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Polygence Research Program

Unleash your passion and turn it into a project

The Polygence Program

The Polygence Research Program gives you an opportunity to discover and explore your passions under the guidance of an expert mentor and showcase your research results. The program consists of 10 one-on-one sessions between student and mentor. The program is structured around 5 Milestones in addition to regular assignments to ensure students make steady progress on their project. We know and celebrate the fact that Polygence students work on a wide variety of different products, ranging from podcasts to research papers to docuseries to creative portfolios. Given the diversity of projects, these milestones are designed to be as flexible as possible to accommodate any and all types of projects. Throughout the program students are offered two rounds of feedback through an External Project Review.

The Polygence Admissions process


Begin online application




Acceptance & Mentor Match

At Polygence, students define their own interests and projects. We want to help them develop a subject, topic, or issue that they are truly passionate about exploring. After beginning the written application, students are invited to an interview, either as video responses to recorded questions or in a brief conversation with a member of the admissions team. If the written application and responses in the interview indicate the student is a good fit for the program, then their application will be sent to our cohort of available mentors for review. It is ultimately up to a mentor to accept a student’s project. When a mentor accepts a student, the student will be accepted into the program to work with that specific mentor.

Note that at the time that a student accepts their mentor, they will also be enrolling in the program.

Here is a typical student journey based on the five project milestones.

Session 1
Intro Session
Session 3
Abstract and Research Question
Session 4
1-page Outline of Project Structure
Session 6
Draft of half of the project*
Session 9
First draft of entire project*
Session 10
Final draft submission

*We recommend students submit these two drafts to the Project Review Program for detailed feedback

Students chatting

External Project Review Program

All students enrolled in the Polygence program are offered two (2) rounds of External Project Review by selected Project Fellows. For students looking for detailed writing feedback, the review can take this format for relevant projects (e.g. papers, podcast scripts, artist statements, screenplay, etc). For projects with less of a writing emphasis, students may receive feedback on visual design, code-health, or other relevant aspects of their project. We recommend submitting your work for review at Session 6 (draft of half the project) and Session 9 (draft of the entire project).

Through Polygence’s in-house Project Review Program, all Polygence students receive:

  • Thorough, targeted feedback for their project no matter what stage they're in
  • Detailed, in-line annotations
  • General comments on the overall structure and flow of the project
  • If applicable, specific guidance on citation style

College Credit Program

with UCI x GATI

Polygence is thrilled to partner with the University of California at Irvine’s Gifted and Talented Institute (UCI x GATI). This program is not included in Polygence’s tuition, and students will be invited to apply mid-way through the project if they are in good standing.

For those who are selected and enrolled, the UCI x GATI program is a partially self-paced two-unit UCI class. As part of a well-rounded research project experience, eligible students will also enroll in a UC Irvine undergraduate-level writing program. To earn college credits for their project, students must first submit an application form and have their research papers (either experimental or review papers) ready for submission by each deadline.

All research papers will be graded by UCI faculty members and awarded a letter grade at the end of the process. There are no restrictions on the breadth of subject areas, and we welcome academic papers in any and all fields!