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Best Research-Intensive Summer Programs

Actual laboratory training is a hard-to-come-by commodity for high school students, but one that can be invaluable for budding scientists, engineers, and other STEM-focused teens. Since high schools rarely offer such opportunities and colleges generally reserve lab space for their own undergraduate/graduate students, competitive summer programs are often one of the most direct routes to hands-on, experiment-based learning.

Our list of Best Research-Intensive Summer Programs is comprised of 26 stellar programs that range in duration, cost, and eligibility criteria but all possess the common denominator of quality. All of the aforementioned data points are provided for each school along with the location of the program, whether they offer a residential experience, and when the application window opens and closes. Also highlighted for our readers are the dates that applications become available, the deadlines, whether residential housing is offered, and the geographic location where the program takes place. No matter which you choose, you can rest assured that you will be gaining valuable research experience that is likely to also strengthen your future application.

ProgramLocationResidentialFocusLengthCostsApp. OpensDeadlineEligibility
Boston University RISEBoston, MAYesSTEM/Research6 weeks$5420+Dec 15Feb 14Rising 12th
CHORI Summer Student Research ProgramOakland, CANoResearch 9 weeks Free/Stipend Dec 1Feb 25Rising 11th, 12th
Coriell Institute for Medical ResearchCamden, NJClosed for 2021Research 4 weeksFree/Stipend Available 3-AprAge 17 by July 1
Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student AcademyDuarte, CANoResearch 10 weeksFree/Stipend Winter15-MarAge 16 by start of internship
Garcia Scholars at Stony Brook UniversityStony Brook, NYYesResearch/Polymer Materials7 weeks~$4,500-$10,500Available22-Feb16 years old
George Mason University Aspiring Scientists Internship ProgramVarious (VA)NoResearch 8 weeks FreeDec 15Feb 616 years old by first day of program
Jackson Lab Summer Student ProgramBar Harbor, MEYesGenetics10 weeksFree/StipendAvailableFeb 218 years, Graduate of High School
MDI Biological Laboratory Summer Research FellowshipBar Harbor, MEYesResearch (Science)7 weeksFree/StipendAvailable Jan 10 Nominations, Feb 7 ApplicationsCommuter students must be at least 16 years old, residential must be at least 18 years old.
NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical ResearchMultipleNoBiomedical Sciences8 weeksFree/StipendAvailableMar 1As least 17 years of age
Princeton University Summer Internships for High School ProgramsPrinceton, NJClosed for 2021Research Engineering, Natural Science5-6 weeksFreeFeb 15Mar 15Age 16 by 6/15, enrolled in high school
Research Science Institute (MIT)Cambridge, MAYesSTEM/Research6 weeksFreeNov 12Jan 14Rising 12th
Rosetta Institute of Biomedical ResearchMultiple, OnlineYesResearch 2 weeks $325-3680Available RollingAges 14-18
Science Internship Program (SIP)Santa Cruz, CAYesResearch 8 weeks$4060-88603/13/3114 years old (16 for some)
Scripps College Student Research InternshipClaremont, CANoResearch 10 weeks Free/StipendAvailable Mar 25At least 16 years of age by start of internship
Secondary Student Training ProgramIowa City, IA or OnlineYesResearch6 weeks$4500-$7500Dec 1Feb 18Rising 11th, 12th
Simons Summer Research Program (Stony Brook University)Stony Brook, NYOnline for 2021Research/STEM6 weeksFree/StipendAvailable23-JanRising 12th
Smith College Summer Science and Engineering ProgramNorthampton, MAYesSTEM/Research4 weeks$7,298Jan 10Mar 1 Early, Apr 15Rising 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th (Women only)
Stony Brook University I-STEM Biotechnology Summer Scholars ProgramStony Brook, NYNoBiotechnology/Research4 weeks$2,400December1-AprRising 10th, 11th, 12th
Student Science Training Program at University of FloridaGainesville, FLYesResearch/Multiple6 weeks$4,850FebruaryRolling Admission starting Mar 1At least 16 years old
The Clark Scholars Program – Texas Tech UniversityLubbock, TXYesResearch/Multiple7 weeksFree/StipendJan 3Feb 16Rising 12th + Graduates
The Summer Science ProgramMultiple & OnlineYesResearch (Science)6 weeks$7,950Dec 15Feb 25Rising 11th, 12th (at least 15 years old)
Tufts University Courses for High School Students Medford, MAYesResearch/Multiple5 weeks$7700-$13,250Dec 1May 1Rising 11th, 12th + Graduates
Research Mentorship Program – UC Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara, CAYesResearch/Multiple5 weeks$2375-$11,740Dec 15RollingRising 10th, 11th, 12th
Summer Research Academies – UC Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara, CAYesResearch 4 weeks$2375-7450Dec 15RollingRising 10th, 11th, 12th
UMass Summer Programs - PsychologyAmherst, MAYesResearch 6 weeks$6719-11,264JanuaryRolling Rising 10th, 11th, 12th
University of Minnesota - Lillehei Heart Institute Research Scholars Minneapolis, MNNoResearch 9 weeks Free/Stipend 1-Dec1-FebRising 11th, 12th
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