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11 Cancer Research Internship Opportunities for High School Students

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A cancer research internship program can help refine a student’s interest, providing focus and direction. Many students ask us where they can go to get hands-on with a cancer research opportunity over the summer - you asked, and we listened!

Here is a list of 11 Shortlisted Cancer Research Internship Opportunities for High School students. If you are searching for a virtual research opportunity, you can also consider doing a cancer research project through Polygence.

1. National Cancer Institute (NCI) High School Internship Program

  • Location: Bethesda, Maryland

  • Date: Typically opens for applications in November and closes in early January

  • Cost: Unpaid, but a stipend may be available

The NCI High School Internship Program, offered by the National Cancer Institute, is a highly competitive and influential initiative that provides exceptional high school students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in cancer research. Through this program, students work alongside accomplished researchers, develop essential skills, and gain exposure to various facets of cancer research, ultimately inspiring and nurturing the next generation of scientists who play a pivotal role in advancing our understanding of cancer and contributing to the ongoing fight against this complex disease.


2. American Cancer Society (ACS) Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR) Internship Program

  • Location: Nationwide

  • Date: Applications typically open in November and close in early February

  • Cost: $5,000 stipend

The Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR) Internship Program is part of the ACS Center for Diversity in Cancer Research Training. The DICR internship program targets under-represented minority (URM) undergraduate college students to increase their awareness of, and enthusiasm for, opportunities to work in cancer research. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of URM cancer researchers.


3. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's High School Immersion  Program

  • Location: Memphis, Tennessee

  • Date: Application typically opens in December and closes in January

  • Cost: Paid stipend, housing, and travel expenses provided

The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's High School Internship Program is an exceptional opportunity designed for high school students interested in biomedical and cancer research. The program offers participants the chance to work within the renowned research environment of St. Jude, a world-leading pediatric cancer research institution. The primary goal of this program is to provide students with exposure to cutting-edge research, inspire their passion for science, and equip them with essential laboratory skills and knowledge. By engaging in active research projects and learning from experienced scientists, students contribute to the hospital's mission of finding cures and advancing treatment for pediatric catastrophic diseases, while also gaining valuable insights into the field of pediatric oncology and biomedical research. This program plays a significant role in cultivating the next generation of researchers and healthcare professionals dedicated to the specialized area of pediatric cancer research.


4. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center High School Internship Program

  • Location: Seattle, Washington

  • Date: Applications usually due in December and early January

  • Cost: Typically an unpaid position but may offer stipends

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's High School Internship Program is a prestigious initiative designed to provide high school students with a unique and immersive experience in the field of cancer and biomedical research. The program's primary goal is to foster a deep interest in science and research while equipping students with practical laboratory skills and knowledge. Under the mentorship of leading scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, participants engage in real-world research projects that contribute to the ongoing efforts to understand, prevent, and treat cancer and other diseases. This program not only offers invaluable insights into the world of scientific inquiry and innovation but also serves as a platform for inspiring the next generation of researchers and healthcare professionals dedicated to advancing our understanding of cancer and improving patient outcomes.


5. MD Anderson Cancer Center High School Research Program

  • Location: Houston, Texas

  • Date: Applications typically due in November and December

  • Cost: Usually an unpaid position, but some stipends may be available

The MD Anderson Cancer Center High School Research Program is a prestigious opportunity for high school students interested in the field of cancer research and healthcare. The program's primary goal is to provide students with hands-on experience in a world-class cancer research institution, inspiring their passion for scientific inquiry while equipping them with essential laboratory and clinical skills. Under the guidance of accomplished scientists and clinicians at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, participants actively contribute to research projects aimed at advancing our understanding of cancer, improving patient care, and developing innovative treatments. This program plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of cancer research by nurturing the talents and aspirations of young scientists, promoting diversity in the field, and supporting ongoing efforts to combat cancer and enhance patient outcomes.


6. Cleveland Clinic Summer Internship Program for High School Students

  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio

  • Date: Applications usually open in November and close in February

  • Cost: Typically unpaid; may offer stipends in some cases

The Cleveland Clinic Summer Internship Program for High School Students is an esteemed opportunity for high school students interested in the medical field. The program's primary goal is to provide students with real-world exposure to the healthcare and biomedical research fields while fostering their passion for science and medicine. Under the mentorship of experienced healthcare professionals and researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, participants actively engage in clinical and laboratory experiences, gaining insights into patient care and medical research. This program plays a crucial role in inspiring and educating the next generation of healthcare providers, promoting diversity in the medical field, and helping students explore potential career paths while contributing to the clinic's mission of providing world-class healthcare.

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7. Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center High School Research Program

  • Location: Buffalo, New York

  • Date: Applications generally open in November and close in January

  • Cost: Paid stipend, housing, and travel expenses provided

The Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center High School Research Program is a highly regarded opportunity for high school students interested in the field of cancer research. The program's primary goal is to provide students with hands-on experience in a world-class cancer research institution, inspiring their passion for scientific inquiry while equipping them with essential laboratory and research skills. Under the mentorship of accomplished scientists, participants actively contribute to research projects to advance our understanding of cancer and develop  innovative solutions for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. This program plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of cancer research by nurturing the talents and aspirations of young scientists, promoting diversity in the field, and supporting ongoing efforts to combat cancer and improve patient outcomes.


8. Moffitt Cancer Center High School Internship Program

  • Location: Tampa, Florida

  • Date: Applications typically open in November and close in January

  • Cost: Typically an unpaid position but may offer stipends

The Moffitt Cancer Center High School Internship Program is a prestigious initiative that offers high school students a unique opportunity to engage in cancer research and healthcare. The program's primary goal is to inspire and educate students about cancer biology and medical research while equipping them with essential laboratory and clinical skills. Under the guidance of leading scientists and clinicians at the Moffitt Cancer Center, participants actively contribute to research projects that aim to advance our knowledge of cancer, improve patient care, and develop innovative treatments. This program is instrumental in nurturing the next generation of scientists and healthcare professionals dedicated to the fight against cancer and ensuring that the legacy of impactful research continues.


9. Indiana University’s Simon Cancer Center’s Summer Research Program (SRP)

  •  Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Date: Applications typically open in November and close in early February

  • Cost: Paid stipend 

The Indiana University Simon Cancer Center Summer Research Program (SRP) aims to increase the proportion of underrepresented high school and undergraduate students engaging in the biomedical sciences. Students will receive hands-on experience and exposure to a wide range of basic science, translational, and clinical research activities. This is an 8-week program. High schoolers who are seniors as well as undergraduate students in their junior year and above are eligible to apply.


10. National Institute of Health (NIH) High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP)

  • Location: Bethesda, Maryland

  • Date: Applications typically open in November and close in early February

  • Cost: Paid stipend

HS-SIP invites high school juniors and seniors in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, area to do biomedical research for eight weeks at the National Institute of Health (NIH) offices, working alongside experts in the field. The program requires a two-month commitment and may provide a stipend.


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

  • Location: Palo Alto, California

  • Date: Applications typically open in November and close in late February

  • Cost: Paid stipend

This 8 -week program, occurring from June to August, brings together high school students from diverse backgrounds to perform basic research on a medically-oriented project. The program aims to increase interest in biological sciences and medicine in high school students, helping students to understand how scientific research is performed, and increasing diversity of students and researchers in the sciences.


Additional Cancer Research Internship Opportunities at Polygence

While these established programs offer incredible opportunities, Polygence presents another avenue for high school students keen on diving into and better understanding cancer research. Through virtual engagement, Polygence offers a unique chance to undertake cancer research projects remotely, catering to the interests and schedules of young scholars. Emphasizing research mentorship and tailored guidance. These projects open doors to a diverse range of research possibilities, providing a flexible and enriching experience.

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