San Francisco Health Investigators Program

Funded by a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institutes of Health, San Francisco Health Investigators (SF HI) is a unique research program designed to leverage participating high school students’ cultural knowledge as they take on the role of Student Researchers and investigate the awareness, knowledge, and attitudes about current health issues in their communities. SF HI seeks to empower students to positively affect health in their home communities, and Student Researchers will use their research outcomes to design messaging campaigns to build awareness, counter misconceptions, and inform health behaviors.

Unfortunately the SFHI program will not have new students in 2021



Program Overview

SF HI is structured to provide an immersive summer experience at UC San Francisco, where rising SFUSD juniors will learn the science underlying a current health issue, principles of public health, survey research and data analysis, as well as marketing and messaging strategies. The program continues into the school year, providing students the opportunity to run a large research project to test the effectiveness of the health messages they designed over the summer. The cohort will convene roughly monthly to engage in this work. As part of the program, SF HI students will work closely with a college counselor helping to ensure that SF HI participants are solidly on the path to college.

In the summer of 2018 SFHI worked closesly with UCSF’s NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center and was recently featured on the UCSF Cancer Center Website: SFCAN Researchers Hear Students’ Ideas on Cancer Prevention Messaging

SF HI was recently featured in a UCSF New Article:  New Teen Internship Program Builds Awareness of Key Public Health Issues

See the health messaging campaigns of our current and former Student Researchers below:


2018 – SFHI Health Message Campaigns:



2017 – SFHI Health Message Campaign:




2016 SFHI Health Message Campaigns:

How Vaccines Work

Importance of Vaccinations & Herd Immunity

Origins of Vaccines

Zika Campaign

Pertussis Campaign