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A component of the NIDDK STEP-UP Program is Pacific STEP-UP, which extends to the islands of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia. STEP-UP student participants are given the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of experienced researchers/mentors at our local partnering institutions. The research internship spans 8 weeks over the summer months (typically June-August). Each student participant receives a participation stipend and may be eligible to travel to Bethesda, Maryland to present their summer research at the NIH/NIDDK High School STEP-UP Summer Research Symposium held each year in August on the main campus of the National Institutes of Health.

The Pacific STEP-UP research training program works with three major stakeholders in the US Pacific: high schools, colleges, and communities. Their roles and reciprocal impact on raising the awareness of health research and building the foundation for a healthcare workforce through research and related education are described above.



Students accepted into the program will be paired with an experienced research mentor affiliated with their local partnering institution (see below for a list of partnering institutions). The research internship typically starts in early June (or as early as late May) and spans 8 weeks over the course of the summer. Student interns will work with their mentor to design and execute a research project using the scientific method. Interns are required to submit an abstract in early July that briefly outlines their project as well as create a powerpoint presentation to be submitted at the completion of the internship. Interns that have just completed their senior year of high school will also be required to make a scientific poster summarizing their research project and findings. Interns chosen to participate in the National High School STEP-UP Summer Research Symposium will travel to Bethesda, Maryland  in early August to present their projects through both oral and poster formats to their student peers as well as industry professionals.



October 15 Online Application Opens
February 15   Application Deadline
Mid-March Notification of Acceptance
April 15 Deadline for Acceptance of Internship
(Once accepted, students must CONFIRM or DECLINE participation)
Late May/Early June Academic School Year Ends
First Week of June Start of Internship
Late July/Early August End of Internship
Late July Selection of Students to Attend National STEP-UP Symposium
(Washington, DC)
August 6-9, 2024 National High School STEP-UP Symposium in Washington, DC

*Exact dates are subject to change.


University of Hawaii

American Samoa Community College

University of Guam

Northern Marianas College

Palau Community College

College of the Marshall Islands

College of Micronesia – FSM

Department of Education at CNMI, American Samoa, and Guam

The Pacific STEP-UP program is supported by a grant from NIH/NIDDK, R25DK07836.

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