High School Research Scholars Program

PROMISE Scholars Summer Internship

This unique 10-week research internship offers a total-immersion experience in real-time laboratory research at Sanford for motivated high school students with an aptitude for biomedical sciences. Work alongside scientists as part of the research team, connect with peers through in-house scientific interest groups, and present your work as a scientific poster at the Sanford Research Symposium. PROMISE Scholars earn 3 undergraduate elective-credits at the University of South Dakota (BIOC192) and are awarded a $2,500 scholarship.

PROMISE Scholars:

  • Gain Exposure to Real-World Research: Acquire practical experience within a biomedical research laboratory setting.
  • Cultivate Research Proficiency: Develop skills in formulating research inquiries, designing experiments, gathering and analyzing data, as well as interpreting findings.
  • Participate in a Regional Scientific Symposium: Attend and actively engage in a scientific symposium at a regional level. 
  • Discover the Process of Conducting a Scholarly Article Review: Learn to critically assess and discuss scholarly articles through structured Journal Club sessions. 
  • Learn the Importance of Scientific Ethical Principles: Explore ethical considerations inherent in research, encompassing matters such as data integrity, plagiarism, and the ethical treatment of research subjects. 
  • Enhance Communication Abilities: Present scientific findings to peers during laboratory meetings, showcase research through a scientific poster, and compose an essay outlining their projects and experiential journey. 
  • Access Career Coaching Seminars and Investigate Post-Secondary Opportunities: Attend seminars aimed at career guidance and explore prospects in post-secondary education.
  • Engage in outreach activities to bring science to the local community.

Summer Program Details:

  • PROMISE Scholars is a 10-week program scheduled from May 28 - August 2, 2024
  • Scholars must have a strong interest in a research career 
  • Scholars must commit to working the entire 10 weeks (minimum of 35 hours per week), with the exception of five discretionary days
  • Scholars are required to participate in all program workshops and present at the 2024 Sanford Research Symposium
  • Scholars must be at least 16 years old by May 28
  • Scholars must be entering senior year in the fall of the upcoming academic year (home-schooled students are eligible)
  • Scholars work under the direct supervision of a Sanford Research mentor as part of the mentor's research team
  • Candidates selected for an interview for this program are required to attend a full day science boot camp on Saturday, February 10th, 2024 from 9:00am-3:00pm
  • Candidates are encouraged to participate in other Sanford PROMISE programming for an introduction to the research environment. Opportunities include: Research Shadowing Program, Teen Science Café and Community Lecture Series.

How to Apply:

Please click on the link in the blue box to complete the online application. 

Applications will also require the following:

  • An official or unofficial transcript from your high school(s)
  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably from science or math teachers or previous mentors/employees

Application deadline is Wednesday, January 31st, 2024. All materials must be received by the deadline. Late applications will not be considered. 

Students from underrepresented backgrounds and historically marginalized/excluded groups are encouraged to apply. 

Applications for summer 2024 have closed (summer 2025 applications will be available November 1, 2024)
Application deadline: January 31, 2024
Applicants will be notified of their status in April of 2024.


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