[REDACTED] SEP High School Intern Program

[REDACTED] SEP High School Intern Program

Funding Type: 
Creativity Awards
Grant Number: 
TC1-05961
Approved funds: 
$138,123
Public Abstract: 
With funding from CIRM, 18 high school students from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences will have the opportunity to pursue a summer research project in stem cell biology at a major research university. Students will spend the bulk of their summer conducting research under the guidance of a mentor scientist. In addition, they will meet weekly to build strong ties with their peers and learn to: 1) successfully apply to college and for financial aid, 2) communicate in writing about their research, and 3) give a poster presentation and a scientific talk. Alumni from this program have been shown to pursue careers in the sciences in great numbers; thus, many of these students will likely continue working in stem cell research. Irrespective of their career choice, all CIRM-funded alumni will understand the importance of stem cell research, thereby becoming "stem cell ambassadors" who can help others in California understand this work and advocate for continued funding.
Statement of Benefit to California: 
This proposed project will further the educational and scientific careers of high school students from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences. It will also help research scientists learn how to mentor students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In doing so, this work will both diversify and build the life science workforce in California. Diversifying the scientific field is of critical importance to the state of California: as just one example, a more diverse biomedical workforce has been repeatedly cited as a mechanism for addressing disparities in health and healthcare. Additionally, shortages in the life science workforce from technicians to advanced scientists are predicted in California. This program will help California citizens become a part of this workforce by helping students matriculate to college, complete their undergraduate education, and pursue careers in the sciences.
Progress Report: 

Year 1

With funding from CIRM, six high school students pursued a summer research project in stem cell or developmental biology at UC San Francisco. For eight weeks, these students conducted research under the guidance of a mentor scientist. In addition, they met weekly to learn to: 1) successfully apply to college and for financial aid, 2) communicate in writing about their research, and 3) give a poster presentation and a scientific talk. The program culminated with a Poster Session and Celebration with a keynote address by UCSF Chancellor Sue Desmond-Hellman. Over 200 families, friends, and UCSF community members attended. The six high school interns also traveled to Stanford University to participate in the CIRM Creativity Awards Poster Session. Past alumni from this program have been shown to pursue careers in the sciences in significant percentages; thus, many of these students will likely continue working in stem cell research in their undergraduate years and beyond. These six students developed a deeper understanding of scientific research generally and stem cell biology specifically, thereby becoming "science ambassadors" who can help others in California better understand the importance of this work.

Year 2

With funding from CIRM, six high school students pursued a summer research project in stem cell or developmental biology at UC San Francisco. For eight weeks, these students conducted research under the guidance of a mentor scientist. In addition, they met weekly to learn to: 1) successfully apply to college and for financial aid, 2) communicate in writing about their research, and 3) give a poster presentation and a scientific talk. The program culminated with a Poster Session and Celebration with keynote addresses by UCSF Executive Vice Chancellor Jeff Bluestone and San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza. Over 200 families, friends, and UCSF community members attended. The six high school interns also participated in the CIRM Creativity Awards Poster Session held at the W Hotel in San Francisco. Past alumni from this program have been shown to pursue careers in the sciences in significant percentages; thus, many of these students will likely continue working in stem cell research in their undergraduate years and beyond. These six students developed a deeper understanding of scientific research generally and stem cell biology specifically, thereby becoming "science ambassadors" who can help others in California and beyond better understand the importance of this work.

© 2013 California Institute for Regenerative Medicine