What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

24 Research Opportunities + Internships for High School Students in 2023

What’s Covered:


Research drives innovation across every field of study, from natural sciences to health to history. Pursuing curiosity can impact industries, drive policy, and help us to better understand the world around us. Without curiosity and research, our society will surely stagnate.


Contrary to popular belief, however, you don’t have to be a seasoned professional to conduct meaningful research. There are plenty of opportunities for high school students to get a head start on their future careers and contribute to substantial change. Keep reading to learn about 24 great opportunities for students looking for early chances to conduct research!


Research Opportunities and Internships for High School Students


1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program


Application deadline: February 10, 2023 (for students and reference letters)

Location: New York, NY

Duration: 8 weeks (June 28 – August 23, 2023)


Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) is one of the most well-known cancer centers in the world. The Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) at MSK hosts a Summer Student Program for students to conduct independent research projects while participating in extracurricular activities, training, and other opportunities. 


During the eight-week program, you’ll work with a mentor who will act as a supervisor to help you develop your research skills. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to complete an independent research project that aligns with your mentor’s work. All participants will present their projects at a poster session at the end of the summer.


To participate, you must complete at least 9th grade by June 2023, be at least 14 years old by June 28, have a 3.5 GPA in science subjects, and have two letters of recommendation. This is a paid opportunity—participants will receive a stipend.


2. Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program


Application deadline: early January annually

Location: New York, NY

Duration: 7 weeks (late June to mid-August 2024)


The Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program gives high school students the opportunity to conduct real, innovative research over the course of seven weeks through the renowned Rockefeller University, all while studying under the guidance of leading scientists.


SSRP scholars will be able to design and conduct their own research project as part of a themed research track, which is modeled after a Rockefeller research topic and/or technique, and includes a team of scientist mentors from the Rockefeller community. Most of the research will be conducted in the RockEDU Laboratory—a 3,000-square-foot research space specifically dedicated to supporting biomedical research skills development.


Students must be at least 16 years old by the start of the program to participate. Participants will receive a stipend for their work.


3. Research Science Institute (RSI)


Application deadline: varies (usually between December and January annually)—check linked website for updates

Location: Cambridge, MA

Duration: 5 weeks (late June to early August 2024)


The prestigious RSI takes place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) annually, bringing together 100 of the world’s top high school students. The free program blends on-campus coursework with off-campus science and technology research.


Participants complete individual research projects while receiving mentorship from experienced scientists and researchers before presenting their findings through oral and written reports in a conference-style setting.


4. NYU Tandon – Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE)


Application deadline: March 1, 2023 (application); March 5, 2023 (recommendation)

Location: New York, NY

Duration: 7 weeks (June 28 – August 11, 2023)


Open to New York City high school students completing 10th or 11th grade in June 2023, the ARISE program combines college-level workshops and lab research across fields like civil and urban engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, and robotics.


Over the course of seven weeks, participants will receive guidance from graduate or postdoctoral students at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Participants receive a stipend upon completion of the program.


5. Stony Brook University – Simons Summer Research Program


Application deadline: February 10, 2023 (deadline for all application materials)

Location: Stony Brook, NY

Duration: 7 weeks (June 26 – August 11, 2023)


During Stony Brook’s Simons Summer Research Program, high school students conduct hands-on research in areas like science, math, or engineering while working with faculty mentors. Simons Fellows have the opportunity to join real research teams and learn about laboratory equipment and techniques. They also attend weekly faculty research talks and participate in special workshops, tours and events.


You must be at least 16 years old by the start of the program and must currently be in your junior year to apply. At the closing poster symposium, students will receive a stipend for their participation.


6. SPARK Summer Internship Program


Application deadline: usually early April annually (check linked website for updates in March)

Location: varies depending on particular internship

Duration: varies annually (generally 8-12 weeks between June and August)


SPARK SIP is ideal for students with an interest in computer science and related disciplines. Through the internship program, students learn from, receive guidance from, and connect with leading industry experts while conducting research in real-world contexts.


Previous internships have involved computer science in the context of topics such as product marketing, extreme weather event modeling, technical writing, and DNA sequence classification.


To participate, students must be able to work full-time (30-40 hours per work) for 8-12 weeks over the course of the summer.


7. MDI Biological Laboratory – Biomedical Bootcamp 2023


Application deadline: May 6, 2023

Location: Bar Harbor, ME

Duration: 1 week (July 10-14, 2023)


In this bootcamp, students will join MDI Biological Laboratory to receive a hands-on introduction to biomedical research. Participants will learn essential scientific skills such as experimental design and hypothesis testing, cutting-edge laboratory techniques, data analysis, bioinformatics and scientific communication.


