Summer High School Internship Program FAQs

Careers

Summer High School Internship Program FAQs

What are the days of the week and hours of the internship?

We ask interns to commit up to 40 hours/per week Monday-Friday, typically from 8 or 9 am to 4 or 5 pm with time for lunch and breaks in between.  Please check the Summer High School Internship program page for current program dates.  Commitment for the full 8 weeks is required.

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Is there flexibility in the program dates?

No.  Accepted interns must be available for the entire duration of the program with rare exceptions (e.g. unforeseen medical needs or family emergencies or short-duration national academic or school-related athletic or academic competitions).  Any foreseeable absences should be brought to the program director's attention at the time of an interview.

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Do I need to have prior experience in science or medicine to be competitive for the program?

No.  You just need to have interest and enthusiasm for learning about science and biomedical research and recommendations suggesting that you are a responsible, committed person.

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What is a typical day like for an intern in the program?

Week 1:
During the first week, the entire intern cohort participates in group safety, laboratory, and other training.  Safe lab practices and other elements of safety while on campus are covered.  The laboratory training covers fundamental lab skills like using a pipet, making solutions and dilutions, sterile technique and tissue culture (non-primate), blood separation (non-primate), DNA isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and gel electrophoresis.  Other training during the first week includes lectures and discussions about the central dogma (DNA makes RNA makes protein) and hematopoiesis, as well as discussions with experienced students on how to maximize your internship.

Weeks 2-8 (required activities):
Interns are placed in pairs and join a host mentor/lab at the beginning of the second week of the program.  The daily routine of interns varies greatly from intern pair to intern pair, and is based on the ongoing work in the host lab.  Interns arrange the exact daily schedule and hours with their host mentor and are on campus within normal business hours (see above).  The daily routine is determined by the host mentor and may include data entry, attending regular laboratory meetings, making solutions or dilutions, or creating culture plates among many other things.  Interns who are under 18 (most interns) are not allowed to handle hazardous materials.  Therefore, interns may also observe ongoing work in the host lab.  The entire intern cohort participates in weekly interactive presentations on ethics, "meet the scientist", health disparities research, "Big Data" visualization, making a good presentation, and biostatistics.  These required cohort-based activities typically take place on Friday afternoons.  The internship concludes with a reflection presentation that summarizes what interns did and learned, as well as future directions for the academic and career development. The presentation is open to the Fred Hutch community, teachers, and interns' families.

Weeks 2-8 (optional activities):
Optional activities may include

  • hands-on lab activities to supplement what interns learn in the host lab, such as PCR and gel interpretation, karyotyping cells, and chemistry
  • college essay-writing workshops
  • small group, lunch-time discussions with young scientists on topics like building confidence, women in science, becoming a science major, HIV in the 21st century.

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Are interns paid?

Yes, interns are provided a stipend.  More details will be provided to applicants invited for an interview.

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Is there a place for me at Fred Hutch if I'm interested in computer science, programming, or math?

Yes!  Many high school students and undergraduates are surprised to find out that there is a place in biology and medicine for people with strong interest or skills in computer science or math. However, interest or skills in computer science or math is absolutely NOT a requirement to be competitive for admissions to the program.

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I'm not from the Seattle area. Can you help arrange housing for me?

No.

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When are recommendation forms due?

Recommendation forms are due by the application deadline.

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When can I expect to hear an answer about my application?

All applicants will be notified of their status by early May.

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If I am not the appropriate grade-level to be eligible this year, can I apply anyway?

We do not recommend it. We will not review your application if you do not meet the eligibility criteria. If you are not eligible for the High School Summer Internship Program, you may check out our catalog of opportunities at other organizations.

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Where do internships take place?

On the Fred Hutch campus in South Lake Union area of Seattle, Washington.

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What kind of attire will I need to wear if I am accepted to the internship program?

Workplace casual attire.  Jeans and t-shirts are fine.  The only requirements are that interns be dressed for laboratory safety (sturdy, close-toed shoes, long pants, and hair, scarves, or necklaces pulled back or otherwise secured).

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I am a Running Start student. Does that affect my eligibility? How do I list grades from my high school and Running Start school (community college) on my transcript?

The key requirements for eligibility are that you have completed the equivalent of 11th grade, but have not yet graduated high school. Participation in Running Start will not necessarily affect this criterion. The SHIP is designed for students who will enter their final year of high school (i.e. earn their high school diploma) in the academic year that immediately follows their participation in the summer program. For the vast majority of students, this refers to the summer between 11th and 12th grades.

If you take classes through Running Start, you likely have transcripts from two institutions: (1) Your high school and (2) the college at which you take Running Start classes. Please submit both transcripts as a single PDF in the "transcripts" section of the application. To get the two transcripts into a single file, you can either scan them at once OR use PDF merge software, such as "PDF Mergy" which is available in Google Drive.

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