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Program Overview

   The Partnership for Scientific Inquiry (PSI) program introduces high school students to the scientific process,

encouraging their scientific passion and fostering a relationship between researchers and the local community.

Our mission is to open doors to biomedical research for students in Oregon and the Portland metro community who might not have had the chance otherwise, particularly those without built-in advantages.

This includes underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups, having parents without graduate-level education, and those from low socioeconomic status. Our goal is to create a level playing field where talent, curiosity, and dedication are the primary criteria for success, thus inspiring future leaders in science from different backgrounds. We are committed to providing equitable access and opportunities in the world of biomedical research, ensuring that every aspiring student, regardless of their background, can participate and excel in this transformative experience.


Our program accepts Sophomore, Junior, and Senior high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine or biomedical research through a 16-week course from January to May. Students are introduced to the scientific process and gain access to research scientists from OHSU and other Portland research institutes. The semester-long program typically ends with a summer internship opportunity to work alongside a research mentor, requiring students to be at least 16 years old.


About the PSI Course


We meet for two hours on Wednesdays (January-May) for a lecture series and to learn about ongoing research projects conducted by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Each student will be mentored by a researcher. Each student gains firsthand knowledge of research methods, and, with their mentor's help, will present a published research article in a journal club format and develop their own research proposal. The program requires regular attendance and significant time commitment outside of class for course assignments. Students may elect to join a scientific laboratory or perform clinical research over the summer. Research faculty and students volunteer their time and resources to mentor PSI students. As of 2023, we host a poster symposium at the end of the summer internship series to showcase the students' research and allow them to practice their presentation skills. We work closely with local high school officials to reach out to students interested in science and medical research and to arrange for high school credit earned by participating in the class.

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