During the program, scientists and bioentrepreneurs at the lab will help participants explore scientific ethics at large as well as career paths in biomedicine, research, and entrepreneurship in Maine and beyond.


Participants must be at least 16 years old by the start of the program and must be entering their junior or senior year in September 2023 or graduating in June 2023.


8. CUNY Advanced Science Research Center – Research in Materials Science (RIMS) Program


Application deadline: varies depending on program

Location: New York, NY

Duration: varies based on particular program (generally around 8 weeks in the summer)


Hosted by the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC), RIMS gives students the opportunity to conduct research in laboratories partnered with the ASRC. During the program, students will also attend career development seminars. Admissions are highly competitive, and students will receive a stipend for their participation.


Partner programs can be found both on the website linked above and in this list of STEM programs.


9. Boston University – Research in Science & Engineering (RISE) Internship


Application deadline: February 14, 2023 (applications); February 21, 2023 (recommendations)

Location: Boston, MA

Duration: 6 weeks (July 2 – August 11, 2023)


RISE is a six-week program for rising seniors with an interest in pursuing a major and career in STEM. There are several tracks available, such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, and neuroscience. In each track, students conduct research under the mentorship of Boston University faculty, postdoctoral fellows, or graduate students. They will also attend weekly workshops with their peers.


10. The Wistar Institute – High School Program in Biomedical Research


Application deadline: March 31, 2023

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Duration: 4 weeks (July 10 – August 3, 2023)


A leading biomedical research organization, The Wistar Institute is an ideal setting for students to learn research skills. Participants will complete their own research project while being trained in a principal investigator’s laboratory. They’ll also attend seminars, receive mentorship, and deliver a final presentation about their work.


Students are expected to participate Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Absences of more than two consecutive days cannot be accommodated. Students will receive a stipend of $1,000 upon completion of the program to defray commuting costs or other personal expenses accrued during the program.


11. California Academy of Sciences – Careers in Science (CiS) Intern Program


Application deadline: April 3, 2023

Location: San Francisco, CA

Duration: Multi-year, year-round participation (after school and on weekends)


This long-running program gives San Francisco students from communities that are underrepresented in STEM the opportunity to learn about the world of science and sustainability. Students receive mentorship, develop career skills, and more—all while getting paid for their work. Students also attend workshops and conferences throughout the course of the program.


12. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Internships


Application deadline: variable year round

Location: 4 available campuses – Greenbelt, MD; Wallops Island, VA; New York, NY; Fairmont, WV

Duration: varies depending on particular internship


NASA offers a variety of internships for high school students across four campuses in the Eastern United States. Interns can participate in either research or experiential learning while working with a mentor at the NASA site. Participants must be at least 16 years old and a current sophomore, junior, or senior with at least a 3.0 GPA. NASA internships are paid, and are available during the fall, spring, and summer.


13. New-York Historical Society Student Historian Internship Program


Application deadline: TBA in February 2023

Location: New York, NY

Duration: details to be announced in February


Not all research is conducted in STEM subjects! Developed for students interested in history, the New-York Historical Society’s Student Historian Program grants participants the opportunity to conduct their own research on a history topic that is important to them. During the program, participants will work with historian mentors, visit history archives around New York City, lead gallery tours, and produce their own digital projects.


Applicants must be entering grade 10, 11, or 12, live in and attend school in one of the five boroughs of New York City, and be able to legally work in the city. This opportunity is unpaid for most participants, but some interns with demonstrated financial need can potentially receive a stipend.


14. Adler Planetarium Summer High School Internship


Application deadline: TBA in February 2023

Location: Chicago, IL

Duration: usually around 8 weeks (details to be announced)


In this summer internship program, students will explore different professional planetarium and museum roles, ranging from Visitor Experience and Learning to Research, in order to learn about the Adler Planetarium and the career opportunities within it. Students will get the chance to see how research gets translated into a museum experience.


15. Zuckerman Institute Brain Research Apprenticeships in New York at Columbia University (BRAINYAC)


Application deadline: TBA

Location: New York, NY

Duration: variable


BRAINYAC participants receive the rare opportunity to work on research in a university lab as high school students, and as a result they come away with a stronger understanding of how scientific discovery happens. They connect with real scientists, acquire essential research and laboratory skills, and learn about advances in neuroscience research.


In order to apply, you must be in 10th or 11th grade and must be nominated by one of the program’s partners—S-PREP, Lang Youth Medical, Double Discovery Center, Columbia Secondary School and BioBus (a list of the individual partner links can be found at the website linked above).


