Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) High School Scholars

High School students from Miami Dade County conduct research with a UM faculty member during the summer

Program Overview

The HHMI High School Scholars Research Program is an exciting opportunity for public and private students with a passion for science to gain hands-on research experience. Students work in teams to conduct biomedical research over the course of seven weeks at the University of Miami. Placements are available in biology, biomedical engineering, neuroscience, ophthalmology, and other research areas tailored to students’ interests and experience.

Student teams will be mentored by University of Miami professors, be responsible for an investigative project, prepare a research report suitable for publication, and give an oral presentation at a UM research symposium.

The 2017 program dates are from Monday, June 12th, 2017 to Thursday, July 27th, 2017. Application deadline is Friday, March 17th, 2017.


We consider students attending high school in Miami-Dade County who are entering their senior year. Admission is based on a combination of high school grades, courses taken, an essay, a letter of recommendation, and career goals. Students must submit all of the required materials by 5pm on Friday, March 17th, 2017 in order to be considered for the program. See Application Procedure below for a list of required materials. Allow 3 to 5 days for mail delivery of application in order to meet the deadline.


  • Must be attending high school in Miami-Dade County
  • Must be entering into their senior year in fall 2017
  • Must be at least 16 years of age by program start date
  • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • If accepted, students will be required to fill out official University volunteer paper work and may be subject to a background check

Application Procedure

  1. Complete the application form.
  2. Write an essay that addresses each of the following questions. Each question should be answered with at least one paragraph within your essay.
  3. How did you get interested in science? What do you like about science?
  4. What have been your favorite sciences classes and why?
  5. If you have conducted research before, what did you like best about it? If you haven’t done research before,why do you think you will like it?
  6. What makes you feel that you want a career as a scientist?
  7. How do you see research fitting into your profession 10 years from now?
  8. Have a science teacher write and RETURN TO YOU in a sealed, signed envelope, a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
    1. The envelope should be signed along the back seal.
  9. Official high school transcript including your fall 2016 grades.

    Email your completed application and typed essay to: 

    Enclose your letter of recommendation and official high school transcript IN A SINGLE ENVELOPE and mail to:
    Office of Undergraduate Research & Community Outreach – HHMI High School Scholars Research Program
    Attn: Dr. Michael Gaines
    103 Ungar Building
    1365 Memorial Drive
    Coral Gables, Florida 33146

    All application materials must be received by 5pm on Friday, March 17th, 2017 for full consideration

    Frequently Asked Questions

For additional information please contact the Office of Undergraduate Research & Community Outreach at 305-284-5058 or email