As part of the Department of Ophthalmology Scholars Summer Internship program, students will join an Ophthalmology lab for the summer and work toward completing a project in vision science. Interns will learn techniques from faculty members, post-docs, and graduate students, and work through a weekly project plan. Students will present what they have learned to fellow lab members and other Ophthalmology scientists and faculty members when the internship concludes. Students will also have the opportunity to shadow a practicing ophthalmologist in the clinic and in the operating room, to gain an understanding of the clinical side of vision science in addition to exploring vision science in a laboratory setting.

This is a truly valuable opportunity for high school students to gain experience in a functioning vision sciences research lab. The Department of Ophthalmology will host two highly engaged junior or senior level high school students, or rising college undergraduate freshman student, per summer.

The intern for summer 2019 will begin at the beginning of July, concluding at the end of August. Interns in this program work for 8 weeks, for 30 hours a week. Interns will receive a stipend of $3,000 to be disbursed via installments throughout the internship. A background check will be performed prior to appointment. Interns must be able to work in the United States and be at least 16 years of age. 

The following materials are required to submit in the online application:

  • Current high school GPA
  • Your School’s full name and address
  • Name and email address of your reference*
  • A series of short answer questions (limit 50 words per answer)
    • Hobbies
    • Previous lab experience
    • Other commitments for the summer

*We require a letter of recommendation from an adult who is not related to you and can speak to your abilities and interests. This can be from a science educator, but is not a requirement. We request that these letters be sent directly to the program administrator at The application contains a section that requests the name and email address of your reference. We will then send them an invitation to submit a letter of recommendation. Your application is considered incomplete until the letter of recommendation has been received.

The following materials are required to submit via email to Kristene Rutherford upon completion of the online application:

  • 1-page essay describing why you want to be part of the internship program and what your plans are after high school
    • Single spaced, single-sided page, 1-inch margins, 12 pt Arial or Times New Roman font
    • Include a header that contains your name and email address
    • PDF file
  • Current high school transcript in PDF file

A successful applicant will have:

  • An interest in science, particularly vision science
  • Plans to attend college after high school graduation
  • A strong letter of recommendation
  • Dedication and commitment to the program for the entire 8 weeks
  • Ability to provide own transportation to and from UW’s South Lake Union Campus (750 Republican St)
  • Be comfortable working with animals in a laboratory setting
  • Be comfortable observing eye procedures, including surgery

Deadline to apply is Monday, May 20th. Period of internship will be from July 8, 2019 to August 30, 2019.