High School Explorers Program

The Pathways Research Explorers Program, funded by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, supports rising 10th and 11th grade students (especially those from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in science) in a two-week introductory summer program at Fred Hutch. We run two sessions in August of approximately 16 students each. Students must have completed a biology course to participate.

High School Explorers Program Description


Join us for a fun, two-week introduction to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch) and the research being conducted here. Fred Hutch has an international reputation for its pioneering research in bone marrow and stem cell transplantation and other immune-based cancer therapies. We also are well-known for our work in many other areas of biomedical research, including cancer prevention, public health, epidemiology, and biostatistics. We will conduct hands-on activities in Fred Hutch's training labs, tour working labs, meet students and scientists at different stages of their careers, and talk about next steps you can take if you are interested in biomedical research.

Please note that the there are two sessions offered. Each two-week program meets from 9-4 p.m., Monday - Friday.

2020 Program Dates

August 3-15, 2020
August 17-29, 2020

A mandatory Orientation/Welcome will be held in June for accepted students.

Check out the Blog Posts from our previous Explorers students!



Students should...

  • Be starting 10th or 11th grade in the fall
  • Have completed introductory biology
  • Be interested in learning more about cancer research and related careers 
  • Be able to commit to the entire duration of the two-week program

Students from racial and ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in health sciences, persons with disabilities, and persons raised in economically disadvantaged backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply.



Applications for 2020 will open starting January 1 and will close on at 5pm on March 31.
Please check back in 2020 to submit an application.

Please note that you cannot save an application that you have partially completed. Therefore, we recommend you draft your short answers in a word processing application such as Word or Google Docs before starting the application, and then copy them into the form when you are ready.

Applicants should complete an application, obtain a recommendation from a teacher who can speak to the student's science interest, and submit an unofficial transcript.

Notification of applicant status will be sent out mid-April.

Financial Support


There is no cost to attend although students will need to bring/buy their own lunch and make their own travel/lodging arrangements. ORCA cards are provided for the duration of the program for each student.

After successful completion of the program, students will receive a $500 award to offset lost work opportunities. Research Explorers will also be eligible to apply for $500 of research-related funding, including, but not limited to: textbooks, school supplies, college application costs, or test prep courses.

The High School Pathways Research Explorer Program is a part of Pathways to Cancer Research and is funded by a Youth Enjoy Science (YES) grant from the National Cancer Institute (grant number R25CA221770). Pathways to Cancer Research materials are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NCI or NIH.

Contact Science Education Partnership

Last Modified, October 28, 2019