Summer Research Internships for High School Students

Aspirnaut Program group photos and individual. (John Russell/Vanderbilt University)

AspirnautTM Summer Research Internships are hands-on and mentored laboratory experiences for high school students interested in a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). Participants reside for six weeks on the campus of Vanderbilt University and conduct biomedical research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Interns are paid a stipend for the time they work in the lab, provided room and board, and given opportunity to interact with university faculty and administrators. Students have been involved in research ranging from understanding diabetic kidney disease and breast cancer to designing microfluidic devices with engineers at Vanderbilt.

Intensive 6-Weeks of “Science Boot Camp”

High school students undergo immersion in a biomedical research experience for 6 weeks as a member of a team of researchers (chemists, biologists, physicians, mathematicians, engineers) working on diabetes, cancer and regenerative biology projects. Students conduct their own research and gather results that contribute to the data and goals of the larger research team. At the conclusion of the experience, students have an opportunity to present their research to peers and mentors through both oral and poster presentations.

Life as a college student

Participants live on campus in dorms and get a taste of college life before leaving high school. Students are supervised at all times, provided room and board, and given opportunity to interact with university faculty and administrators.

Enriched by mentors, new friends and college prep activities

Interns have the benefit of various professional development and enrichment opportunities. These include: one-on-one individualized career planning sessions, preparation for standardized tests, college advising, mentorship, networking opportunities with high-profile professionals in the scientific community, and cultural and social activities.

Keep up the good work

At the conclusion of the program, Aspirnaut™ provides follow-up opportunities for research interns. Students are strongly encouraged to stay engaged in standardized test preparation, college admission preparation, and ongoing mentorship by Aspirnaut™ staff. Students are encouraged to seek opportunities to share their experience with peers, teachers, and their community.

Application for 2018 High School Summer Research Internship is OPEN!

Complete the High School Student Application Form (click yellow button above) to find out more or see our frequently asked questions (FAQ) section. The application deadline is 11:59PM CST on December 31, 2017, for Summer 2018. Only official transcripts will be accepted until January 15, 2018.

For general AspirnautTM Summer Research Internship questions please contact us here.


  • 89 students have completed 125 high school summer research internships.

  • 98% of all high school summer research interns have gone on to college.

  • 80% major in a STEM-related field.

  • 50% attend an out-of-state four year college or university.