Frequently Asked Questions

What is Polygence?

Polygence is a research academy dedicated to driven students looking for one-on-one mentorship from top-tier academics and practitioners.

What is the program structure?

The Polygence program is made up of ten one hour-long sessions spread out over a period of three to six months.

Do I need to know my topic before I apply?

No, but the more you can tell us about your academic interests in the application, the better the chance of matching you with the right mentor.

What is the tuition for a Polygence program?

Average tuition for a Polygence program is $2500 USD, before financial aid. We offer need-based financial aid to applicants from all over the world. The program includes 10 one-on-one sessions with a mentor, two additional External Project Reviews by another expert and showcasing support.

Donate today to the Polygence Scholar Fund — a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation — to help us democratize access to research opportunities for all high school students in the US and around the globe.

Can I do a science fair experiment or laboratory work with Polygence?

Yes, but please be prepared to give details in your interview about the experiment, including your access to a lab and necessary materials and equipment.

Do I need to have an exact project in mind before I apply?

No! Most students spend the first three sessions of the program solidifying their project idea.

What topics can I study with Polygence?

Polygence is able to support a very wide variety of subject disciplines, ranging from fashion history to astrophysics to bioinformatics and more!

However, topics such as finance and business have very limited mentor availability, so if there are other adjacent topics (i.e. economics) that you are excited to explore, we encourage you to pivot to those instead. In addition, topics such as app development and web development also have very limited mentor availability, and require significant background and prior experience doing a similar project.

Please come prepared in your interview to discuss relevant experience so we can accurately match you with a mentor.

Do I need specific coursework and previous experience to apply?

It depends on the project and topic you’re interested in. If your project requires programming skills, for example, please include your relevant experience on your application and be prepared to discuss it during the interview.

Do you support students outside of STEM?

Absolutely, from STEM to creative writing to making podcast, our students can do it all!

I’m not sure what I’d like to do. Any advice?

Check out our blog, project spotlights, and mentor profiles for ideas and inspiration!

How do I apply?

You can apply here.

When is the application due?

The next admissions deadline is December 8th.

Can I apply now to start at a later date?

Yes, in general we accept applications up to three months in advance of your desired start date.

How am I matched with a mentor?

The Polygence Team reaches out to mentors on the student's behalf following a successful student interview for the program. It is ultimately up to a mentor to accept a student into the program.

What if I don’t like my mentor?

Rematches are offered on a case by case basis.

How long is the program?

The fastest you can complete the program is in ten weeks; projects undertaken during the school year typically take between four and six months.

How often will I meet with my mentor?

Students must meet with their mentor at least every twenty days during the school year and every ten days during the summer.

When do I meet with my mentor?

For a summer project (around 3 months), you can expect to meet with your mentor every 7-10 days. For a project during the school year (around 4-6 months), you can expect to meet with your mentor every 2-3 weeks. Keep in mind the Polygence program is flexible.

Can I communicate with my mentor in between sessions?

Absolutely! You and your mentor will communicate on the Polygence platform to coordinate your meeting times.

Is there any other support throughout the program (aside from my mentor)?

Yes! The Polygence Team is always here to support active projects and ensure everything stays on track.

How can I learn more?

Take a look at our program-at-a-glance page.

How can I best prepare for my interview?

We recommend you think about your interests, your goals, and your intentions. Where do your interests stem from? What do you hope to accomplish with a Polygence project? What are important details that you’d like the Polygence Admissions team to be aware of? Read more about the admissions process here.

How do I showcase my Polygence project?

If admitted and enrolled in the program, you gain access to our vast database of showcasing opportunities, including science fairs, peer-reviewed journals, and writing competitions. You may also be selected to participate in our Symposium for Rising Scholars!

What is the Symposium for Rising Scholars?

The Polygence Symposium of Rising Scholars is an academic conference where pre-collegiate students present and share their research with their peers and a panel of experts. Click here to find out more!

Will my mentor write a recommendation letter for me?

This is up to your mentor. Our mentors are generally proud of their students and what they’ve accomplished. Assuming you complete your project in a satisfactory manner, your mentor will be happy to provide you with a recommendation letter either for your university applications or future research opportunities.

What are the steps after I submit my application?

If your application looks promising, we will begin reaching out to mentors on your behalf.

I'm a parent. How do I link my student's account to my own account?

Log in to your account and go to your dashboard (dropdown menu under your name), there you will be able to "search" for your student and add them to your account.

What is the External Project Review?

For students writing research papers, External Project Reviews entail detailed edits from mentors who are part of our Writing Fellows program. For creative or multimedia projects like creating portfolios or podcasts, mentors with experience in those fields provided feedback and technical suggestions.

Polygence Mentor Interest Form

Join us in our mission to democratize access to research!

Thank you for submitting the Polygence Mentor Interest Form.

The next step in the journey to mentoring is to book a 15-min informational call with our team.

Thank you for your interest!

At this time, Polygence is only able to hire mentors with US work authorization. We wish it were otherwise.

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F1 and J1 visas (with the exception of OPT/CPT) are not considered valid for work authorization

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