For Future Applicants

Thank you for considering applying to the Institute for Systems Biology High School Summer Internship! Here are a couple of things you should know:

What will my internship look like?

  • Interns are often placed in pairs where they work on the same project under the guidance of one or more mentors.
  • The work day is largely up to you, but it is usually 8 hours long with up to an hour-long lunch break.
  • Most interns take public transit to work. Commutes vary from thirty minutes to two hours.
  • Our location in South Lake Union is ideal. Read more about free bananas and other fun stuff on the ISB Culture page.
  • The first few days of the internship will focus on acquiring technical skills related to your research, after which you will be expected to progress through milestones mostly independently.
  • One of the biggest adjustments from high school science to research is learning to read current research papers. These are hard, but they are fun too—your mentors are more than happy to help you along the way!
  • Several times a week, scientists from ISB or other institutions deliver presentations about their research. These are a great way to get exposed to new science!
  • Try to interview as many people as you can. You’ll learn so much!
  • There are so many options for lunch: food trucks, sandwich shops, soup shops, pizza places, etc.; they’re all great!
  • Talk to other scientists, ask them about their projects. They’ll be more than happy to explain to you what they are working on.
  • Don’t get overwhelmed. Take it easy! This internship is about learning and having fun.


  • ISB does not expect you to already be an expert in biological research. That is what the internship is for! The most important quality is being willing to learn and seek out opportunities.
  • In 2017, the program was extremely competitive, with 267 applicants for just 6 spots; however, do not be discouraged. Students of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
  • Tell interesting stories about yourself. Show off how unique you really are! 🙂
  • If you live in Seattle and enjoy environmental science, you can apply through SYEP to be part of Project Feed 1010!

ISB High School Interns 2017