MDI Biological Laboratory

High School Summer Fellowship FAQs

My child is turning 18 shortly after the program starts, how does this affect eligibility?

Our minimum age requirements are not negotiable. The student must be a minimum of 18 years old before the Resident Program begins, in addition to meeting all other published prerequisites. The student must be a minimum of 16 years old before the Commuter Program begins, in addition to meeting all other published prerequisites.

My child is not 18 yet but is in advanced placement and has taken or been given credit for all prerequisite courses, how does this affect eligibility?

Our minimum age requirements are not negotiable. The student must be a minimum of 18 years old before the Resident Program begins, in addition to meeting all other published prerequisites. The student must be a minimum of 16 years old before the Commuter Program begins, in addition to meeting all other published prerequisites.

How many places are offered each year and how many applications do you receive?

We offer up to 10 high school summer fellowships per year. We receive around 200 applications from around the country each year. In 2020, the MDI Biological Laboratory’s high school fellowship program was ranked #3 in a list of the top 30 Online STEM Summer Research Programs in the U.S. by Empowerly, a college counseling company. We expect applications will increase.

The mix of in- and out-of-state fellows varies greatly from year to year. All places are awarded on individual merits and appropriate mentor availability.

What are the out of pocket expenses for the student?

Students are responsible for travel expenses. They are also responsible for personal expenses like laundry and recreational activities. Room and Board are provided at no additional cost. High school students also receive a stipend which in 2021 was $300.00 a week ($2100 for the 7 weeks). Students are paid ½ of their stipend at the beginning of the program and the remainder when all program obligations are met.

Are students required to live on campus?

For the Resident Program, it is recommended that students live on campus to benefit from the cohort camaraderie and support provided through residential life. It is not, however, required. Students that live off-campus may have restrictions placed on their after-hours campus activities.

For the Commuter Program, housing on campus is not provided; students will be required to live in private housing off campus. After hours campus activities may be limited.

Can students have cars on campus?

High school student vehicles are discouraged. Should a student demonstrate need to bring a vehicle, parking is available in regular lots on campus. High school students with cars are not allowed to give rides off campus to other students. High school students should not accept rides from undergraduate students with cars.

Free local transportation is available through the Island Explorer bus system with a pick up/drop off location very close to the campus.

Organized off-campus activities are developed with appropriate transportation resources and supervision.

What are the research topics students pursue?

Students engage in research projects directly related to the research in their mentor’s lab. View faculty research profiles.

My school cannot provide a full transcript with my fall grades by the application deadline, what should I do?

The application has two places to upload transcripts, one for your current school and one for a prior high school if applicable. If you have the ability, combine both your transcript as it stands and your fall grade report into one file and upload it. OR, upload what your school can provide that includes prior year grades into the current field, and upload a separate fall grade report into the prior institution field. If you have a prior high school record, you can send it via email to education@mdibl.org and we will append it to your application.

Does my reference have to be a teacher?

Either your nominator or your reference can be professionals or supervisors in a laboratory or other research setting. Be sure to find out if they can speak to your abilities and passions in the biological sciences, your abilities in both an independent and a team-oriented project environment, and your communication skills. All of these topics are reviewed very carefully by the mentors in the selection process. Nominations and references are heavily weighted.

During the pandemic my schoolwork has been online and I have not been able to participate in laboratory practice, what do I do about the laboratory requirement?

We are making allowances in the requirements due to the pandemic restrictions!