High School Summer STEM Research Programs

Applications for the 2020 program will open in the spring

Watch for more information in February

Increasing Diversity, Equity, & Access (IDEA)*
For Rising 11th and 12th Graders
June 12-July 24, 2020

Young scholar in the lab

Rising high school juniors and seniors (current 10th-11th grade) are invited to apply for participation in an authentic STEM research experience at a world-class research university for 6 weeks during the summer. Those accepted into the program will participate in cutting edge research activities in the laboratories of established researchers in engineering, science, and medicine. You will gain hands-on experience in areas at the forefront of various STEM fields, such as cancer immunology, pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents, physics, biophysics, bioengineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, aerospace, and more!

Additionally, students will participate in weekly seminars on various topics including research projects, college readiness, and scientific communication. The ultimate goal of this program is to make students feel comfortable in a university setting, form a science identity, and build confidence.

In order to ensure the young researcher’s success, the program consists of multiple layers of mentorship.  High school researchers will have a chance to interact with faculty, post doctoral researchers, graduate students, undergraduate students and local high school teachers as they journey through their STEM research adventure at the U of I. At the end of their 6-week adventure, the researchers will have the opportunity to present a poster and discuss the science research they learned. Participating students don’t have to worry about missing out on work during those six weeks because the program also provides a monetary award to those accepted.

Summer 2020 Program Information

Program dates: June 12, 2020 – July 24, 2020

This is a non-residential program for students who can travel to and from campus on a daily basis (Monday-Friday). City bus passes are available.

IDEA: Increasing Diversity, Equity, and Access programs focus on support and empowerment of traditionally underrepresented populations in STEM, including (but not limited to) the areas of race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and ability. All individuals are welcome to apply.

Applications for the Summer 2020 program will open in the spring.

Carle Illinois College of Medicine Logo

2020 Cohorts

SPHERES researcher presenting her poster

  • Grainger Engineering Young Scholars from a variety of departments including PhYSics, the department that planted the seed that’s grown into this college-wide initiative.
  • P/O/E/T/S Young Scholars with research teams working in the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems
  • SpHERES (Sparking High Schoolers’ Excitement for Research in Engineering & Science) with research teams and support from the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the Bioengineering Department, and the Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS) initiative at Illinois.

Past Summer Research Program Projects Included:


Collection of 2019 Research Projects with Posters


List of 2018 Research Projects


First Young Scholar program article