Brain floating on abstract background

Top 10 Neuroscience Summer Research Opportunities for High School Students

Research Opportunities
Jin Chow

The term “neuroscience” or “neurosciences” encompasses a broad range of topics and areas in the human experience. Once classed as a subdivision of biology, many now understand it to be an interdisciplinary science connected with other disciplines, such as mathematics, linguistics, engineering, computer science, chemistry, philosophy, psychology, and medicine. Many students ask us where they can go to get hands-on research experience over the summer - you asked and we listened!

Here is a list of 10 Shortlisted Neuroscience Summer Research Opportunities for High Schoolers listed in order of application deadlines. If you’re searching for a virtual research opportunity, you can also consider doing a project through Polygence.

RTURP Program

Hosting Institution: Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus

Cost: Paid Internship

Format: In person (Baltimore, MD)

Application deadline: February 1, 2023

This program provides training opportunities for students interested in the scientific basis of drug abuse. Due to the limited number of paid internships available each summer, selection is highly competitive.


Summer @Brown

Hosting Institution: Brown University

Cost: $3,000-$6,000

Format: In person (Providence, RI) and Online 

Application deadline: May 12, 2023

Courses are available for duration ranging from 1 to 7 weeks. There are several different subjects available to study, including "Radical Social Movements of the Late 20th Century", "Food, Identity, and Place", and "Reading Psychoanalysis in American Film & Fiction". In addition to classroom instruction, students have opportunities to engage in workshops, activities, and events if they choose to study on campus.

Psychology Institute 

Hosting Institution: Wake Forest University

Cost: $3,000

Format: In person (Winston-Salem, NC) 

Application deadline: None

The program provides a hands-on approach to understanding the brain's structure through dissections. Students delve into how illusions, emotions, and biases shape human perception and interaction with the world, and conduct an observational study to gain deeper insight into society. There are also session options available in Spring 2023, with durations ranging from 1 to 4 weeks.

Introduction to Psychology

Hosting Institution: Cornell University

Cost: $5,040

Format: Online

Application deadline: None

This 8-day online course, delivered live, provides students with 3 college credits as they delve into a range of philosophical questions such as: the lack of guilt among psychopaths, the accuracy of childhood memories, the cause of laughter, and the impact of violent video games on behavior, among others.

EXPLO Psychology + Neuroscience

Hosting Institution: Wellesley College

Cost: $7,350

Format: In person (Norwood, MA)

Application deadline: None

In this 3-week program, students examine the intersection of psychology and neuroscience in an effort to shed light on the intricacies of the human brain. The course provides an in-depth look at the various disciplines within psychology and teaches students how to apply different therapeutic theories to treat mental illness.

Neuroscience of Psychiatric Disorders

Hosting Institution: Columbia University

Cost: $2,285

Format: In-person (Residential & Commuter, New York City, NY)

Application deadline: March 3, 2023

The one-week course focuses on the role of neurons and neurotransmitters in shaping brain function. Through interactive lectures, discussions, and assignments, students learn about the neuroscience of addiction, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia. The course also involves case studies of neuropsychiatric disorders and potential paths to recovery.

Neuroscience Camp

Hosting Institution: Drexel University College of Medicine 

Cost: $2,000

Format: In-person (Philadelphia, PA)

Application deadline: 2023 dates not yet determined (usually July)

This is a 10-day course where students learn the fundamental concepts of neuroscience and basic lab techniques used in molecular neurobiology, neurophysiology and neuroanatomy. Students attend a series of morning lectures followed by afternoons of lab work. Additionally, using data analysis and research techniques, students will round out the session with a project presentation.


Secondary School Program

Hosting Institution: Harvard University

Cost: $3,600–$13,750

Format: In person (Cambridge, MA)

Application deadline: April 26, 2023

This 7-week program is for high school students who want to excel in college courses and earn college credit. It offers a variety of subjects, including “Neuroscience and Financial Decision Making”, “Mind and Brain”, and “Becoming a Brain Scientist”, among others. The program is open to commuters, residential students, and online students, and encourages students to socialize and engage in debates.

Explorations in Neuroscience: Neurons, Behavior, and Beyond

Hosting Institution: University of Chicago

Cost: $8,350

Format: In-person (Chicago, IL)

Application deadline: May, 2023

Over the course of two weeks, students will employ inquiry-based research to examine how electrical and circuit activity in the nervous system results in sensations, perceptions, and behaviors such as movement, speech, spatial orientation, emotional reactions, sleep, and memory and learning. Additionally, they will learn about other techniques employed in neuroscience, including molecular biology and DNA/protein analysis, sequence analysis, fluorescence imaging of nervous tissue, and behavioral tests. Ultimately, this experience will provide opportunities for participants to delve into the evolutionary history and inner workings of the human brain.

Summer College Immersion Program (SCIP)

Hosting Institution: UCLA

Cost: $3,000-$5,000 + housing

Format: In person (Los Angeles, CA) 

Application deadline: May 1, 2023

A 6-week intensive program that includes courses such as "Brain Made Simple: Neuroscience for the 21st Century," "Introduction to Neuroscience Methods: The Art and Science of Brain Study," and "Introduction to the Functional Anatomy of the Central Nervous System," this experience offers students the opportunity to gain knowledge and resources from UCLA's vast academic expertise through a variety of lectures, workshops, and seminars. This program, known as SCIP, encourages students to strike a balance in their college experience through its various co-curricular offerings.

