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Are there any programs where high schoolers can do research?

I want to do something in my high school summers, and I want to be a doctor. I know research is good for med school, so is there any way I can start early with research?

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Rachel’s Answer

Absolutely research opportunities exist. Sometimes they may be difficult to find prior to college, and you may not get published. However, most labs can find ways that you can meaningfully contribute. Your teachers may have contacts at universities where they can get you set up with a summer research program.

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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi, Eli!

In addition to the great advice you've been given thus far, there are additional ways to go about finding research opportunities while you're in high school. As mentioned previously, researching local colleges' and universities' offerings as well as working with your teachers are wonderful starting points.

Ask yourself, what do I have access to? Established programs, teachers. Is there anyone that I've overlooked? What about the people around you? Are any of your friends' parents doing what you would like to do? Would they allow you to shadow them, intern, or participate in research? What other sources are around you that you could tap into? Are there volunteer opportunities that would allow for research?

Consider your high school. Are there clubs or organizations that allow for research opportunities? Do you have a particular teacher that would be will to sponsor an activity? What about within the curriculum (e.g. IB has IA's as well as the EE)?

Begin thinking about your available resources and think outside the box.

What is it that you're interested in learning more about? Why? What do you hope to accomplish through your research? These questions may help guide you. They could certainly be useful in identifying your resources and availability.

Don't get discouraged. Research opportunities are a bit more difficult the younger you are, but that shouldn't stop you from beginning the process -- even if that means that you have to do some research on your own.

I hope this helps! Good luck and enjoy the process!

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Estelle’s Answer

Yes...they are probably cancelled this summer due to COVID. Many major universities have summer programs for high schoolers. Google the college you want to attend and check. Some summer programs are easy to attend, and some are more competitive.