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  • Writer's pictureEstelle Reardon

10 Neuroscience Internships for High School Students

Updated: 20 hours ago

Why do internships in high school?


Before we jump into a long list of neuroscience internships for high school students, it is important to understand why these opportunities could matter for your future. According to PRISM, a consultancy, 70% of students attending a US News top 50 University have completed at least one internship while in high school. These opportunities serve as a way to distinguish yourself in the admissions process by showing that you have gone out and verified your future goals through experience. 


Neuroscience is also facing a stark transformation as an industry right now as AI/ML models get incorporated into modern workflows. This means that gaining experience in the field can be pivotal in helping you gain the hard skills necessary to compete for competitive research positions in the future. Doing a neuroscience internship will also help you gain an early understanding of the different types of careers that exist within the larger field of neuroscience - whether that means being a neurosurgeon or a professor, well, that’s up to you!


How to Find Neuroscience Internships for High School Students


The best way to find neuroscience internships for high school students is through online search tools and lists. The StandOutSearch database provides the largest free resource that lists almost every internship program for the high school age group and allows you to search by interest area. MIT Admissions also provides a helpful list of High School Internships


However, official programs tend to be very competitive, so if you are serious about finding a neuroscience internship in high school, you should also prepare a cold outreach strategy. You can read more about how to form a cold outreach strategy to find a neuroscience high school internship at the end of this article. We also include email templates to make finding an internship or research position through cold outreach less daunting.


10 Neuroscience Internships for High School Students


Most of the neuroscience internships for high school students below have an acceptance rate of 20% or lower, given that there are many more high school students looking for internships relative to official programs that provide them. We recommend choosing at least five opportunities to apply to. If you see an opportunity that excites you, take a moment to write the deadline on your calendar!



  • Ages: 15-19

  • Location: Virtual 

  • Timeline: Summer, Spring, Fall, or Winter

  • Deadline: Various Deadlines


StandOut Connect is a program created thanks to investment from UChicago’s Polsky Center for Innovation that matches high school students with internships in their interest area. Students interview with potential mentors who are leaders and innovators within their area of interest until they are hired for a two-month internship. Many students then receive optional return offers to continue with their internship for as long as they would like.



  • Ages: 16 and above

  • Location: New York City

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: March 15


The Summer Neuroscience Program (SNP) is a two-week course for NYC public high schoolers led by Rockefeller graduate students. Participants take a look at ongoing neuroscience research in an effort to understand how the brain works and how it relates to our daily life. We aim to introduce students to modern neuroscience, while empowering them to explore in their own unique ways the mysteries that remain. Students will even get to dissect a brain!



  • Ages: Rising Senior

  • Location: New York City

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: March 3


This internship consists of clinical immersion in inpatient and outpatient medical practice in neurosurgery. Interns will interact with med students, residents and attendings to learn about day-to-day practice, and engage in classroom-based and informal learning about hard and soft skills critical to becoming a physician. 



  • Ages: Rising Junior or Senior

  • Location: New York City 

  • Timeline: Fall

  • Deadline: January to August


BRAINYAC provides high schoolers with an immersive, hands-on summer research experience in a Columbia laboratory. Each student is matched with a Columbia neuroscientist, a mentor who guides the student through a research project. Interns come away from the experience with an enhanced understanding of how laboratory research leads to transformative discovery, exposure to a professional academic environment, and a stronger connection to science as a career.



  • Ages: Rising Junior or Senior

  • Location: Baltimore, MD

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: March 1


A summer program designed to introduce high school students from underrepresented backgrounds in the Baltimore area to careers in neurological sciences. Participants engage in hands-on research under mentor supervision, receiving educational support and encouragement to pursue careers as researchers or clinician-scientists. The program offers two options: a nationwide virtual research opportunity and an in-person internship for local students in Baltimore. Both options provide compensation for students' participation.



  • Ages: Rising Senior

  • Location: Boston, MA

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: March 1


Interns first undergo training to prepare for the summer program's demands, including research and clinical training, skill-building sessions, and networking. Then throughout the summer, interns are paired with mentors in MGH Neurology labs, where they work on ongoing research projects. Weekly didactic sessions led by professionals will aim to expand interns' neurology knowledge and introduce them to diverse leaders in the field. The program culminates in final presentations where interns showcase their research experiences to peers, mentors, and the MGH Neurology department.



  • Ages: 16 - 17

  • Location: San Francisco, CA

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: February 25


Conduct biomedical science research alongside a scientist who is your day-to-day mentor and teacher. Examples of past research topics include: infectious disease, neuroscience, molecular biology, immunology, cancer, stem cell research, and developmental biology. Develop science communication skills. Build your professional network through interactions with scientists and others at UCSF Build community with a cohort of 25 High School Interns Participate in College Counseling supports including: Writing workshops to develop a personal statement for use in college applications. Individual meetings with our college counselor to review transcripts and learn about colleges.



  • Ages: 16 - 17

  • Location: Boston, MA

  • Timeline: June 30 - August 9

  • Deadline: February 14


The RISE program offered by Boston University Summer Term is a 6-week internship/practicum for domestic high school juniors passionate about STEM subjects. The program consists of two tracks: Internship and Practicum. In the Internship track, students will work on research projects under the mentorship of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and distinguished faculty for 40 hours every week. On the other hand, the Practicum track provides a set syllabus on computational neurobiology within a structured research environment led by a BU instructor.



  • Ages: 15 - 17

  • Location: Santa Barbara, CA

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: Rolling; December 15 - March 18


The Research Mentorship Program is a competitive summer program that engages qualified, high-achieving high school students from all over the world in interdisciplinary, hands-on, university-level research. Students will be paired with a mentor (graduate student, postdoc, or faculty) and choose a research project from a long list of disciplines offered by the program each year.



  • Ages: 16 - 18

  • Location: Cambridge, MA

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: January 22


The Broad Summer Scholars Program (BSSP) invites highly motivated high school students with a strong interest in science to spend six weeks at the Broad Institute. Students are matched with Broad scientists to conduct original, cutting-edge research projects in areas such as: cancer biology, psychiatric disease, chemical biology, computational biology, infectious disease, and more. In addition to original research, students will get to explore scientific careers; attend interesting scientific talks; present their research to the Broad community in a scientific poster session; attend a college fair; participate in fun social events; and meet other students who share similar interests. 


Cold Outreach Strategy for High School Internships 


If the opportunities listed above don’t turn out to be a fit, the next step to finding neuroscience internships for high school students is to launch a cold outreach strategy. This may seem intimidating at first, but the guide below should make it much more simple. As an added note, please exercise caution when reaching out to professionals you don’t know. It is always safest to interview or meet virtually. 


How to Find Companies to Reach Out to for a High School Internship 


Use LinkedIn to find small companies and labs where you can help with skills such as social media, coding, content/grant writing, or graphic design. Smaller companies that need more hands on deck will be the most likely to hire high-school-aged students. Try to find personal connections with the professionals you reach out to, such as being from the same state originally or liking the same sports team. When it comes to neuroscience specifically, make sure to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the work or research of the company or professor you’re reaching out to in order to be able to articulate why you want to work with them.


How to Find Professors to Reach Out to for a High School Research Position 


You can use online university staff directories to find professors to reach out to for research positions. Note that if you are looking for a remote research position with a professor, you should be aware that these opportunities tend to be harder to come by. Professors typically have high school students help with more manual laboratory tasks such as running equipment and usually do not have very much use for interns at a high school education level within a remote setting. The exception is if you are doing computational research, which generally requires introductory knowledge of Python or R to parse large datasets. You should be able to learn Python or R on your own for free within a few months using resources such as Coursera’s R Programming Course or Python for Everybody.


How to Structure and Send Outreach Emails 


For a successful cold-outreach strategy, aim to send at least 50 emails to potential internship providers. Be sure to include a link to your resume, which should be no more than one page while you are in high school. UChicago provides a helpful free resume template and guide. We recommend including your resume as a Google Drive link because including it as a PDF will sometimes negatively impact the deliverability of your email. However, be sure to check that the sharing settings on the document allow anyone with the link to view its contents. It can also be a good idea to include work samples in your resume, such as the link to a website you designed, a social media account you manage, or your GitHub profile.


Email Template for Finding a High School Internship 


If you are unsure how to structure your outreach emails to potential internship providers, here are some basic templates you can customize to your needs. 


Template for Finding an Internship


Subject: Student Reaching Out


Dear Mr./Ms.____,


I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I read about your company on LinkedIn and found the concept quite interesting. For context, [briefly state how the company relates to your interests or experience]. 

I was wondering if you might be looking for interns. I know I would have a great deal to learn from working with you, and I would love to contribute in any way I can. I have included my resume here. Thanks so much!


Sincerely, 


[Your name]


Template for Finding a Research Position


Subject: Student Reaching Out


Dear Professor/Dr. ____,


I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I recently read your paper on [restate the abstract] in [name of publication] and was quite intrigued by [part you found interesting]. I was wondering if I might be able to intern for you over this summer. [Elaborate on your relevant skills and experience and why you are passionate about the field]. 

I have included my resume here. Thanks so much! 


Sincerely,


[Your name]



Neuroscience Internships for High School Students
Neuroscience Internships for High School Students


Conclusion


Whether you are applying to established programs or launching a cold outreach strategy, the name of the game when looking for a neuroscience high school internship or research position is perseverance. These opportunities can be extremely difficult to secure, but most high school students find it worth it in the end to get a head start on building their careers. If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to save it for later or share it with a friend. Good luck on your internship search journey!

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