Knight Scholars Program

Knight Scholars | Community Programs | Knight Cancer Institute

Help us end cancer as we know it

Explore a career in cancer research through a summer internship at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

The Knight Scholars Program gives high school students a chance to explore careers in cancer research, treatment and prevention.

You will be paid a stipend. We will arrange (and pay) for you to stay in a nearby hotel or in a residence hall at Portland State University.

Students: Submit your application by 11:59 p.m. March 4, 2024.

Educators: Submit your recommendation by 11:59 p.m. March 4, 2024.

The program is part of a national effort to increase diversity in cancer professions. We’re looking for students from underrepresented communities. That includes:

  • Students of diverse races and ethnicities
  • Students from rural areas

Our goal is to spark interest in cancer research.

For more information, visit the website for the Knight Scholars Program.

How it works

The program has three tracks:

  • Introduction: Held July 28 — August 3, 2024.
  • Immersion: Not offered in 2024.
  • Intensive: Not offered in 2024.

How to apply

Submit your application and a recommendation from a teacher, counselor, principal, adviser, coach or other educator. Applications open Jan. 29, 2024, and close March 4, 2024.

Students: Submit your application by 11:59 p.m. March 4, 2024.

Educators: Submit your recommendation by 11:59 p.m. March 4, 2024.

Contact us


Program Duration Description
Introduction 1 week Spend one week at OHSU touring labs and meeting scientists who represent a range of cancer-related careers. Held July 28 — August 3, 2024.
Immersion 10 weeks Spend two weeks at OHSU engaging with scientists and six weeks shadowing clinical, public health and community organization professionals in their own communities. Must have completed Introduction. Not offered in 2024.
Intensive 10 weeks Spend six weeks at OHSU working in a cancer research lab and four weeks in their local communities. Must have completed Immersion. Not offered in 2024.
Knight Scholars students standing together at the Knight Cancer Research Building in July of 2019.
Knight Scholars at the OHSU Knight Cancer Research Building in Portland, July 2019.

Student safety is our top priority

Public health emergencies such as COVID-19 may affect the program at any time. Students will be notified of any changes. 

Before starting any OHSU program, participants need to meet all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immunization guidelines for health care workers. These are meant to provide a safe environment for students, employees and patients at OHSU and participating clinical and research training sites.

OHSU strongly recommends that all students remain up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines, as defined by the CDC. If you have questions, contact us at

Most program activities are in person. Some are online. Students should be comfortable with both.

Yes, you can have a career in this field.

“Many people think working in cancer means being an oncologist, but cancer research and cancer education through public health outreach are also part of the larger cancer professional picture. This program will expose a diverse group of high school students to all of those as real, tangible opportunities for their futures. We want kids to get excited about this.”

-  Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D., R.D.
    Professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
    Knight Scholars director

All around Oregon

We recruit Knight Scholars from these high schools and communities. However, students at any Oregon high school are welcome to apply.

  • Chiloquin High School
  • Culver High School
  • Henley High School
  • Jefferson High School Middle College for Advanced Studies
  • Klamath Falls City School District
  • Klamath County School District
  • Klamath Tribes members
  • Madras High School, including members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
  • Mazama High School
  • McLoughlin High School
  • Nixya’awii Community School
  • Parkrose High School
  • Pendleton High School
  • Redmond Proficiency Academy
  • Umatilla High School
  • Woodburn High Schools: WeBSS, WACA, AIS and WAAST

This program is supported by the Knight Scholars Program - Building STEM Interest and Capacity for Cancer Research Careers among Underrepresented and Rural High School Students, National Institute of Health grant R25 CA221741, and a generous donation from the Kuni Foundation.