Top Research Opportunities for High School Students at MIT
Top Research Opportunities for High School Students at MIT
The top research programs available for high school students, selected based on prestige, location, and affordability
The Research Science Institute (RSI)See website
This unique summer program, held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the first of its kind to be completely free of charge. Students participating in this program have the opportunity to delve into the realms of science and engineering, gaining hands-on experience in the entire research process. Spanning seven weeks, the program includes attending classes led by renowned professors, engaging in a five-week research internship, and culminating in the preparation and delivery of written and oral presentations to showcase their research findings.
Summer Science Program (SSP)See website
The Summer Science Program offers teens an exhilarating and inspiring immersion into hands-on experimental science. Working in teams of three, 36 participants and 7 faculty form a supportive “living and learning community” over 39 days. Each team completes a real research project, taking and analyzing original data. Afterward, they join a worldwide network of 2,500+ alumni of all ages. Open to current high school juniors (and a few truly exceptional sophomores) who have completed the pre-requisites by summer, and will be at least 15 years old, but not yet 19, during the program.
PRIMES STEPSee website
The goal of our program is to use mathematics to expand the students' minds and encourage their creative thinking. In addition to solving problems like these, we will cover some ideas and methods for solving olympiad-style problems. We will also try to simulate the research process by inventing new problems and being the first to solve them.
MIT PRIMESSee website
MIT PRIMES is a free, year-long program, in which high school students work on individual and group research projects and participate in reading groups under the guidance of academic mentors, usually graduate students or postdoctoral scholars. MIT PRIMES includes three sections: mathematics, computer science, and computational and physical biology.
Yulia’s DreamSee website
Yulia’s Dream is a free math enrichment and research program for exceptional high school students (grades 9-11) from Ukraine. Under this program, students would meet online once a week in small groups to study advanced math topics beyond high school curriculum or work on math research projects under the guidance of academic mentors from among MIT Math Department graduate students and MIT math majors. The instruction will be available in Ukrainian, English and Russian.
Research Science Institute (RSI)See website
RSI (Research Science Institute) is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious and competitive research programs available for high school students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. This exclusive program takes place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and accepts approximately 80 students each year. During their participation in RSI, students have the opportunity to collaborate with accomplished researchers based in Boston on independent research projects. At the conclusion of the program, students showcase their research findings to the wider community in a conference-style setting. This allows them to share their discoveries and insights with peers, mentors, and other interested individuals. The level of competition for admission to RSI is exceptionally high. For instance, in 2019, the program received around 1,600 applications for just 80 available spots, resulting in an acceptance rate of approximately 5%. This competitive acceptance rate underscores the program's selective nature and the caliber of students it attracts.
MIT Leadership Training Institute (LTI)See website
The MIT Leadership Training Institute (LTI), hosted by MIT, is a program that revolves around the belief that all students possess the potential to become leaders. This program specifically caters to high school students and aims to develop their leadership skills through a combination of leadership development sessions and a community service project. By participating in LTI, students have the opportunity to cultivate important leadership traits such as confidence, creativity, and determination. The community service project is a significant component of the program and is carried out with the guidance of Project Mentors. These mentors assist students in identifying challenges faced by various communities and brainstorming effective solutions. They play a crucial role in helping students translate leadership theories into practical and impactful solutions. LTI follows a competitive recruitment process, selecting students from multiple schools in Boston, and boasts a successful track record of 15 years. Over the years, they have mentored close to 1,000 students, many of whom have gone on to become college students, pursue advanced degrees, or establish themselves as professionals in their respective fields.
MIT’s Research Science Institute (RSI)See website
If you are accepted into this program, your chances of being admitted to MIT as a freshman are significantly enhanced. The Research Science Institute (RSI) is an exclusive opportunity that invites 80 exceptionally talented students from various countries to participate in a fully funded, 6-week research program. During this program, you will have the opportunity to conduct independent research in STEM subjects and engage in college-level coursework. To maximize the benefits of this program, it is expected that you stay updated with the latest literature in your field of interest, develop a research plan from scratch, and work on presenting your findings both orally and in written form. Throughout this process, you will receive guidance and mentorship from some of the most brilliant scholars in the world. Participating in RSI provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in advanced research, engage in intellectual discourse with peers and mentors, and develop valuable skills in critical thinking, scientific inquiry, and presentation. Given the rigorous and prestigious nature of the program, successful completion of RSI can significantly enhance your profile and increase your chances of admission to MIT as a freshman.
Harvard-MIT’s Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP)See website
SRMP (Summer Research Mentorship Program) provides an exceptional opportunity for high school students to engage in independent research programs under the mentorship of distinguished scholars from Harvard and MIT. With a focus on astrophysics and climate science, SRMP offers a highly competitive selection process, admitting only a small cohort of 10-15 students with an acceptance rate of less than 5%. The program equips participants with the necessary resources, including a laptop, to conduct their research effectively. Working in small research groups, students attend weekly discussions, meetings, and guest lectures, immersing themselves in a collaborative and intellectually stimulating environment. The culmination of their efforts is showcased at the annual Harvard symposium, where students present their research findings. SRMP provides an unparalleled platform for high schoolers passionate about research to explore their interests and contribute to scientific knowledge alongside renowned scholars from Harvard and MIT.
MIT Think Scholars ProgramSee website
THINK is a unique program designed for students who have a passion for research and are in the early stages of developing a project. Unlike other programs that require a completed research project, THINK welcomes applicants who have extensively researched the background of a potential project and are seeking additional guidance to further their work. The program is organized by a group of undergraduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), known for their expertise in various fields. Through THINK, students have the opportunity to receive mentorship, guidance, and resources to refine their research ideas and gain valuable insights into the research process. It provides a supportive environment for students to explore their academic interests and develop their research skills under the guidance of experienced mentors from MIT.
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