Programs for High School Students in Neuroscience and Mental Health

Central Massachusetts Regional Brain Bee

The 11th Annual Central Massachusetts Regional Brain Bee was held on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at UMass Medical School. Congratulations to this year's winner, Vishwanath Rao, Sophomore at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Acton, MA. Vish will compete in the March 17-19th National Brain Bee Competition in Baltimore, Maryland. Check out the 2017 Central Massachusetts event at:

Programs for High School Students

There are a number of opportunities that high school students could learn more about neuroscience and mental health. We have programs available for students who might be considering a career in neuroscience or mental health professions. There are many pathways for careers in research, teaching, or clinical service. The University of Massachusetts Medical School / Department of Psychiatry is pleased to sponsor these activities.

The range of opportunities for high school students include involvement in our Summer Internship program, Career Day, participation in the Annual Central Massachusetts Regional Brain Bee, and other ongoing community activities, including different Academic Interest Groups on many different topics. If you would like more information, please contact the Career Development and Research Office.

High School Summer Internship Program

The Neuroscience and Mental Health Summer Internship is an opportunity for high school students to gain a short, but educational glimpse into different aspects of the medical field. Students will be exposed to varying aspects of mental health work. Individually assigned to a participating UMass faculty advisor, the hope is that each student will be able to learn about the profession they eventually want to pursue. On a daily basis, each student will shadow his or her faculty advisor and several times a week, students will come together for organized workshops and guest speaker luncheons. Faculty advisors from last year's program included surgeons, researchers, and clinicians.

This volunteer program runs five days a week for a two week period in the middle of the summer. The official hours of the program are 9:30am-4:30pm; however, the hours are subject to change depending on the schedule of the student's assigned faculty advisor.

Program Information and Application form can be downloaded here. Send completed applications (including referral letters) via email to Joseph Keating, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School. For any questions, email or Deadline for submission is June 2, 2017.

2013 Neuroscience and Mental Health Summer Internship Program

2013 InternsThe Neuroscience and Mental Health Summer Internship 2013 was held between July 22nd and August 2nd. Run by the Department of Psychiatry, it offers an opportunity for high school students to gain an educational glimpse into different aspects of the medical field. Students, who are found eligible through an application process, are individually assigned to a participating UMASS faculty mentors based on their interests. Each student shadows his or her faculty advisor, and come together for organized workshops and guest speaker seminars.

The 2013 program was led by a postdoc from Center for Comparative NeuroImaging, Elif Sikoglu, Ph.D. and Neuropsychiatry resident, Beth Degrush, D.O. Elif and Beth were very pleased to host 7 students from different high schools and hope that this experience enriched their outlook on the future career plans. This year’s program ended on August 2nd, 2013 with a luncheon during which the interns were given the opportunity to share their experience with their parents and faculty members. Dr. Doug Ziedonis topped off the afternoon with a certificate for each intern given in the presence of family and friends. (Pictured L to R: Beth Degrush, DO; Elif Sikoglu, PhD; Maxim Petrovsky-Shrewsbury HS; Fred Lu-Westborough HS; Elliot Davis-Tantasqua Regional Sr. HS; Aidan Cassidy-Bancroft School; Ciara O'Connor-Newton Country Day School; Kelly Scharlach-Mission College Prep, Arroyo Grande, CA; Achint Singh-Worcester Academy; Doug Ziedonis, MD, MPH) 

Elliot Davis Elliot Davis: The program provided great experience and exposed me to so much in research and medicine. It affirmed my interest in the biomedical sciences and made me more interested in the possibility of medical school. I would recommend applying to anyone interested in science, medicine, or research. 
Aidan Cassidy Aidan Cassidy: This internship allowed me to gain insight on current, research and clinical, endeavors in the fields of Neuroscience and Psychology. In addition, I was exposed to a variety of individuals, some with PHDs, MDs, or both. Aside from discussing past research or cases (which were all very interesting) with these individuals, I was able to get a better idea of what lay ahead of me in terms of pursuing a career in medicine. The people I met during these two weeks were passionate, enthusiastic, and determined. Through this experience I have decided that I want to pursue a career in medicine.
Maxim Petrovsky Maxim Petrovsky: The program was an incredible experience and I learned a lot. I was constantly learning something new about neuroscience and medicine and our mentors, Elif and Beth, did an exceptional job with finding us doctors to shadow and to present workshops to us. We learned about the clinical as well as the research aspect of medicine which really broadened my view of medicine and the opportunities presented to me.

Interns from 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009