How do high schoolers do research?

<p>Hi everyone- a lot of my (already in college) friends who were from other high schools told me that they were research assistants/volunteers at a local university (these were good universities too, mind you- Stanford and the like). I've been trying to find my own position like that, but the only answer I've been getting is either no answer at all, or that because the professors have to be background checked if working with minors, assistants and volunteers have to be 18. I'm quite frustrated, because I really do have specific areas of interest but I don't know how to "get in." Does anyone know how to obtain these opportunities? I've already tried sending several emails to professors legitimately explaining why I am interested and all that.</p>

<p>Lol, I’ve always felt like this is one of those things people on the Internet talk about that never happens in real life, especially since I live in the middle of nowhere…if I emailed a professor asking if I could help them with research they’d have no clue in hell what I was talking about. </p>

<p>There are established internship programs for high school students, though.</p>

<p>[Internships</a> | JHU CTY](<a href=“]Internships”></p>

<p>Excluding research of the science fair variety…</p>

<p>…Your mom/dad/uncleFred/etc. talks to a colleague at the university/hospital/lab/pharmaCo/etc and they each agree to take on the others high school student as an intern. Voila, now you know where 99% of high schoolers get their “real research” experience.</p>

<p>Ok, 99% is an exaggeration, there are also legit programs out there that will take on high schoolers. One in the Chicago area is linked to a hospital in my town. The program has a lower acceptance rate than Harvard.</p>

<p>Don’t get me wrong, it is not impossible to land something by sheer volume of e-mails and phone calls and determination. As far as college apps go though (and I’m not suggesting that’s the only reason you are interested, I’m just digressing), in the end, the adcoms will likely assume you were set up by a relative anyhow. I think that particular ‘failed simulation effect’ has jumped the shark.</p>

<p>I would recommend researching on your own and compile your work. Go to a nearby university ( it doesn’t have to be a top ten school or any ranking really) and show it to a professor there and see what he/she thinks. and then maybe he can assign you a project and advise you.</p>

<p>Hi I do research at a university. </p>

<p>I don’t think the ranking of the university is important at all. In fact, big state schools are probably better in a lot of ways to schools like Yale for doing research. The only difference may be that the local religious college probably does not have a good variety of equipment in the labs, but don’t think that research schools other than UCB, UCLA, and Stanford is going to inhibit you. If your closest university is UC Merced or a CSU, go for it.</p>

<p>The easiest way in is, like all things, to know somebody. I don’t know what your research involves, though, so I can’t give specific advice here. However, if either of your parents is involved in the medical field perhaps they can introduce you to a doctor/friend of a doctor who does research. You could ask your own physician too, I guess. Feel out your relatives to see if anyone of them has a connection. As another poster said there are established programs out there (RSI being a really good one), but due to the open nature of them they can be challenging.</p>

<p>If that doesn’t work then just send out more emails, I guess. It also helps if you meet them face to face. </p>

<p>You could just be in a field with way too many people wanting to do research already, and in that case you need to be crafty, because you may be competing with undergraduates.</p>

<p>You are in high school, you aren’t even supposed to be doing research. If this is for admissions purposes, there are better ways to get ahead. If this is for genuine interest, one of my friends did research at a local public university, barely known. He got what he wanted, a genuine research experience.</p>

<p>I wanted to find a larger university simply because the local college doesn’t have extensive resources or good permanent faculty, but thanks.</p>

<p>I did summer research at Texas Tech as a 17-year-old through their Clark Scholars program.</p>

<p>Many schools have this sort of established program, especially in the summer when they can provide housing to the students and much-needed slave labor - er, assistance - to professors whose undergrad assistants may be off-campus until the fall.</p>

<p>One of my fellow Clarks was a local to Tech, and he was invited by the prof he worked with to continue assisting in the fall. So that can be one way in the door.</p>

<p>Apart from that, your best bet is to talk to the students you know who are already doing research at the local universities, and ask them who they talked to and how they got in. If someone has already blazed the trail, you don’t need to hack through the jungle, you just need a good trail map. :)</p>

<p>I got lucky, by emailing a professor, and he said that he would love to have me join his group! just have to hope for the best!</p>