Columbia University in the City of New York


BRAINYAC student Ashanna Ramdial presents her work on brain cell development and possible connections to mental health disorders (Credit: Devin Powell/Columbia University)

Connecting high school students with scientists for intensive summer lab internships

Hands-on experience in a laboratory is essential for preparing today’s youth to become tomorrow’s scientists. With this mind, the Zuckerman Institute’s Brain Research Apprenticeships in New York at Columbia (BRAINYAC) program provides an immersive summer research experience in which high school students train and work in neuroscience laboratories at Columbia University.


2016 BRAINYAC students show off their posters after presenting their research to the Columbia community (Credit: Devin Powell/Columbia's Zuckerman Institute).

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, and Columbia Secondary School. 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. BRAINYAC receives generous support from the Pinkerton Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and the VWR Foundation.

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Videos Featuring BRAINYAC

Zuckerman Institute Introduces High School Students to Frontiers of Neuroscience