Summer Cancer Research Experience Program for High School Students

Application Deadline

January 31, 2021

Program Dates

Monday, June 28 - Friday August 13, 2021

Are you current high school junior considering a science major in college and thinking about a career in scientific research?

To help make these informed decisions, consider an internship in which you will gain a first-hand research experience by working full-time on an independent cancer-related research project.

Your research experience will be set within the collaborative and mentored environment of a world-renowned cancer researcher’s laboratory where you will work alongside a research staff of graduate students, post-doctoral scholars and technicians. Your core research experience will be supported by educational seminars and career development activities. These include a weekly course, invited speaker seminars and field trips to life sciences companies. Students interested in the role of science in public policy can also get exposure to our Tobacco Regulatory Science program (WNY Center for Research on Flavored Tobacco Products.)

You will develop skill sets important to a scientific career, learn about cutting-edge cancer science topics and explore non-traditional science careers. You will conclude your research experience by giving a poster presentation at a research conference where you will hone your scientific communication skills. Throughout the program you will have opportunities to bond with peers who have the same interest in science by attending planned social activities.

Apply Now (Will Re-open November 16th, 2020)

Areas of Research

Summer Student lab

As part of the application process, students with an interest in biology, chemistry, physics or math are able to rank their choice of available projects in the following research areas:

  • Biostatistics
  • Cancer biophysics
  • Cancer cellular/molecular biology
  • Cancer genetics
  • Cancer prevention/epidemiology
  • Health behavior/cancer health disparities
  • Molecular pharmacology and cancer therapeutics
  • Tobacco regulatory science
  • Tumor immunology
Summer student presentations

Some previous projects conducted over the summer by interns:

  • "Dissecting the Neural-Vascular link in Head and Neck Cancer"
  • “The Role of Heat Shock Protein in Prostate Cancer Progression”
  • “Cigarette Filter Ventilation and its Correlation with Risk and Sensory Perceptions in America's Leading Cigarette Brands"

Program Eligibility

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria at the time of application:

  • Enrolled in junior year (graduating class of 2022) of high school.
  • Resident (permanent address) of, and enrollment in school districts in, the following counties in Western New York. This is a commuter-based only program. Enrollment and residency will be verified.
    • Erie
    • Niagara
    • Cattaraugus
    • Chautaqua
  • U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent resident
  • 15 years of age or older at the start of the program on June 28, 2021
  • NOTE ON NEW YORK STATE REGENTS EXAMS: Students taking the Physical or Chemical regents exam during the week of June 28, will be excused from the program for that time.

Program Funding Support

Limited funding is available to support subsistence allowances for a select number of applicants to the summer program. These subsistence allowances are awarded based on the qualifications of applicants and eligiblity criteria required by our outside funding sources.

All students must pay the program fee regardless of funding status. Meal costs are not covered by the program.

Program Costs

The following are costs of the program:


Application fee: $35 (non-refundable)

*Students are eligible for an application fee waiver if they are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program (free and reduced lunch program.)

All Acceped Interns:

Program fee: $65 (non-refundable)

FAQ and Program Contact

Read frequently asked questions about the program. If you have more specific questions, contact the Department of Educational Affairs by email at or by phone: 716-845-2339.

Generous support provided by

The Janine Torba Endowment