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.

This program is made possible thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor.

Program Details & Requirements

Applications for the 2024 Internship have closed.

  • Applicants must be available to work full-time (Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week) for the entire six-week period (June 17 – July 26, 2024).
  • Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States.
  • Applicants must be entering their junior or senior years in a Palm Beach or Martin County high school during the 2024-25 school year.
  • Applicants must reside in Palm Beach or Martin Counties. Residents of other counties are not eligible for this internship.
  • Applicants must be 16 years of age or older by the start date of the summer internship.
  • Please note that there will be NO exceptions for the above requirements.
  • Interns will be compensated at $12.5/hour


Application Process

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

  • Responses to the essay question (600 words maximum) 
  • Resume 
  • Unofficial transcripts showing coursework from middle school through high school 
  • AP Score Report (if applicable)

Essay Question

(Please include your name and question in your responses)

“Please explain why you would like to participate in the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience high school internship and the skills that make you a qualified candidate.”

The application window for the 2024 internship program has closed. Applications for the 2025 program will open in early January 2025. 

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 answer 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

The new 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 C/C++, Python, Matlab, or Java) the opportunity to work on projects developing software programs for use in data 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.


Ilaria Drago with Max Planck Florida's 2019 High School Summer Interns