High School Internship

Open to high school students preparing to enter their junior or senior year, the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) Summer Research Internship offers aspiring scientists an immersive laboratory experience with MPFI researchers. This six-week internship is designed for students with an interest in brain structure, function and development, and the advanced imaging techniques and technologies used in neuroscience. Interns will participate in research projects alongside MPFI scientists, prepare a written scientific abstract based on their research project and deliver a short presentation at the end of the summer.

Program Details & Requirements

  • Applicants must be available to work full time (Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week) for the entire six-week period.
  • Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States and entering their junior or senior years in a Palm Beach County high school in the Fall of 2020.
  • Applicants must be 16 years of age or older by the start date of the summer internship.
  • Interns will be compensated at $11.50/hour

The 2019 application period has closed. Please check back in January 2020 for future internship opportunities.


Application Process

All applications are to be completed online by clicking here. The following are required for application: 

  • Responses to two essay questions (500 words maximum per question) 
  • Resume 
  • Unofficial transcripts showing coursework from middle school through high school 
  • AP Score Report (if applicable) 

Essay Questions

(include your name and question in your responses)

Essay 1: Please explain how participating in a summer research internship at Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience will help you achieve your academic goals.

Essay 2: After researching our organization and selecting an internship track, please explain specific skills, knowledge, and/or experience you have that would make you a qualified intern.

Internship Tracks


Max Planck offers students the opportunity to take part in intensive neuroscience research in the laboratory. Students will gain experience doing hands-on “wet lab” techniques such as genetic engineering, microbiology preparations, histological staining, and microscopy. These techniques are a subset of methodologies used to answers basic research questions about the structure and function of neural circuits. Students with a strong background in biological and chemical sciences are well suited for this track.

Scientific Programming

New imaging technologies used for probing the brain generate large volumes of complex data. Analyzing and interpreting these data poses a unique challenge requiring skills from many disciplines. As a result, Max Planck offers students with a background in computer programming (particularly with Python, Matlab, and Java) the opportunity to work on projects developing software programs for use in image analysis. Students with a strong background in mathematics, physics, and programming are well suited for this track.

Mechanical Engineering

Students interested in gaining knowledge in mechanical engineering and design, as well as obtaining experience with machining tools may apply for an internship in our Mechanical Workshop. Interns are trained by expert machinists to design and create custom parts, using a CAD program called SolidWorks. These parts are then used to enable cutting-edge neuroscience research at the institute.

Past Intern Presentations

After six weeks of working closely with their mentor and conducting research using MPFI’s state-of-the-art facilities, participants in our high school internship program give detailed presentations to fellow researchers and the community, showcasing everything that they have learned during their time at MPFI.