Columbia University in the City of New York


A 2019 BRAINYAC student presents her research (Credit: Christian Balmer/Columbia University)

Connecting high school students with scientists for intensive summer lab internships

The Zuckerman Institute’s Brain Research Apprenticeships in New York at Columbia (BRAINYAC) program prepares today’s youth to become tomorrow’s scientists. Usually an immersive summer research experience, the BRAINYAC program has adapted to be virtual. We emphasize opportunities to connect with real scientists, learn key skills required to work in a research environment, and becoming part of the Columbia University community.


Above: A 2019 BRAINYAC student and her mentor (Credit: Eileen Barroso/Columbia University).

Above: The 2020 BRAINYAC cohort.


BRAINYAC Applicants

The BRAINYAC program is open to students from select partner programs and schools that serve students in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Each student is matched with a Columbia neuroscientist, a mentor who guides the student through a research project. Interns come away from the experience with an enhanced understanding of how laboratory research leads to transformative discovery, exposure to a professional academic environment and a stronger connection to science as a career.

The BRAINYAC program accepts applications from 10th and 11th grade students nominated by one of our partner programs: S-PREPLang Youth MedicalDouble Discovery Center, Columbia Secondary School and BioBus. Applicants must reside in New York City, and preference is given to students in upper Manhattan and the South Bronx. Program applications are distributed to our partner programs each fall.


Applying to BRAINYAC

Applications for BRAINYAC 2021 are now open. Please check HERE for a program application. All inquiries can be directed to [email protected].  


Becoming a BRAINYAC Mentor

If you are interested in becoming a BRAINYAC mentor, please contact us: [email protected].


BRAINYAC receives generous support from the Pinkerton Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Award 1R25NS115551-01 and the National Science Foundation's NeuroNex Award DBI-1707398.

BRAINYAC Final Poster Presentation

View all events>

BRAINYAC in the news

View All News >

Videos Featuring BRAINYAC

Zuckerman Institute Introduces High School Students to Frontiers of Neuroscience