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High School Scientific Training and Enrichment Program 2.0 (HiSTEP 2.0)

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HiSTEP 2.0 program provides high school seniors (rising college freshman) who have little or no research experience an opportunity to spend eight weeks performing biomedical research. Student will work side-by-side with some of the world's leading scientists on the main NIH Campus in Bethesda, MD. Selected students will be matched with a research mentor in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) where they will explore the breadth of biomedical, translational and basic science research. Students will receive Transhare benefits to cover the cost of public transportation and a stipend determined by their education level completed prior to starting at the NIH.  

Students in HiSTEP 2.0 participate in the following activities:

  • Full-time research: Students are matched with a research mentor and spend eight weeks conducting research in an NIH research group.
  • Orientation Week: Students attend a three-day orientation program prior to joining their research group laboratory. This orientation includes several workshops and activities aimed at developing the students' scientific and professional skills.
  • Weekly HiSTEP 2.0 Sessions: Students will participate in discussions on career and college readiness.
  • Summer Poster Day: Students present a poster about their research work to the NH Community at the end of the summer.

Eligibility Criteria
HiSTEP 2.0 welcomes applications from current high school seniors eager to explore the world of biomedical research. We encourage students from diverse backgrounds to apply. Applicants must commit to complete the entire eight-week internship experience - no exceptions will be made. Applicants must also:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Be 16 years or older on June 15th, 2018.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale). Students with a GPA between 2.75 and 3.0 should apply if their grades have shown steady improvement.
  • Be a graduating high school senior from a school where 30% or more of the student body participates in the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program. Please talk to your principal or school counselor to find out if your school is eligible.
  • Live in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, DC within commuting distance of the main NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Only students living with their parents or legal guardians with primary residence in the DMV area within commuting distance to the NIH are eligible

Students should talk with their principal or guidance counselor to make certain they fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Application Process
Applicants should complete the NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP) application online. Students must choose 'HiSTEP 2.0' in Item 9 to be considered for the HiSTEP 2.0 program.

For help preparing your application, please read our "Instructions for Completing the Application for HiSTEP 2.0" and all of "HiSTEP 2.0 FAQs". Potential applicants, high school teachers, and guidance counselors are welcome contact us with questions.

The HiSTEP 2.0 application deadline is January 25th, 2018 at 11:59 pm. Letters of recommendation must be submitted by 11:59 pm on February 1st, 2018.

The selection committee will review applications in February. We will notify applicants of the committee's final decisions by March 1st. Once final decisions are made, students who were not selected will be released to the general NIH SIP applicant pool. You can refer to the SIP Web page and FAQs for information on how to maximize your chances for admission

Applicants should not contact investigators. Program participants will be matched with principal investigators from the NIH Intramural Program. The committee will make every effort to accommodate the applicant's research interest to the principal investigator's current projects. HiSTEP 2.0 students must be on campus from June 18th to August 9th, 2018 (with the exception of the July 4th holiday). Summer internships are full-time positions; interns are expected to devote at least 40 hours per week to their projects and training.

Table comparing HiSTEP 2.0 and other summer programs at the NIH.