Polygence blog / Research Opportunities and Ideas

Chemistry Summer Programs & Research Opportunities for High School Students

2 minute read

Are you a high school student with a passion for chemistry? If so, you're in luck! There are numerous research programs and opportunities available to help you delve deeper into the world of chemistry. Oftentimes housed at a prestigious university chemistry department or a national institute, these experiences can provide invaluable insights, hands-on learning, and a head start on your academic and professional journey. We've compiled a list of such summer research opportunities, complete with their locations and expanded descriptions to help you make the most of your high school years.

Do your own research with Polygence this summer!

Polygence pairs you with an expert mentor in your area of passion. Together, you work to create a high quality research project that is uniquely your own.

Top Chemistry Summer Research Programs

1. American Chemical Society (ACS) Project SEED

  • Location: Nationwide

  • Stipend: $4,000

  • Deadline: April 2024

  • Description: The American Chemical Society's Project SEED offers economically disadvantaged high school students summer research opportunities in chemistry. The program provides students with hands-on laboratory experience, exposure to scientific student research, and mentorship from experienced chemists. Stipends are available to support student participation, allowing them to engage in research without financial barriers.

2. UPenn’s Chemistry Research Academy

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Cost: $9,700

  • Deadline: January 31, 2024

  • Description: Penn Chemistry is a leading center for molecular research and instruction, whose researchers are at the frontier of modern chemistry, tackling a wide variety of important societal challenges. The Chemistry Research Academy provides the hopeful chemistry major with the foundational knowledge to understand this cutting-edge research and the opportunity to learn directly from research project faculty and undergraduate students.

3. UC Berkeley’s Science for Youth Intensive Program (SYIP)

  • Location: San Francisco, California

  • Cost: $14,750

  • Deadline: Rolling admissions

  • Description: The Summer Youth Internship Program (SYIP) is tailored for high-achieving high school students passionate about scientific research in chemistry, biochemical chemistry, material science, or related fields. Selected students receive nine months of remote coaching from an assigned mentor, delving into ongoing research. The program culminates in a 4-week on-site internship in July, where students actively contribute to data analysis and non-hazardous lab procedures. This immersive summer research experience includes seminars and group meetings, offering a profound understanding of concept development, methods design, and the inner workings of leading chemistry laboratories.

4. MIT’s Research Science Institute (RSI)

  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Cost: Free

  • Deadline: December 13, 2023

  • Description: RSI, hosted at MIT, is a highly competitive program that immerses high school students in the world of scientific research. Over the course of six weeks, RSI participants are exposed to a multitude of scientific disciplines, including chemistry. The heart of RSI lies in the hands-on research experiences, where students have the chance to work alongside leading scientists and engage in cutting-edge projects. The program also fosters a sense of community and intellectual growth, where students from diverse backgrounds come together to share their passion for science.

5. MIT’s MITES (Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science)

  • Location: Various

  • Cost: Free

  • Deadilne: February 1, 2024

  • Description: MITES, designed for high school students from underrepresented communities, explores various STEM fields, including chemistry. Chemistry enthusiasts will find MITES an excellent opportunity to explore this scientific discipline through interactive projects and coursework. The program combines rigorous academic challenges with a supportive community of peers and offers mentorship from experienced educators and researchers.

6. Telluride Association Summer Seminar (TASS)

  • Location: Various

  • Cost: Free

  • Deadline: January 3, 2024

  • Description: TASS is not your typical science program; it's a unique academic experience that transcends specific disciplines, encouraging intellectual growth and open discussion. While TASS does not focus exclusively on chemistry, it offers students the opportunity to explore scientific research in an interdisciplinary context. TASS provides an environment where students are immersed in a residential academic community, engaging in deep conversations and seminars that go beyond textbook learning.

7. Simons Summer Research Program

  • Location: Stony Brook, New York

  • Cost: Free

  • Deadline: February 7, 2024

  • Description: At Stony Brook University, the Simons Summer Research Program offers high school students the chance to engage in hands-on research in a variety of STEM fields, including chemistry. The program provides a unique environment where students collaborate with faculty mentors and their research teams, actively contributing to ongoing scientific projects. Students gain invaluable laboratory experience and research skills, providing a stepping stone for those aspiring to make a real impact in scientific research.

8. Anson L. Clark Scholars Program

  • Location: Texas Tech University

  • Stipend: $750

  • Deadline: February 15, 2024

  • Description: The Clark Scholars Program at Texas Tech University is designed to offer high school students a unique blend of research, mentorship, entrepreneurship, and innovation, with a strong focus on chemistry. Participants can delve deeply into chemistry research, working on projects that tackle real-world scientific challenges. The program goes beyond the laboratory, nurturing students' problem-solving skills and entrepreneurial spirit. Clark Scholars not only conduct experiments but also learn how to apply their scientific knowledge to create innovative solutions. This multidimensional approach equips students with the skills and mindset needed for success in the field of chemistry and related industries.

