Virginia Tech®home

Research Experience for High Schoolers

REHS students learn how to conduct scientific research in a diverse, team-oriented environment.
REHS students learn how to conduct scientific research in a diverse, team-oriented environment.

Program Overview: Why Apply?

The Fralin Life Sciences Institute's Research Experience for High Schoolers (FREHS) is an educational program open to aspiring scientists, grades 9 to 12. FREHS prepares students to pursue highly competitive STEM majors, offering hands-on training in college-level research activities. Each of these non-paid internship positions include the following opportunities.

Make a real impact. FREHS students participate in hands-on research activities in each of our institute's Leading Laboratories—work that’s promoting health and safety worldwide. At the Fralin Life Sciences Institute of Virginia Tech, our projects help fight major disease outbreaks, strengthen national security, and promote healthy communities.

Discover new interests. Our students work in teams, closely supported by undergraduate students, graduate research assistants, and faculty. Your instructors will introduce you to the latest discoveries in a wide variety of fields: statistics, biology, computer science, public policy, just to name a few.

Build a foundation for your future career. Our institute's educational programs allow students to start building early professional connections. Our "alumni" have gone to study at prestigious universities like Virginia Tech and have established careers at the Department of Defense, Department of Health, Bloomberg, and Amazon.

About the Institute

Before applying to the FREHS program, students are encouraged to consider how their long-term educational interests fit in with the research conducted by the Fralin Life Sciences Institute's Leading Laboratories:

  • The Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory develops new technologies that speed up the discovery process for treatments of chronic diseases. Students whose interests include nutrition, healthcare, and the emerging field of precision medicine will enjoy taking part in NIMML's research.
  • The Biosystems Research Laboratories work to expand our understanding of human health, from the causes of cancer to the make-up of our cells. These labs offer a wide variety of hands-on research opportunities for students who prefer one-on-one mentorship in a small group setting.


KTU Grad School students in the lab

Program Structure

FREHS students will be trained using the latest research technology at the Fralin Life Sciences Institute's cutting-edge facilities.

Key Features

  • Unpaid internship positions are available through FREHS in the fall, spring, and summer semesters
  • Team research with dedicated undergraduate students, graduate students, and research faculty
  • Opportunities to present findings in technical reports and scientific publications
  • Meaningful research that addresses major challenges in science, social policy, industry, and public service
  • An introduction to essential tools for scientific and statistical computing

How to Apply

To apply for the FREHS program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently be enrolled in high school or an educationally equivalent program
  • Complete our online application
  • Email us a copy of your resume and cover letter

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact us.


Kristy Collins, Ph.D.
Kids' Tech University and Undergraduate Programs
(540) 231-1389