The Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Working on a laboratory.

This blog post aims to provide potential applicants with a comprehensive understanding of the Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program. By shedding light on the program’s structure, benefits, and application process, we hope to encourage students to seize this unparalleled learning opportunity and contribute to the ever-evolving field of genetic research.

Jackson Laboratory, a leading independent research institution, has been at the forefront of genetic and genomic research since its inception in 1929. With a focus on uncovering the genetic basis of human diseases, Jackson Laboratory has made groundbreaking discoveries that have shaped modern medicine. Housing state-of-the-art facilities and collaborating with experts across various fields, the laboratory continually strives to push the boundaries of scientific knowledge.

The Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program offers a unique opportunity for ambitious high school and undergraduate students to dive into the exciting world of genetics and genomics research.

Over ten weeks, participants gain hands-on experience working alongside renowned scientists, develop valuable research skills, and form lasting connections with peers and mentors. This immersive program bolsters students’ academic and professional growth and fosters a passion for scientific discovery.

About the Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program

History of the program

The Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program has a rich history dating back to the institution’s early years. Recognizing the importance of nurturing the next generation of scientists, the program was established to provide students with a solid foundation in genetic research and a platform to explore their interests.

a female student inside a laboratory

Over the years, the Summer Student Program has evolved and expanded, continually adapting to the latest advancements in the field while maintaining its core mission of fostering young talent.


Gaining entry to the Summer Student Program is competitive, with students from diverse backgrounds being selected. All participants receive a stipend of $6,250 for the entire program, which covers accommodation and meals at Highseas (for the Maine program) or the University of Saint Joseph (for the Connecticut program). The cost of round-trip transportation between the student’s residence and the Laboratory is also provided.

Students must attend the entire duration of the program. If students have scheduling conflicts, they are still encouraged to apply. The staff at JAX will assist accepted students in addressing issues such as early release, early finals, and other accommodations to ensure their timely participation in the program. However, students with significant scheduling conflicts – like an early departure for international study – are advised to postpone their application to a subsequent year.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for the Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

The Bar Harbor campus welcomes applications from eligible high school seniors and undergraduate students, while the Farmington campus accepts applications exclusively from qualified undergraduate students. There are no geographical restrictions for applicants, as the SSP is open to students from any state or region.

For high school students participating in the program at Bar Harbor, the requirements are as follows:

  • Completion of Grade 12
  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status

For college students participating in the program at either Bar Harbor or Farmington, the requirements include the following:

  • Full-time undergraduate enrollment
  • At least one remaining semester of undergraduate study before graduation
  • U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status

The JAX Genomic Education team evaluates each application individually, focusing solely on the materials submitted within the application, as supplementary materials are not allowed. The Summer Student Program aims to offer fellowships to students whose applications best align with the evaluation criteria and program objectives. Key characteristics the program seeks include:

  • A strong desire to undertake an independent research project within the broad scope of genetics and genomics
  • Academic accomplishments
  • A curious and passionate attitude toward science
  • Resilience and problem-solving abilities
  • Personal maturity and responsibility
  • The capacity to work independently as well as within a team

Program duration

The Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program runs for ten weeks, typically beginning in early June and concluding in mid-August. During this time, students work full-time on their research projects under the guidance of experienced scientists and have access to seminars, workshops, and other educational activities designed to enrich their experience and knowledge in the field.

Benefits of participating in the Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program

Hands-on research experience

One of the most significant benefits of participating in the Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program is gaining hands-on research experience. Students are paired with mentors who guide them through the intricacies of scientific investigation, from developing a hypothesis to designing experiments and analyzing data.

a female chemist working with a microscope

This practical experience allows students to apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting, strengthening their understanding of the scientific process and preparing them for future academic and professional pursuits.

Exposure to cutting-edge research

As a renowned research institution, Jackson Laboratory is at the forefront of advancements in genetics and genomics. Summer students have the chance to work on cutting-edge research projects and attend seminars, workshops, and lab meetings, where they can learn about the latest discoveries and technologies. This exposure to state-of-the-art research can inspire students to explore new avenues in their work and contribute to advancing genetic and genomic understanding.

Networking opportunities

The Summer Student Program offers ample opportunities for participants to network with peers, mentors, and established researchers in the field. These connections can lead to valuable collaborations, provide insights into potential career paths, and support a student’s academic and professional journey.

Additionally, alumni of the program often pursue advanced degrees and careers in genetics, genomics, or related fields, further emphasizing the program’s impact on shaping the future of scientific research.

Getting Started with Your Application for the Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program

If you’re eager to embark on a research journey in genetics and genomics, applying to the Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program is the first step. To help you prepare a strong application, we’ve outlined the essential requirements and tips for success below.