9. Boston Leadership Institute: Chemistry Edge

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts

  • Cost: $2200

  • Deadline: Rolling

  • Description: The Boston Leadership Institute's Chemistry Edge program is tailored for high school students eager to gain practical laboratory experience and a deeper understanding of chemistry. Participants delve into a wide range of chemistry topics, conducting experiments and research that provide a tangible connection between theoretical knowledge and real-world applications. This tuition-based program offers an invaluable opportunity for students to enhance their chemistry skills and broaden their scientific horizons.

Explore if there's chemistry

Interested in Chemistry? We'll match you with an expert mentor who will help you explore your next project.

10. Inspiring Future Scientists through Shadowing (IFSS)

  • Location: Palo Alto, CA

  • Cost: Free

  • Deadline: May 1, 2024

  • Description: The Stanford Department of Chemistry hosts the Inspiring Future Scientists Through Shadowing (IFSS) program each summer. This program gives rising juniors and seniors in high school an opportunity to experience cutting-edge chemical research while shadowing a graduate student mentor as they work in the laboratory.

11. Research in Science and Engineering (RISE) at Boston University

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts

  • Cost: $5,350

  • Deadline: February 14, 2024

  • Description: The Research in Science and Engineering (RISE) program at Boston University provides high school students with the opportunity to engage in research projects in various STEM fields, including chemistry. Participants collaborate with experienced researchers, work on real projects, and gain hands-on experience. This program fosters a deep appreciation for scientific research and academic exploration.

12. Amgen Scholars Program

  • Location: Various universities worldwide

  • Cost: Free

  • Deadline: February 1, 2024

  • Description: The Amgen Scholars Program is a prestigious global initiative that offers high school students the chance to immerse themselves in the world of scientific research, with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology. This program spans numerous top universities worldwide and provides students with the opportunity to work closely with leading scientists on cutting-edge projects. Amgen Scholars not only gain hands-on research experience but also participate in scientific seminars and networking events, enhancing their understanding of scientific innovation and discovery. For those passionate about the life sciences and chemistry, the Amgen Scholars Program offers an unparalleled opportunity to contribute to groundbreaking research and gain insight into the field.

13. Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) Programs

  • Location: Various

  • Cost: $3,099 to $6,819

  • Deadline: Rolling

  • Description: The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) offers a diverse range of academic programs, including "Adventures in Chemistry," designed specifically for high-achieving students eager to deepen their understanding of chemistry. The CTY programs provide a stimulating academic environment where students explore advanced topics, engage in hands-on experiments, and collaborate with like-minded peers. "Adventures in Chemistry" is an opportunity to delve into the intricacies of this scientific field, nurturing a passion for chemistry and building a strong foundation for future academic and professional pursuits.

14. Seminars in Modern Chemistry at Columbia University

  • Location: New York, NY

  • Cost: $12,449.00 per session

  • Deadline: February 1, 2024 (Early Registration); March 4, 2024 (Application Deadline)

  • Description: Enrich your comprehension of chemistry and contemporary research methodologies with Columbia University's Pre College program in Chemistry, or the Intensive Seminars in Modern Chemistry, designed specifically for high school students. This summer initiative, available to high-achieving individuals, adopts a seminar structure. Participants engage in daily presentations, group discussions, and hands-on laboratory experiences. The program provides guidance in exploring advanced instrumental techniques including spectroscopy, chromatography, magnetic resonance, and computer simulations.

15. National Institutes of Health’s High School Summer Internship Program (HS SIP)

  • Location: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

  • Cost: Free - Stipends provided

  • Deadline: February 16, 2024

  • Description: The High School Summer Internship Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides high school students with a unique opportunity to work alongside leading scientists on cutting-edge research projects. Participants gain insight into a wide range of scientific disciplines, including chemistry, and actively contribute to ongoing research. Stipends are provided to support students during their apprenticeship.

Polygence Scholars Are Also Passionate About

Making the Most of Your Chemistry Research

Once you’ve participated in any of these valuable programs, you’ll want to think about what you gained from the experience and the skills you developed. Learn more about the importance of showcasing your research on college applications with Polygence.

Middle and high school students can also create their own chemistry research project opportunities. Polygence has many engineering research mentors who are available to provide students with guidance and support along the way.

If you’re looking for other research and career opportunities in chemistry, check out our related guides: