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High School Internship Program

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This program allows a small number of local high school students to experience working in a Janelia research lab.
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High School Internship Program
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This program allows a small number of local high school students to experience working in a Janelia research lab.
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The Janelia-Loudoun County Resident Summer Internship Program will offer high school students that attend the Loudoun County Public Schools or are residents of Loudoun County, and who are 16 years or older at the time of the internship, the opportunity to spend 8 weeks at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus, performing research using state-of-the-art technology and methods to answer questions in biology and computational science under the guidance of group leaders, scientists, and engineers. Selected students will have the opportunity to attend seminars by Janelia researchers, as well as to participate in journal clubs and other events.
In 2019 the program will run from June 14th to August 9th. Please note that this is a full-time 8-week paid internship program to which you will be dedicating 40 hours per week. Therefore, it is expected that you will not undertake other organized activities that conflict with the program and will plan vacations and activities around the internship dates. Students selected will be responsible for their own housing, food, and travel to and from Janelia.
We are looking for students with strong biology and/or computational background who have demonstrated a high level of academic standards and have experience in scientific research. Projects cover a wide variety of topics including machine learning algorithms, data annotation, reconstruction of neural networks, animal behavior analysis and optogenetics. High school students interested in computer programming, engineering, mathematics, physics, and neuroscience are encouraged to apply. Experience in programming in Python, Matlab, and/or C++ is strongly encouraged.
This program provides an outstanding research experience, an opportunity to network with colleagues at all career levels, and a chance to form lifelong friendships.
There are two parallel application processes for the Janelia Summer Internship Program.
  1. If you attend a Loudoun County Public School, the application process is implemented by the Loudoun County Public School System and applications are received by the schools. Applications are due in early January.

  2. If you are a high school age resident of Loudoun County, but do not attend a Loudoun County Public High School (for example, you are a Loudoun County resident that attends Thomas Jefferson High School or are home schooled), please follow the application process set forth below.
- Resume
- Statement of Purpose. A 250-300 word statement of purpose. The statement of purpose should briefly describe your reasons for applying to the program -- tell us who you are, as a student and as a person, and what motivates you in general and in regards to this particular program.
- Description of Activities in Science and Mathematics. In 500 words or less, please describe any activities in or beyond the classroom that show potential for leadership and aptitude in science and mathematics. This can include:
  • Completion of scientific or engineering projects. 
  • Completion of university-level coursework. 
  • Experience conducting original scientific research. 
  • Experience coding in Python, MATLAB, Java, C, C++, or other languages
- High School Transcript
- One Letter of Recommendation from a math or science teacher. Only one letter of recommendation will be accepted. The letter should be from a teacher who has taught you in an academic class in high school and who can talk about how you interact with your peers and classmates, how well prepared you are for your classes, your level of engagement in the classroom, as well as your dedication to school activities. The letter of recommendation must be submitted directly by the teacher to with the subject line “Letter of Recommendation for Applicant Last Name, Applicant First Name”. Letters should be confidential and not viewed by the student.
- No additional materials will be accepted or considered.
The application materials (Resume, Statement of Purpose, and Description of Activities) must be emailed as one PDF document to Dr. Erik Lee Snapp at The file should be named with the student’s last name. Please include “Janelia-LCR Summer Internship Program” in the subject line of the email.
For full consideration for the summer 2019 program, applications must be received by 5 PM on January 15, 2019. Late applications will not be considered. 
IMPORTANT:  If you are enrolled in a Loudoun County Public High School, then you must apply through the high school administered application process. Do not send applications directly to Janelia. Any such applications will not be considered.