UCSD 2018 Research Experience for High School Students

The San Diego Supercomputer Center’s 9th Annual Research Experience for High School Students (REHS) Summer 2018 Volunteer Internship Opportunities at the University of California, San Diego

June 18–August 10, 2018 (eight weeks)

UCSD REHS Important Dates to Remember

  • The REHS Online Application Process has CLOSED.
  • REHS Notification Date: on or before May 1, 2018
  • Period of Internship:  June 18- August 10, 2018

Description of the Program

The Research Experience for High School Students program, a part of the San Diego Supercomputer Center’s (SDSC) student outreach program, has been developed to help increase awareness of computational science and related fields of research to students in the San Diego region. Students gain exposure to career options, hands-on computational experience, work readiness skills, and mentoring by computational research scientists.

Through the eight-week volunteer program, students are involved with an established research project. Students learn how to formulate and test hypotheses, conduct computational experiments and draw conclusions from those experiments. They also learn to take part in regular lab meetings and group discussions. At the end of the program, students will develop scientific posters, reflecting on their summer experience and highlighting their research and future career goals. Posters will be displayed during a celebratory event in mid-August.

Interested in Being a Student Participant in REHS?


  • Applicants must be a Southern California residents and have completed their most recent semester of high school and be in grade 10, 11 or 12 at a public or private high school or in a home school setting within Southern California.
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years of age on or before June 18, 2018. There are no exceptions.
  • One year each of high school level chemistry or biology is recommended but not required for full consideration. Please check each project prerequisite as project requirements vary.
  • Applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and be college bound. Please include your non-weighted GPA.


The UCSD REHS program is an opportunity for motivated high school students to work with a UCSD mentor at the San Diego Supercomputer Center for an eight-week period from June 18-August 10, 2018. Students may choose from a variety of  individual project opportunities to learn more about a potential research or career interest through software instruction, assigned scholarly or practical readings and discussions with their mentor and his/her graduate student team members. Students work in pairs or small groups, which allows students to learn and grow as they work with peers who have the same interest.

We encourage students to make the most of this opportunity, as they will have 1:1 access to the mentor’s expertise. With this internship, there is a specified number of hours required per week by the mentor. Each project description will have specified hours listed. Most are between 15-20 hours per week. The opportunity to work with prestigious scientist and staff personnel is something very special and we encourage you to make the most of it.


Approximately 15 renowned research and staff mentors have signed on to participate in REHS.

Before reviewing the mentor list, students should consider their own goals with regard to the program. Is this an opportunity to learn more about a particular research interest? Or an opportunity to confirm a passion for a certain career goal? Or maybe the student wishes to know more about a particular topic, such as neuroscience, before setting their sights on this as a career goal?

Make sure you know your expectations for the program before viewing the mentor list as you do not want to confuse yourself with the broad range of disciplines that the mentors represent.


The Meet the Mentors page is a valuable resource for you to research, compare and contrast mentors. Mentors are listed alphabetically by last name.


The REHS program is not a tutoring program. Please do not complete an application because you need assistance with AP Biology or AP Chemistry.


Please do not hesitate to work with your school counselor to discuss how the REHS program can help you advance your research or career interests and goals. Many of your school personnel attended a REHS Overview session and may have the answers you need. Please also feel free to contact the REHS Coordinators for guidance. We are here to help! Please contact Ange Mason of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (amason@ucsd.edu, 858 534-5064). We are available to provide guidance and answer any questions you might have. Just ask!


The REHS mentors are listed alphabetically by last name. Each mentor has provided a photo, biography, lab or workplace focus, and a project description. Please review the list thoughtfully and unhurried as there is quite a bit of information to absorb.

PLEASE NOTE: This year, our application process has gone online, making the process easier for you and your mentor and the selection process. Mentors will be reviewing all submitted applications and will make their own selections. REHS Coordinators are not involved in the selection process.

If you have any questions while viewing the mentor page, please DO NOT contact the mentor directly, but rather contact the REHS Coordinators.


As students will notice, the application is similar to previous internship applications that UCSD has used for other programs, but with a few less requirements.

Please complete the REHS application thoughtfully and completely. You cannot take back a first impression. You may apply for up to two projects, so please be sure to indicate Selection #1 and #2. You do not need to apply for two projects, but the option is there if you wish to do so.

