High School Summer STEM Research Programs

June 14-July 30, 2021 (Virtual)

Applications open in March.

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Increasing Diversity, Equity, & Access (IDEA)*
For Rising 11th and 12th Graders

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. 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 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).

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

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: