High School Summer STEM Research Programs

Please note, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is monitoring developments involving the COVID-19/novel Coronavirus very closely. Visit covid19.illinois.edu for up-to-date campus information and resources. The May 1st update from the Chancellor details the most recent announcement regarding in-person summer events. Some summer programming will be modified.


Registration for the 2020 program is pending. 

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

Young scholar in the lab

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.

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. 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! Those accepted into the program will:

  • Participate in cutting edge research activities in the laboratories 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.
  • Get comfortable being in a university setting, and 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 at the U of I.
  • Showcase your research at the end of the six weeks with a research poster and symposium.

Those accepted into the program will also receive a monetary award to offset lost wages in the summer months.

2020 Cohorts Include:

Carle Illinois College of Medicine Logo

  • 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:


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.