Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) High School Scholars

2019 HHMI High School Student Summer Cohort 2019 HHMI High School Student Summer Cohort
Summer 2019 students with Professor Gaines.

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IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the 2020 Program has been cancelled. Please email with questions or concerns.

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.

Program Overview

Placements are available in areas such as biology, biomedical engineering, neuroscience, ophthalmology, and other research areas. We make every effort to place students in labs conducting research that align with students’ interests, but we cannot guarantee that placements will be made in students’ exact area of interest.

Program participants will commit to 40 hours per week over a 7-week period. Public school students will receive a stipend, and private school students will receive community service hours. 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 the UM Summer Research Symposium on July 23, 2020.

The Summer 2020 program will take place June 8 – July 23, 2020.


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 Monday, March 2, 2020 in order to be considered for the program. See Application Procedure below for a list of required materials.


  • Attending high school in Miami-Dade County
  • Entering senior year in Fall 2020
  • At least 16 years of age by program start date
  • US citizen or permanent resident

Application Procedure

  1. Complete the online application
  2. Write an essay that addresses each of the following questions
    • How did you get interested in science? What do you like about science?
    • What have been your favorite sciences classes and why?
    • If you have conducted research before, what did you like best about it? If you have not done research before,why do you think you will like it?
    • What makes you feel that you want a career as a scientist?
    • How do you see research fitting into your profession 10 years from now?
  3. Ensure your science teacher submits a recommendation letter through the link emailed to them based on the information submited on the application
  4. Send your Official Transcript to the address listed below
  5. If accepted, complete additional University of Miami paperwork which may include a background check
  6. If accepted, attend an orientation session in late May

All application materials must be received by 5PM on Monday, March 2, 2020 for full consideration.


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

For additional information please contact the HHMI Program Coordinator at 305-284-3530 or email

Frequently Asked Questions

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