High School Summer STEMM Research Programs–IDEA

Combination of logos from POETS (Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems), Grainger College of Engineering, and Carle Illinois College of Medicine

For Rising 10th and 12th Graders (located in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, or Wisconsin)

Online Orientation: June 14-16, 2023
In-person Orientation: June 20, 2023
In-person Research Begins: June 21, 2023
In-person Final Symposium: July 28, 2023

To receive email updates about WYSE Summer Programs for 2024 once those are announced, sign up for summer program notifications.

Questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions About Summer STEMM Research page.

*IDEA initiatives are mission-driven sessions led by departments aiming to Increase Diversity, Equity, & Access in STEM majors and careers. These activities focus on support and empowerment of traditionally excluded populations in STEM including (but not limited to) the areas of gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and ability. IDEA initiatives aim to provide a safe environment to build a community of peers and mentors who empower one another to be confident and courageous in their exploration of STEM. All are welcome to apply.

Student applicants for research teams

Current 9th-11th graders (rising 10th-12th), located in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, or Wisconsin, are invited to apply to participate in an authentic STEMM research experience at a world-class research university for 6 weeks during the summer. You will gain hands-on experience in areas at the forefront of various STEMM fields, such as cancer immunology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, physics, quantum mechanics, bioengineering, electrical engineering, and more! Those accepted into the program will be matched with another student, and in some cases, with a teacher from their school (Everyone must apply separately and it is not required to have a teacher from your school to apply.).

High School Researchers will:

Young scholar in the lab

  • Participate in cutting-edge research activities of established researchers in engineering, computer science, and medicine.
  • Develop professional and college-ready skills with weekly seminars on various topics such as college admission processes and supports available, communicating scientifically, and how to prepare a research poster.
  • Develop greater confidence in yourself as a scientist and engineer.
  • Interact with faculty, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, undergraduate students, and local high school teachers who will support you through this STEMM research adventure.
  • Showcase your research at the end of the experience with a research poster and symposium.
  • Plan for 30-35 hours per week of research and professional development time. A majority of activities will occur on the University of Illinois campus. Some transportation/parking expenses, meals, and a monetary award are provided.



Teachers are Important Members of the Research Teams

High school teachers play an important role in this experience.

For some of the research projects, we are seeking a teacher to be a co-researcher (15-20 hrs/wk). As a member of the research team, you will be learning about the research side-by-side with the students, connecting daily with the student team as a mentor and collaborator, and seeking opportunities to embed the research process or content into the classroom.

All other research projects will have a teacher mentor (~2 hrs/wk) who will touch base weekly with the students to discuss their research progress and identify any issues/challenges being experienced.

We make every effort to create teams of teachers and students from the same school, but this is not a requirement. Interested students and teachers should apply regardless of whether you are able to recruit others from your school to apply.

Summer 2023 Teacher Mentor applications are closed.


Call for High School Research Mentorship Proposals

Research faculty, staff, and graduate student researchers affiliated with The Grainger College of Engineering and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine are invited to propose a high school research project for consideration as a Summer 2023 POETS YS, GEnYuS, or SpHERES research team that will mentor a pair of high school juniors/seniors from starting with limited understanding of your field of research through to completion of a related project of their own and poster presentation explaining their research. Use the links below to view past symposium presentations of high school researchers in previous years.

View Previous Summer Research Projects: