Summer Program

2017 SURE program students and mentors


The Summer Internship Program (SURE Program) at Scintillon Institute aims to introduce top high school applicants to basic scientific research and prepare them for college. One goal of this immersive research experience is to encourage and prepare the most talented high school students for successful careers in biomedical research. Led by Program Director Murat H. Digicaylioglu, M.D. Ph.D., the SURE Program aims to create a pipeline of future scientists for the highly competitive and successful biomedical research community in San Diego County.

The very best high school students from San Diego County school districts will be selected and invited to participate in the SURE Program. A Scintillon Institute faculty member will be the student’s scientific mentor and will introduce the student to the program’s curriculum and guide the student through to graduation of the program.

The SURE Program has a specially tailored curriculum that aligns the students’ time constraints with the commitment required by basic research.

The program is divided into three years, each year clearly marked with a milestone as a metric for success. Success will be measured by reaching the defined milestone for each year, which is required to be invited to continue the program. 

Students must provide a complete application packet, consisting of:

  • The application form for the SURE Program at Scintillon Institute.
  • A personal essay, which must also include the student’s reasons for interest in the SURE program.
  • Letters of recommendation from two teachers, one of which must be from a science teacher.
  • An official high school transcript.

Student working in lab

To be considered for the SURE Program Summer Class of 2020, applications must be received by March 31, 2020.  Selected applicants will be invited for an interview in April.

This year, the SURE program will run from July 14th to August 7th, 2020.  

Students are requested to be present Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.   

Summer Class of 2020 will commence at Scintillon Institute where SURE students can meet the faculty and learn about their research programs. The students will also be provided with a curriculum and milestone for the first year and meet returning second and third year students.

Past SURE program participants have accepted offers to study at Stanford University and University of California, San Diego.  

"I’ve recently decided to attend Stanford University this coming fall to study Human Biology, and I know I couldn’t have done it without all of you. The SURE Program was such an amazing thing to be a part of, and I can’t wait to see how much it’ll grow and improve these next few years." - Hannah P., SURE program participant

"This experience was far beyond anything I’ve ever been part of, and it served as a uniquely impactful supplement to my college applications. Including my experience at Scintillon in a multitude of application essays helped greatly in allowing me to expand on why I want to pursue neuroscience in college and in my future career. I learned more about laboratory research and the intricacies of neuroscience than ever before, and I enthusiastically anticipate returning at the beginning of this summer to continue expanding my mind and exploring my passion!" - Shae G., SURE program participant


SURE Program is funded in full thanks to our

SURE Program STEM Education Partners


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Please contact the SURE Program coordinator with any additional questions: [email protected]

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  • Karin Backstrom
    commented 2018-01-25 13:18:56 -0800
    This looks like an amazing opportunity! Hats off to the Scintillon Institute for committing the time and resources necessary to provide high school students this chance for hands-on experience. I hope my kids get accepted!