Summer Challenge

Hosting Institution: Boston University

Cost: $4,550

Format: In person (Boston, MA)

Application deadline: None

This two-week program features a variety of seminar options, from Abnormal Psychology to Persuasive Writing, among others. Students are required to select two non-credit seminars, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and engage in lectures, discussions, group and individual work, project-based assignments, and field trips. The seminar ends with a final class presentation.

Syracuse University Pre-College Accelerated Online Semester: Social Psychology 

Hosting Institution: Syracuse University

Cost: $695

Format: Online

Application deadline: None

The 8-week online pre-college course provides an introduction to social psychology and its experimental approach. Currently, only Spring courses are offered, where students attend virtual classes and delve into research on topics such as social influence, conformity, social perception, attitude changes, small groups, and collective behavior.

NSLC on Psychology & Neuroscience

Hosting Institution: National Student Leadership Conference

Cost: $3,895

Format: In person (Durham, NC, Washington, DC, or San Francisco, CA)

Application deadline: None

During this 7 to 10-day session with the NSLC on Psychology & Neuroscience, students investigate the study of the mind through child development and different personality types. By participating in clinical psychology simulations and hands-on neurology workshops, they gain an understanding of the connection between the brain and human behavior through first-hand experience.

Camp Psych 

Hosting Institution: Gettysburg College

Cost: $350

Format: Online

Application deadline: None

In this five-day workshop, students gain an understanding of how psychological science operates. They are introduced to psychological research through a fun, engaging, and challenging environment, spending most of their time in small groups, complemented by larger whole camp sessions.

Illinois Institute of Technology: Psychology in Everyday Life

Hosting Institution: Illinois Tech

Cost: $595-$1,395

Format: In person (Chicago, IL) 

Application deadline: None

This week-long program is available as both a commuter and residential experience, catering to high school students who wish to gain an insight into the science of psychology. Participants will learn about themselves while exploring what it means to be a therapist, and the week will be divided into five themes, including an introduction day, multicultural psychology day, psychology research and technology day, introduction to psychotherapy day, and careers and admissions day.

Clinical Neuroscience Immersion Experience (CNI-X) 

Hosting Institution: Stanford University

Cost: $1,295-$2,590

Format: In person (Stanford, CA) or Online

Application deadline: March 1, 2023

This 10-day session involves interactive seminars on a variety of topics, such as the principles of neuroscience, clinical neuropsychiatry, neuroscience research, psychiatric epidemiology, behavioral and social sciences, and more. In addition to interactive lectures, participants will work in small teams to create innovative solutions to social issues, which will be presented during a final session in front of classmates, families, faculty, and staff.

Summer Research Internship

Hosting Institution: Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI)

Cost: Full time paid internship

Format: In-person (Jupiter, FL)

Application deadline: March 1, 2023

This 6-week internship is designed for students who have an interest in brain structure, function, development, and the advanced imaging techniques and technologies used in neuroscience. This is a full-time paid internship opportunity where interns will work with MPFI scientists to write a scientific abstract based on their research project and present it at the end of the summer.

Neuroscience Institute

Hosting Institution: Wake Forest University

Cost: $3,000

Format: In person (Winston-Salem, NC)

Application deadline: None

In this one-week experience, students will delve into the study of the brain through hands-on dissections and learn about the effects of drugs on the brain, the function of sensory systems, and the processes behind detecting stimuli in the environment. Topics covered will include Neuroanatomy, Neurobiology, Neuropharmacology, and others. In addition to lectures, participants will visit the Nonhuman Primates & Large Animal Research Center and present a neuroscience poster project at the end of the week.

Neuroscience Academy

Hosting Institution: Oxford University 

Cost: £5,995

Format: In person (Oxford, UK) 

Application deadline: None

During this two-week program, students receive an Oxford-style education with practical challenges and debates. Key topics such as love and attachment, mood and intelligence will be approached so that students learn how to design and interpret primary research. Using the Oxford model of “Learn, See, Do,” participants will ultimately design a research question about individuality, collect data from others, and present their findings.

Explorations in Neuroscience Summer Camp

Hosting Institution: Ohio State University

Cost: $750

Format: In person (Columbus, OH) 

Application deadline: None

This one-week course allows participants to explore the field of neuroscience through hands-on lab sessions, presentations by clinicians on new techniques in treating nervous system disorders, and demonstrations of neuroscience methodology such as behavioral paradigms, physiological recordings, and microscopy. Throughout the course, students will engage in discussions about exciting research in the field.

At Polygence, we offer students the opportunity to get 1:1 project mentorship from expert mentors and researchers. Students are in the driver’s seat of their education here, and whatever project you want to do, we will help you make it happen!

Want to Learn More?

Join Polygence and do your own research project tailored towards your passions and guided by one of our expert mentors!