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Research Experience for High School Students (REHSS)

The Research Experience for High School Students is an intense, 6-week scientific research internship at Vanderbilt University, centering on full immersion in a Vanderbilt University or Vanderbilt University Medical Center research lab. Students engage in an independent research project under the mentorship of a research faculty member at Vanderbilt.

All REHSS participants also attend weekly breakout sessions as a group, led by a team of Vanderbilt faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students. These breakout sessions complement the student's lab experience by developing skill sets for scientific communication and comprehension, as well as exposing students to the Vanderbilt research community, scientific careers, and university studies.

REHSS culminates with an end-of-summer research symposium where students present their projects in a public research poster forum, consistent with national scientific meetings.


  • Applicants must be current 11th graders (entering 12th grade in the fall following the summer they participate).
  • Students must be 16 years of age by the first day of the program (May 30, 2017). 
  • Students must attend all 6 weeks of the program. REHSS 2017 occurs May 30 - July 12. If you are unable to participate for the duration of the six weeks you will not be considered for participation. 
  • There is the potential to extend the length of the internship free of charge for up to 2 weeks (until July 28th) after the symposium. However, this is conditional upon the student, principal investigator, and lab group all agreeing that the extension is necessary for the research project and will contribute positively to the lab.
  • We DO accept out-of-town students, however, REHSS is NOT a residential program; therefore we cannot provide housing. Any out-of-town students must provide proof of a suitable, supervised housing arrangement.
  • Students are responsible for their own transportation; however, parking and busing options are available to REHSS students.

Please note:

  • The 2017 application is now available and is due on February 24. Please click here to download.
  • Any minor student from outside commuting distance must download and submit the parent liability release.
  • The cost of participation in the REHSS program is $1500.00 for all students not affiliated with the ISR program.  However, need-based scholarships may be available. 
  • It is not necessary to have a host lab to be considered for REHSS. Laboratory placements are arranged by REHSS administrators.
  • Students are accepted through a competitive application process that includes a phone interview.

The summer research experience is intense but highly rewarding. If you enjoy science and have a strong desire to explore and discover the world around you, we are looking for you. It may be the best summer you've ever had! 

Please contact Mr. Kordell Hunter ( for further information.