16. Brookfield Zoo King Conservation Science Scholars Program


Application deadline: Rolling basis (the program has 4 seasonal sections)

Location: Brookfield, IL

Duration: variable, but King Scholars are expected to participate for at least 30 hours in a calendar year


Interactive workshops, fun activities, research, and community-based projects are at the core of this exciting internship. It’s an excellent opportunity for students who love animals and also want to gain research skills in the domains of zoology, environmental science, and conservation.


As a King Scholar, you’ll learn about different topics through Foundation Courses, such as Diversity Awareness and Introduction to Conservation, all while networking with others and preparing for college and careers. After one year of participation, you’ll be invited to apply for scholarships and paid positions at the zoo.


17. The Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) at the American Museum of Natural History


Application deadline: March 5, 2023

Location: New York, NY

Duration: One year—2 afternoons a week after school, minimum of 2 hours per session (from August 2023 to June 2024)


The American Museum of Natural History is one of the most iconic and fascinating places in New York City. Its Science Research Mentoring Program is an amazing opportunity for NYC high school students to conduct a yearlong research project with Museum scientists.


Students in SRMP get paid to learn how scientific research is conducted. Depending on their topic of study, students will learn a variety of different research skills, like working with DNA in the lab, analyzing data from space-based telescopes, reading scientific articles, and learning to code and analyze data in Python, R, and other programming languages.


To apply, you must be in the 10th or 11th grade and must be passing your classes for the last three semesters. There is a full list of criteria available on the website linked above.


18. Texas Tech University – Anson L. Clark Scholars Program


Application deadline: February 15, 2023

Location: Lubbock, TX

Duration: 7 weeks (June 18 – August 3, 2023)


In the Anson L. Clark Scholar Program, an intensive seven-week summer research program for twelve highly qualified high school juniors and seniors, students will gain hands-on experience with practical research alongside experienced and knowledgeable faculty.


Students can choose to participate in research in one field from a broad variety, including cell and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, engineering, history, and more!


To apply, students must complete an online application that includes short essays, high school transcripts, test scores (at least a PSAT if none other are available), three recommendations (at least two from teachers) to be completed through an online questionnaire, and a list of the student’s top five activities.


19. UChicago Data Science Institute Summer Lab Program


Application deadline: February 12, 2023

Location: Chicago, IL

Duration: 10 weeks (June 12 – August 18, 2023)


The Data Science Institute Summer Lab Program is an immersive ten-week paid summer research program at the University of Chicago. In the program, high school and undergraduate students are paired with a data science mentor drawn from one of various scientific domains.


Participants will hone their research methodology, research practice, and teamwork skills. No prior research experience is required to apply. All participants will receive access to applied data science research, which they will use to craft a research project. The project findings will be presented in a video that will be shown at an end-of-summer symposium.


20. UT Austin College of Natural Sciences High School Research Academy


Application deadline: Applications open soon (check linked website for updates)

Location: Austin, TX

Duration:  5 weeks in the summer


In UT Austin’s HSRA, high school students participate in interdisciplinary research projects being conducted by active College of Natural Sciences laboratories in fields such as biochemistry, biology, environmental science, genetics, neuroscience, genome engineering, data analytics, ecology, and more.


There is a scholarship fund for underserved groups, so some stipends and free tuition scholarships may be available to students with demonstrated financial need.


21. Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience – Summer Research Internship


Application deadline: March 1, 2023

Location: Jupiter, FL

Duration: 6 weeks (June 12 – July 21, 2023)


The MPFI Summer Research Internship offers rising juniors and seniors an immersive laboratory experience where they can learn from seasoned researchers. The program is designed specifically for students with an interest in brain structure, function and development, and the advanced imaging techniques and technologies used in neuroscience.


Program participants will participate in research projects alongside MPFI scientists, prepare a written scientific abstract based on their research project, and deliver a short presentation at the end of the summer. Research tracks include neuroscience, scientific computer programming, and mechanical engineering as it relates to neuroscience.


22. Lincoln Park Zoo Malott Family Zoo Intern Program


Application deadline: Applications open February 2023

Location: Chicago, IL

Duration: 7 weeks (usually from early July to mid-August)


During this paid seven-week program, high school students learn how to educate others about animal and conservation sciences while crafting digital messages to engage audiences. The program culminates in a final project. Throughout the internship, students meet with researchers and the Animal Care staff to explore careers in the animal science and conservation fields.


Applicants must be 15–18-year-old Chicago residents and must be entering grades 10-12 or their freshman year of college by the start of the internship.