Application requirements

  • Application form: Complete the online application form by providing personal information, academic history, and details about your research interests.
  • Transcript: Submit official transcripts from your high school or college/university, showcasing your academic achievements and relevant coursework.
  • Personal statement: Provide a personal statement outlining your motivations for participating in the program and your career aspirations in genetics or genomics. This is your opportunity to express your passion for the subject and explain how the program aligns with your goals.
  • Letters of recommendation: Arrange for two letters of recommendation from teachers, professors, or mentors who can speak to your academic achievements and potential for success in the program. These letters should highlight your strengths and demonstrate your aptitude for research.

Tips for a successful application

  • Emphasize relevant experiences: When writing your statement and preparing your resume or CV, be sure to highlight any experiences related to genetics, genomics, or scientific research. This can include coursework, internships, independent research projects, or participation in science clubs or competitions.
  • Show enthusiasm for the program: In your statement, convey your excitement about the opportunity to participate in the Summer Student Program. Discuss specific aspects of the program that appeal to you, such as the chance to work with renowned researchers or the opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge genetic research.
  • Seek advice and feedback: As you prepare your application materials, consult with teachers, professors, or mentors who have experience in the field or are familiar with the program. Their insights can help you tailor your application to showcase your strengths and address potential weaknesses. Additionally, have someone review your personal statement and other written components to ensure they are well-organized, free of errors, and effectively convey your passion for genetics and genomics research.

Program Experience

A typical day in the program

A typical day in the Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program begins with students arriving at their designated labs, where they work closely with their mentors and fellow researchers. Mornings are often spent performing experiments, collecting data, or analyzing results. Afternoons may involve attending lab meetings, seminars, or workshops covering various topics related to genetics, genomics, and research methodologies.

a female biomedical engineer working with a specimen inside a laboratory

Students can engage in meaningful discussions with their mentors throughout the day, ask questions, and receive project guidance. Each day offers new challenges and learning experiences, fostering an atmosphere of discovery and growth.

Types of research projects

The Summer Student Program offers diverse research projects spanning various areas of genetic and genomic research. Some examples include:

  • Cancer research: Students participating in cancer research projects investigate various cancers’ genetic underpinnings, identify novel treatment targets, and explore the mechanisms that drive cancer progression.
  • Genetics research: Genetics research projects cover a wide array of topics, such as the role of specific genes in disease development, the function of non-coding RNA, or the influence of genetic variation on phenotypic traits.
  • Neuroscience research: In neuroscience research projects, students delve into the complex relationship between genetics and the nervous system, exploring topics like neurodevelopment, neurodegenerative diseases, and the genetic basis of cognitive function.

Highlights from past participants

  • Success stories: Many past Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program participants have gone on to achieve remarkable accomplishments in their academic and professional careers. Alumni of the program have pursued advanced degrees at prestigious institutions, published their research in renowned scientific journals, and secured positions at leading research organizations.
  • Lessons learned: Past participants often emphasize the valuable lessons they learned during their time in the program, such as the importance of perseverance in the face of scientific challenges, the value of collaboration and mentorship, and the excitement of making novel discoveries. These experiences shape students’ understanding of genetic and genomic research and instill a lifelong passion for scientific exploration.


The Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program offers an unparalleled opportunity for high school and undergraduate students to immerse themselves in cutting-edge genetic and genomic research. Over the course of 10 weeks, participants work on hands-on research projects, gain valuable skills, and form lasting connections with peers and mentors in the field. This enriching experience bolsters students’ academic and professional growth and fosters a passion for scientific discovery.

Programs like the Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program are crucial in nurturing the next generation of scientists and researchers. By providing students with early exposure to real-world research, these programs help cultivate a strong foundation in scientific principles and inspire future leaders in genetics, genomics, and related fields.

A female forensic science student wearing a laboratory gown while using the microscope

As the pace of scientific discovery accelerates, it is essential to invest in the education and training of young talent to address the complex challenges facing human health and wellbeing.

If you are a motivated student interested in genetics, genomics, or a related field, we encourage you to apply for the Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program. This unparalleled learning experience can transform your understanding of the scientific process, spark new passions, and set you on a path to making meaningful contributions to the world of genetic and genomic research. Don’t miss the chance to join this prestigious program and embark on an unforgettable journey of discovery.

Having all the necessary information is essential before choosing any course of action. AdmissionSight is always here to assist you with any questions or concerns. We have more than ten years of expertise in assisting students in successfully navigating the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out what we can do to help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are sufficiently aware and well-prepared for the application process.





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