DNA Residency for High School Students

High school students in the DNA Residency Program work in the lab.

The DNA Residency provides Chicago and suburban high school students a paid opportunity to conduct genetic research alongside accomplished Field Museum scientists. In 2016, one high school student will join a research team investigating variation in genes associated with the innate immune system of birds through the Emerging Pathogens Project. The participant will be trained in molecular biology laboratory methods and equipment used in Field Museum’s Pritzker Lab/Rice DNA Discovery Center over the course of the six-week internship. Interns from Field Museum Women In Science will be working with the DNA Residency on this project. 


The student will be responsible for creating a digital media project based on their learning experiences during the residency.

  • Must be Chicago or suburban high school sophomore or junior.
  • Must be at least 16 years of age by June 20, 2016-no exceptions.
  • Must submit an essay (300-500 words) describing why they would like to take part in this program.
  • Must have a strong interest in incorporating scientific research and/or genetics into their school programming or study.
  • Must provide a letter of recommendation from a science teacher. An additional letter from a teacher/coach/mentor may be submitted.
  • Must commit to program dates and times.

Program Dates: Monday, June 20-Friday, July 29, 2016 from 9:00am-4:00pm (excluding Monday, July 4).

Application Process: Applications for 2016 are closed.

  • The application will be available Friday, March 4-Sunday, March 27, 2016.
  • Letters of recommendation on school letterhead are due by Sunday, March 27, 2016.
  • Qualified applicants will be asked to interview Wednesday, April 6 & Thursday, April 7, 2016. 
  • Final notifications to all applicants will be made no later than Wednesday, April 13th, 2016.

Email DNAprograms@fieldmuseum.org for more information.  No phone calls please. 

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