ION seeks applications from highly motivated high school students who have taken at least one college-level science course (e.g., AP Biology, Honors Chemistry, etc.). After participating in an introductory neuroscience course, ION Scholars are matched with mentors by interest to conduct a seven-week mentored laboratory research project. Weekly professional development workshops focus on topics such as scientific communication, the ethical conduct of research and special topics in neuroscience. At the conclusion of the program, students present their laboratory research results at the ION Research Symposium to an audience of peers, family, friends, teachers and community members.

Program Benefits
• The internship program provides comprehensive preparation for the pursuit of undergraduate science majors.
• Student Scholars usually finish the program excited about neuroscience, with an interest in exploring neuroscience-related academic and professional careers.
• Student Scholars who meet all program requirements and complete the program are eligible for a stipend to be paid in two installments.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Preference for high school students currently enrolled in their junior or senior year (must be 16 years old by June 4th)
  • Grade point average of at least a 3.0 or the equivalent (B average)
  • Advanced Placement (or other college-level) science courses recommended
  • Meet the AEOP definition of underserved (see below)
  • Able to commit full-time (40 hr/wk) to the entire 8-week program (cannot hold other employment or attend other camps during ION)
  • Scholars must arrange in advance local Atlanta housing and transportation and are responsible for their meals throughout the summer program

Application Process

 2024 Application will be open from Wednesday, March 6 through Friday, April 5 Monday, April 8 (deadline extended).

Required items to include:

  • Online Application Form
  • Personal Statement to be uploaded in the Online Application Form
  • Current Resume to be uploaded in the Online Application Form
  • Letter of Recommendation by a high school science teacher (to be sent by recommender,
  • Letter of Recommendation by an adult not related to the applicant  (to be sent by recommender,
  • High School Transcript to be uploaded in Online Application Form (or sent to


Applications will be reviewed, a subset of applicants will be invited to interview in mid-April, and final decisions regarding acceptance will be made and applicants notified the week of April 22.

Applicants must be US Citizens or permanent legal residents and will be required to submit tax documents for stipend purposes.

2024 and 2025 Applicants must meet AEOP’s definition of underserved.

AEOP Definition of Underserved:

AEOP’s goal is to broaden participation of underserved populations in STEM and have diverse participation in AEOP’s programs to reflect the nation’s demographics. Participants in AEOP High School Internships funded through this solicitation must self-identify with TWO OR MORE of the following:

•attends a rural, urban, Title I, or frontier/tribal school (verify school status with your school administration)

•is a female and pursuing research in physical science, computer science, mathematics, or engineering 

•identifies as a racial/ethnic minority in STEM (Alaska Native, Native American, Black or African American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander) 

•is from a low-income household (eligible for free- and reduced- lunch in school) 

•speaks English as a second language (ELL) 

•will be a first-generation college student (none of your parents or legal guardians graduated from college, aka first-gen)

•has or previously had a disability (physical or mental impairment, medical condition, or learning disability) 

•is a military-affiliated child (dependents of members of the active-duty Armed Forces, National Guard, Reserves, or a Veteran) or attends a military-connected school (where at least 15% of the student population is military-connected)


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