High School Scholars

High School Scholars



The flagship of our past education outreach efforts, this program gives high school students the opportunity to do hands-on experimental work in a Salk research lab, supervised by a Salk faculty member. Students work side-by-side with Salk scientists on projects involving today’s cutting edge research.

Founded more than 30 years ago, the program helps fulfill Dr. Jonas Salk’s vision of providing opportunities for local high school students to experience life in a scientific laboratory, and explore the possibility of a career in science.

Through the eight-week program, students are involved with a full-time research project as well as enrichment activities. Students learn how to formulate and test hypotheses, prepare experiments and draw conclusions from those experiments. They also learn to maintain laboratory notebooks and take part in regular lab meetings and group discussions. At the end of the program, students present their research projects to their mentors, lab members and families.

For more information on this program, please contact the Education Outreach Department at


  • Applicants must be San Diego County residents and have completed their most recent semester of high school at a public or private high school within San Diego County.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Applicants must have successfully completed at least one year each of high school level chemistry and biology by the start of the program.
  • Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to 40 hrs/wk for the duration of the program.
  • Applicants must be able to be responsible for their own transportation.

The Salk Institute Summer Scholars Program is part of the Biocom Life Sciences Summer Institute (LSSI) partnership.

Application information will be available here in mid-January, 2016

The Salk Institute extends its heartfelt appreciation to Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth B. Heithoff for their generous support of the High School Scholars Program.

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