Please remember to:

  • address your cover letter to your first choice mentor.
  • provide a well crafted resume
  • write thoughtfully
  • be honest. If your grades slipped a little, explain why. We all have issues that present themselves and that sometimes hinder achievement. A simple explanation is all you need.
  • write a thoughtful essay as to why you wish to participate.
  • check for spelling errors.
  • be thorough. Refer to the checklist before submitting your application.

Please DO NOT:

  • ask your parent to write your essay.
  • reuse a school essay. We can spot these a mile away!
  • use slang. (Yes, this has happened.)
  • address the mentor incorrectly in your cover letter. Please be sure to use Dr. when warranted and please do not use Dr. when the mentor does not have a doctorate. This seems like a small mistake, but it can count against you.

Once your online applications are submitted, they will be sent to the REHS mentors for review and student selection.

Selected students will be notified by May 1, 2018.


Your role in the REHS program is to be an active and enthusiastic participant. Remember, your level of involvement and engagement with the mentor will determine how beneficial the internship is to you.

All REHS student participants will be hired as UCSD volunteers. Further details will be provided should you be selected to participate.


To foster a supportive and meaningful experience, REHS Coordinators will have a monthly progress meeting for all students. Students may also request a private meeting should their be any concerns or personal questions.


Students will be asked to submit a research poster or alternate approved final project upon completion of the internship. The REHS Poster Session will take place on the afternoon of August 10, 2018. Participation is required. The poster or project  should address the research that you conducted throughout the internship. Mentors will also be asked to complete a short evaluation of your performance and you will be asked to complete a short evaluation about your summer experience.

Remember to clearly think about your goals for this program. With a concrete plan in mind, your internship will be as rewarding as you want it to be!


If you know that you will need transportation to get to the main UCSD campus, please do not worry. We will provide students with transportation needs through an MTS Compass card for the internship period.

Once we receive word from your mentor that you have been selected, we will email all selected students to ask if there are transportation needs. This will be your chance to let us know.

For now, though, don’t worry and just concentrate on finding the perfect mentor for you!


  • Verify ID & Make Photocopy (Visa Documents as well if Non-US Citizen)
  • UCSD Volunteer Appointment Agreement
  • SDSC Volunteer Confirmation Form
  • Consent note from parent/guardian (if under 18)
  • Oath and Patent Form
  • Emergency Contact Sheet
  • UPAY 554-6 Personal Data Form
  • Substance Abuse Policy & Receipt Received
  • Worker’s Compensation Booklet & Receipt Received
  • Responsible Conduct of Research & Receipt Received
  • UCSD Principles of Community Handout
  • CANRA Form
  • Waiver of Liability

UCSD REHS Application Review Process

View Details

The REHS mentors submitting applications for a high school mentee will receive their student applications on March 15,  2018. Mentors will be asked to make their student selections by May 1, 2018. The program continues through August 10, 2018.

Essential Components of the REHS Program When Selecting Students

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An essential component of this program is the involvement of women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities in fields where these groups have traditionally been underrepresented. Efforts to include representatives from these groups are strongly encouraged.

Mentor Evaluation

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A written evaluation of the mentoring experience by the student will be required. We will provide you with the evaluation document. A final letter of reference for the student, if requested, is the responsibility of the mentor.

Administration of the REHS Program

The REHS Internship Program is administered by the UCSD San Diego Supercomputer Center.
View Details

Duties of Coordinators

The REHS Coordinators facilitate the administrative volunteer orientation and paperwork process for students and background check for mentors, as well as pairing of Faculty and Post Doc mentors with San Diego County high school students in grades 10-12.

The REHS Coordinator has four main responsibilities:

  1. Facilitate the matching and notification of mentoring pairs
  2. Provide a one-time Spring orientation for selected students, and maintain communication with students and mentors to discuss progress of mentor-student pairs,
  3. Research, develop, and maintain a comprehensive university-wide resource list of all faculty development resources, programs, and opportunities on campus,
  4. Maintain the REHS website for the mentors and students on which is posted a variety of resources and through which regular communication can be maintained with mentors, students, and interested campus and community members

The REHS Mission

The mission of the REHS program is to enhance a student’s lifelong personal development in teaching, scholarship, and service. The mentoring relationships will support collegiality, effective communication, self-evaluation, and cultural competence, all of which enhance a stimulating and supportive university environment.

Guidance and Answers at Your Fingertips

Ange Mason of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (amason@ucsd.edu, 858 534-5064) and Lindy Wong (liw030@ucsd.edu) are available to provide guidance and answer any questions you might have. Just ask!