High School Summer STEM Research Programs

For Rising 11th and 12th Graders: June 14-July 30, 2021 (Virtual Program)

ATTEND the Research Symposium | July 30  |  1:00-4:00pm Central (more info…)

Rising high school juniors and seniors (current 10th-11th grade) are invited to apply to participate in an authentic STEM 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 STEM fields, such as cancer immunology, pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents, physics, biophysics, bioengineering, electrical engineering, and more! Those accepted into the program will be matched with another student and a teacher from their school (Everyone must apply separately). In this team of three, you will:

Young scholar in the lab

  • Participate in cutting-edge research activities of established researchers in engineering, 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 STEM research adventure.
  • Showcase your research at the end of the experience with a research poster and symposium (July 30, 2021).
  • Monetary awards for participation (approximately $2,500)

Teachers are Important Members of the Research Teams

Teachers play an important role in this experience as well. For some of the research projects, we are seeking a teacher from the same school as accepted students to be a co-researcher (~15 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 seek opportunities to embed the research process or content into the classroom. All other research projects will need 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.

Increasing Diversity, Equity, & Access (IDEA)

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.

2021 Cohorts Include:

Carle Illinois College of Medicine LogoThe Grainger College of Engineering


  • Grainger Engineering Young Scholars (GEnYuS) 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.

View Previous Summer Research Projects: