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  • Writer's pictureEstelle Reardon

5 Neuroscience Internships for High School Students in Los Angeles

Why do internships in high school?


Before we jump into a long list of neuroscience internships for high school students in Los Angeles, 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. Doing internships will help you enter college with a clearer idea of the professional environments you enjoy or don’t enjoy, which will make it easier for you to recruit into a job you love after graduation. Students who have done at least one internship in high school also typically have an easier time recruiting into college internships and pre-professional organizations such as finance or pre-law clubs.


How to Find Neuroscience Internships for High School Students in Los Angeles


The best way to find neuroscience internships for high school students in Los Angeles 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 summer 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 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.


5 Neuroscience Internships for High School Students in Los Angeles


Most of the neuroscience internships for high school students in Los Angeles 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, 17, 18

  • Location: California

  • Timeline: Year Round

  • Deadline: Varies


Sandia welcomes student interns – from those in their final years of high school, to undergraduates, to researchers obtaining PhDs. As an intern, you will work on real-world, challenging projects that contribute to Sandia’s mission. You will also have opportunities to socialize, travel, and explore life in New Mexico and California.



  • Ages: 16, 17, 18

  • Location: Southern California

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: March 30


Gain knowledge of and exposure to current topics in translational science, including the genetic basis for common and complex traits and diseases in humans, as well as the integration of mobile technologies to monitor and improve health care. Learn study design and analysis procedures relevant for translational research, including genomic/genetic association studies and mHealth trials. Observe the various steps of proposing, designing, undertaking and analyzing clinical trials, particularly those evaluating genomics and mobile monitoring of patients with disease. Become proficient in presenting scientific concepts—including study design, research findings, data analysis and results interpretation—to peers and mentors.



  • Ages: 15, 16, 17

  • Location: Santa Barbara

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: March 18


The Office of Summer Sessions orchestrates a robust selection of educational opportunities to empower students to meet or exceed their individualized academic goals through credit-bearing summer study. We support student success by offering a vast curriculum of in-person and online courses, creatively addressing affordability and accessibility, and curating academic programs tailored to the needs of specific student populations. Summer Sessions supports the broader mission of the University through strategic enrollment planning and management, innovative academic experiences, and building community during the summer months. 



  • Ages: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

  • Location: UCLA

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: May 3


NeuroCamp is a free BRI summer outreach program that brings together a group of 15-20 highly motivated high school students in an instructional course introducing them to neuroscience. Students will learn the fundamentals concepts of neuroscience and basic lab techniques in Molecular Neurobiology, Neurophysiology and Neuroanatomy. The overall goal of the program is to provide an exciting and rewarding introduction to research in neuroscience to a broad range of high school students from the Los Angeles area. Ultimately, NeuroCamp aims to stimulate participants’ interest in college and an educational path leading to careers in science. 


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 in Los Angeles 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 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. 


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 washing beakers or 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 in Los Angeles
Neuroscience Internships for High School Students in Los Angeles


Conclusion


Whether you are applying to established programs or launching a cold outreach strategy, the name of the game when looking for neuroscience internships for high school students in Los Angeles 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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