. Open to juniors and seniors who have completed AP Biology and Chemistry, it includes seminars and workshops on professional development. Application requirements include transcripts, a reference letter from a science teacher, and a personal statement detailing the inspiration behind the student’s scientific curiosity.

Cost: $250

  1. Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy at City of Hope Cancer Center

This prestigious 10-week academy annually admits 100 students out of over 2,000 applicants, offering a $4,000 stipend. Participants have the opportunity to engage in seminars and lab sessions, and they are encouraged to initiate their own biomedical research projects under the guidance of City of Hope’s esteemed mentors. The program concludes with the participants completing and presenting a research paper. It is mandatory for applicants to be at least 16 years old at the program’s commencement and to have finished high school courses in chemistry and biology.

Cost: Free

  1. Emmanuel College’s BioResearch Academy

Emmanuel College’s BioResearch Academy in Boston, running from July 5th to 18th, caters to high schoolers with a keen interest in biological sciences. Developed by Dr. Sam Kunes, a Harvard University faculty member with 30 years of teaching experience in cell biology and neuroscience, this fully residential program offers an immersive educational experience.

Cost: $5,500 (includes accommodation, meals, and activities)

  1. Veritas AI – AI Fellowship

Veritas AI is dedicated to fostering high school students’ interest in artificial intelligence through a supportive learning environment that emphasizes collaboration, project development, and personalized mentorship. Created and managed by Harvard graduate students and alums, the program promises a rich, comprehensive educational experience. Participants should have foundational knowledge in Python or are encouraged to complete the AI Scholars program as a prerequisite. The AI Fellowship encourages students to embark on independent AI research projects, blending AI with other disciplines over 12-15 weeks. Projects have previously spanned AI applications in healthcare, finance, environmental science, and education, among others, showcasing the diverse potential of AI research.

Costs: $1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program; $4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship; $4,700 for participation in both programs

  1. Lumiere Research Scholar Program

The Lumiere Research Scholar Program, established by scholars from Harvard and Oxford, offers students the unique opportunity to collaborate directly with a Ph.D. mentor in their area of interest, immersing them in the forefront of academic inquiry and guiding them in creating their own research project. This initiative boasts a network of over 1,000 mentors from prestigious universities worldwide, dedicated to cultivating the upcoming cadre of scholarly researchers. Alums of the program have achieved remarkable successes, including admissions to top-tier universities, founding charitable organizations, and earning distinctions at international competitions.

Costs: The 12-week Individual Research Program ($2,800); the 16-20 week Premium Research & Publication Program ($5,400); and the 6-12 month Research Fellowship ($8,900).

Finding Research Opportunities

Diversifying your applications and proactively reaching out to academics for potential research collaborations are effective strategies. While navigating the complex journey toward publication may not be directly facilitated by all programs, understanding the publication process is valuable for those interested.

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