High School Summer STEM Research Programs

For Rising 11th and 12th Graders

Young scholar in the lab

Rising high school juniors and seniors (current 10th-11th grade) are invited to participate in an authentic STEM research experience at a world-class research university for 6 weeks during the summer. Participants will work full-time in the laboratories of established researchers, gaining hands-on experience in areas at the forefront of various STEM fields; cancer immunology, pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents, physics, biophysics, bioengineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, experimental cancer therapeutics, cancer disparities, and more!

Additionally, students can plan to 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 our young scholar’s success in our program, our program consists of multiple layers of mentorship.  Young scholars 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, our young scholars will have the opportunity to present a poster and discuss the science research they learned. Students will also receive a (taxable) $2000 stipend for their work.

Summer 2019 Program Information

Program dates: June 17, 2019 – July 26, 2019

This is a non-residential program for students who can travel to and from campus on a daily basis (Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). City bus passes will be provided.

Applications have been closed for the Summer 2019 program.

Participating Research GroupsSPHERES researcher presenting her poster

PhYSics: Young Scholars doing physics research

POETS Young Scholars: Power Optimization of Electro-thermal Systems

SpHERES: Sparking High Schoolers’ Excitement for Research in Engineering & Science

researcHStart: Illinois Cancer Center (applications closed)–June 17, 2019-August 9, 2019

New labs are joining this program from across the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering departments, so even if you don’t see the area of engineering you are most interested in listed here, be sure to apply anyway. We will use your personal statement to match you to a best-fit lab.


Past Summer Research Program Projects Included:


Participating Research Groups

PhYSics: Nuclear Physics Lab

POETS: Power Optimization of Electro-thermal Systems

SPHERES: Sparking High Schoolers’ Excitement for Research in Engineering & Science

researcHStart: Illinois Cancer Center



First Young Scholar program