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Sci-High Program

Applications for 2024 are closed. Thank you to all who applied. We will be in touch to schedule interviews in the coming weeks. 

The SciHigh Summer Program, organized by the Northwestern University George O'Brien Kidney Research Core Center (NUGoKidney), is dedicated to discovering and guiding highly motivated students who have a keen interest in science. The program offers valuable resources and learning opportunities to prepare students for future careers in the field of science and research.

Designed as a comprehensive seven-week immersive enrichment experience, the program aims to equip students with practical research skills and foster their self-assurance to excel in the realm of science and research. The centerpiece of this initiative is the research internship, where high school students actively contribute to projects under the expert guidance of experienced scientists and researchers. To ensure a fruitful and personalized experience, students are carefully matched with mentors and host labs that align with their unique skills, expectations, and aspirations

The 2024 program will run from June 17th - July 19th.

NU GoKidney's 2018 SciHigh Program, led by the late Dr. Schnaper, empowered underrepresented Chicago high school students in STEM through paid internships, mentorship, and immersive learning. Schnaper, Sipocz, Simpson, and Querrey have significantly contributed to its success.

In 2018, the Northwestern University George M. O'Brien Kidney Research Core Center (NU GoKidney) initiated the SciHigh Summer Program, under the visionary leadership of the late William "Bill" Schnaper, MD. This 7-week paid internship was initially designed for rising juniors and seniors from Chicago high schools, aiming to unlock the untapped potential of students from underrepresented backgrounds. Dr. Schnaper, a brilliant mind in the field of kidney research, recognized the importance of fostering the confidence, skills, and success of these talented students in STEM fields.

Under the coordination of Ashley Sipocz, MPH, the previous Program Coordinator, SciHigh provided an immersive learning experience, mentorship, and a sense of wonder across various scientific and medical domains. Led by experienced researchers, physician-scientists, post-docs, and medical students, the program aimed to ignite a passion for science and inspire the next generation of scientific innovators.

Together, Dr. Schnaper's vision and Sipocz's dedication to empowering students laid the foundation for the success of the SciHigh Summer Program. Their commitment to education and equity continues to shape the lives of countless students, providing them with opportunities to excel and make significant contributions to the field of STEM.

Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey further fortified the program's impact by endowing SciHigh in 2019, resulting in a nearly threefold expansion. Their support recognizes the significance of nurturing the next generation of scientific leaders.

 Program details
SciHigh offers scholars hands-on research experience with faculty, fostering professional skills and knowledge in diverse STEMM fields at Northwestern's cutting-edge research center in Chicago.

Each scholar participating in the program is carefully paired with a distinguished faculty member from Northwestern University based on their specific interests and goals. Collaboratively, they devote time to formulating a research project within the mentor's specialized area of expertise. This project becomes the focus of the scholar's work throughout the program, culminating in a presentation of their findings at the end of the summer.

In addition to gaining invaluable professional skills and immersing themselves in research conducted at a prominent university, scholars engage in weekly workshops. These activities serve as opportunities for scholars to reflect upon their mentored research experience and acquire knowledge on various aspects of research development, evaluation, and communication. They are invited to participate in both hands-on and virtual interactive sessions led by experts in a wide range of STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) fields.

The NUGoKidney program is housed within the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center, situated at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the vibrant downtown area of Chicago. 


  Participating Faculty


Mentors are updated on a rolling basis. 

NU GoKidney's SciHigh Summer Program requires a full-time commitment, offers competitive stipends, provides transportation assistance, and mandates up-to-date vaccination at no cost to our scholars.

To participate in the NU GoKidney SciHigh Summer Program, applicants should meet the following conditions:

  1. Grade Level: Rising high school junior or senior (and sometimes exceptional sophomore) with a strong interest in STEM fields, particularly kidney research.

  2. Full-Time Commitment: Interns are expected to dedicate 40 hours per week, typically from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, demonstrating enthusiasm and professionalism towards their projects, faculty mentors, administrators, and fellow interns. The 2024 program will start June 17th and conclude July 19th. 

  3. This is a paid internship

  4. Cost: There is no program participation fee. However, interns are responsible for arranging their housing and transportation to/from Northwestern's downtown Chicago campus. Assistance with transportation can be provided upon request.

  5. COVID-19 Vaccination: All interns must comply with Northwestern University's requirement of being fully vaccinated and receiving booster shots against COVID-19.

Please note that specific eligibility criteria and requirements may vary each year, so it is advisable to refer to the program's official website or contact the program administrators for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

 Application Process
Completion of an application, personal statement, academic transcript, letter of recommendation, and cover letter to showcase applicants' qualifications and enthusiasm for STEM and kidney research.

The application process for the NU GoKidney SciHigh Summer Program typically includes the following components:

  1. Application: Applicants are required to complete an application form provided by the program. This form collects personal information, academic background, and contact details.

  2. Personal Statement/Essay: Applicants are asked to write a personal statement or essay at the end of their application, expressing their interest in science, research, and specifically kidney research.

  3. Academic Transcript: Applicants need to submit a current unofficial academic transcript that provides a record of their grades and academic performance.

  4. Letters of Recommendation: Applicants are required to submit two (2) letters of recommendation from teachers, mentors, or professionals who can attest to their academic abilities, work ethic, and potential for success in a research-focused program.

    1. Please have the school or referee email these to
  5. Resume: Applicant must submit a resume that highlights the applicant's educational background, research experience (if any), extracurricular activities, and relevant skills.

  6. Cover Letter: Applicants must submit a cover letter to express their interest in the program, highlight relevant experiences and qualifications, and explain why they are a strong fit for the program.
  7. Interviews: After reviewing applications, applicants will be invited to participate in interviews, either in person or through video conferencing. 

It's important to note that the specific requirements and processes may vary each year. Therefore, it is recommended to refer to the program's official website for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the application process.

Applications for 2024 are closed.

Empowering Excellence

35 SciHigh Scholars and Counting

Since 2018, we have had the privilege of guiding and inspiring a remarkable group of individuals known as SciHigh Scholars.


Beatriz Sosa-Pineda, PhD
Program Director
Professor of Medicine

Esmeralda Liz
Program Coordinator
NUGoKidney Assistant

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