SEP’s high school programs are only open to students from SFUSD, SF charter schools, or College Track San Francisco
Through SEP’s High School Intern Program, high school students learn how to conduct biomedical research during an 8-week paid summer internship at UC San Francisco. Students are matched with a scientist mentor who guides their learning of science content and skills to complete a unique research project. Learn more below.
Each summer, high school students conduct original research under the direction of a UCSF scientist mentor. This is a rigorous and intense program with just eight weeks for students to complete and present their research projects. Unlike most other high school research programs in the country, acceptance into the High School Intern Program (HIP) is not contingent upon students’ grades, commitments to a career in science, or paths to college.
Rather, HIP seeks to support students’ growth and recognition of their own potential by engaging them with authentic science research projects, peer sharing and learning, and individual college counseling. HIP aims to help students develop a sense of belonging in order to broaden their ideas about their own place in college and careers in the biomedical sciences. The majority of program participants come from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences (minority, low-income, women, from families without a history of college-going, and/or students with disabilities). In order to participate, a student must be a rising senior and attend an SFUSD high school, SF charter school, or participate in College Track San Francisco.
Each year, 10 of our high school interns are supported with funding from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) as part of CIRM’s Summer Program to Accelerate Regenerative Medicine Knowledge (SPARK). An additional 10 students are funded by the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
In recognition of HIP’s success, the program received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in 2011. You can learn more about HIP and its longitudinal outcomes in this 2020 Journal of STEM Outreach article.
HIP is one of SEP’s longest running programs and is currently funded by the UCSF Chancellor, School of Medicine and Executive Vice Chancellor, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Baskin Family Foundation.
Thank you for your interest in our High School Internship Program (HIP)! The application for Summer 2023 has passed.
Our selection process focuses on students’ interest, motivation, and desire for career exploration. We don’t ask for your grades or GPA as part of your application. Our objective is that your experience in this program opens doors, provides opportunities, and supports your sense of belonging in science. See our FAQ tab for more details on eligibility.
Contact: Lakisha.email@example.com | 415.364.8077
Students who are current juniors, attending an SFUSD school, SF charter, or participate in College Track San Francisco and from a background considered historically marginalized in the sciences (individuals from racial/ethnic groups typically historically marginalized in the sciences, individuals with disabilities, first-generation college students, individuals who reside with families who are low income or otherwise considered disadvantaged, individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+). Further explanation and definitions of underrepresented are offered at the end of this FAQ section.
Sunday, February 12th by 11:59 pm
Good recommendations offer us additional insight into you as a person as well as your interest in science, your motivation to explore careers in science, and your sense of responsibility. Have a conversation with your recommender – let them know why you want to be in this program! Past recommendations have come from people like: teachers, coaches, program staff/coordinators, counselors, church staff, volunteer coordinators, and many more.
We read every application very carefully and use each component of the application to inform our decision. Through the application, tell us about why we should select you. We don’t use grades or academic achievement as an indicator of potential success in this program. Instead, we want to know that you have some interest in science and that this program could help make a difference in your life. The ideal candidate will show us:
We typically interview 50 students for 25 available positions.
We will notify students via email in April.
Generally no. Each summer, different scientists participate as mentors in the High School Intern Program. This means that we don’t usually know which research projects will be available until late spring. Ultimately, the program coordinators make final lab placement decisions based on student interest, schedules, lab locations, and other considerations.
This is not advisable. Participation in this program includes working in the laboratory with your mentor, meetings with other interns and program staff, meetings with college counselors, and attending career talks. Though this is not a homework-heavy program, there will be assignments and other independent work required. If an applicant needs to participate in summer school, has extensive family obligations, or needs to work another job, these circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine acceptance into the program.
The Science and Health Education Partnership (SEP) is committed to increasing equity in STEM. Specifically, we prioritize the acceptance of students from historically marginalized backgrounds in this field who are interested in Biology and Engineering and want to learn more about both.
At SEP, we prefer to use the term “historically marginalized” instead of “underrepresented,” but we use the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) definition of underrepresented to inform how we prioritize participants. As stated by the NIH, “In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, education, and research opportunities are not equally available to all”, and they identify individuals from the groups below as nationally underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences.
In addition to the NIH definitions, we also include individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ as historically marginalized. Access data and further explanations here.
Check out this list we’ve put together!
All of SEP’s programs are offered free-of-charge. To do this work, SEP must annually raise nearly $2 million. Every donation brings us closer to that goal and helps to make this important work possible.
As part of UCSF, SEP is a 501(c)3 non-profit. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Please let us know if your company participates in a matching gift program so that we can extend the benefit of your generosity.