23. The Scripps Research Institute Florida High School Internship Program


Application deadline: TBA (check linked website for updates)

Location: Jupiter, FL

Duration: 9 weeks (usually from June to August)


The Scripps Research Institute’s Florida campus is proud to offer a nine-week hands-on research experience for students preparing to enter their junior or senior year at a high school in Palm Beach and Martin Counties.


The program is specially designed to expose students to an array of modern issues in basic biomedical research, to provide hands-on laboratory experience, and to motivate and prepare students for continuing education in STEM.


Because Scripps is committed to increasing the number of students from underrepresented communities in STEM college programs, a special emphasis is placed on identifying and recruiting students who are from groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences.


24. QuarkNet Summer Research Program


Application deadline: January 31, 2023

Location: DuPage County, IL

Duration: 7 weeks (June 20 – August 4, 2023)


High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a strong interest in STEM have a unique opportunity to work with scientists on research projects during this paid seven-week program at the prestigious Fermilab, located near Batavia, IL, just outside of Chicago.


Interns are encouraged to express preferences for areas of research in which they have a particular interest, although research projects vary yearly based on the availability of projects ongoing at the lab. Fermilab’s particular areas of research are described on the lab’s website.


Required application materials include a questionnaire, a letter of recommendation, and an essay. To apply, students must have U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status and must provide evidence of identity and eligibility to work in the United States.


How to Find Research Opportunities in High School


Define your area of interest.


Before you start looking for opportunities, narrow your area of interest a bit, whether it’s cancer research, engineering, computer science, neuroscience, or something else. Also bear in mind that while there may be more STEM opportunities available for high school students, research isn’t limited to these fields—research is also a key component of social sciences, humanities, and other non-STEM fields.


While you should be somewhat specific about what you’re hoping to research, don’t narrow your scope so much that it’s impossible to find a valuable opportunity.


Talk to people in your immediate circle.


Teachers, neighbors, your family, parents of friends, friends of your parents—any of these people could know someone or know someone who knows someone with a research opportunity. Networking is often the key to finding career opportunities. The best opportunities aren’t always hosted by large universities or programs. Leveraging your network can help you uncover unique opportunities crowdsourced by the people who know you best.


Reach out to local institutions and laboratories.


In addition to networking with your immediate circle, reach out to local facilities, such as labs, hospitals, clinics, and universities that conduct research. Even if opportunities aren’t publicized, these institutions and laboratories may be willing to make room for you. Remember: when pitching your idea, don’t make it too niche—this will make it more difficult to find a fit and market your skills to labs.


Cast a wide net.


Research opportunities are hard to secure, especially when you’re a young student, so you need to be persistent. It may take a hundred emails, but if you put in the effort and cast a wide net, you’ll vastly improve your chances of landing that great opportunity.


Try not to be too picky, either. Of course, you shouldn’t just accept any offer, especially if it doesn’t appeal to you. But even if the opportunity doesn’t align perfectly with your skills and interests, it can still be a great chance to gain experience and make you a better candidate for future experiences.


How Will Doing Research Impact Your College Chances?


Participating in research can influence your chances at college admission, but this depends on many factors, including the scope of the project, the prestige of the program or institution, your individual role and performance, the institution’s connections to or sponsorships by certain colleges, and even how much weight a college places on extracurricular activities in general.


There are four tiers of extracurricular activities that colleges think about when reviewing applicants’ activities. Selective, competitive, and prestigious activities are often found in the top tiers, Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 includes things such as being a highly recruited basketball player or an award-winning national science fair competitor. Tier 2 is similar, but is usually reserved for activities that are more common than those in Tier 1. Tiers 3 and 4 are reserved for more common extracurricular achievements, such as holding school leadership positions or being a member of a debate team.


Research usually falls into Tier 2, and some particularly prestigious opportunities could even be Tier 1. That’s because it’s somewhat unusual for high school students to conduct research in professional and collegiate settings, so it’s more likely to impress colleges than other kinds of extracurricular activities.


Do you want to find out the impact research and other extracurricular activities might have on your chances of admission to top colleges and universities? Try using CollegeVine’s free chancing calculator!


Our tool evaluates your admissions profile, taking into account factors like your grades and standardized test scores to show you how you stack up against other applicants and how likely you are to get into hundreds of different colleges and universities. You’ll also receive tips on how to improve your profile and your odds—all for free.

Nick Vidal
Blog Writer

Short Bio
A graduate of NYU, Nick majored in psychology and minored in data science. He lives in New York, where he enjoys writing essays and music.