Best Summer Research Programs for High School Students 2023

Summer is an extremely important time as colleges want to know what the student is doing during their spare time. Based on your own interest, you can do just about anything. The sky is the limit – online courses, summer programs, internships, etc. Another great option is a research project; especially if you are aiming to get into the Ivy and elite colleges from India and other Asian countries. Here are some of the best-in-class in-person and online summer research programs for high school students in 2023.

Summer Research Programs for High School Students

College is a giant academic leap from high school, and as such, it requires careful preparation, often beyond what high school can provide. Thus, students (and their parents) often spend the summer after senior year brushing up on skills that will give them the competitive edge they need to succeed in college and in their future careers.

A research program is one of those critical extracurricular activities that can demonstrate that you willingly take on challenging material and that you thrive amid competition. Your activities list will tell colleges that not only are you ready for college, but you also have experience in the research field.

The opportunity to have your scientific findings from a summer program published or presented in the scientific community is the ticket to sending your college applications to the next level.

Since many summer research programs themselves are selective, they provide you with experience as they mimic the college application process. They can range anywhere from one week to last the majority of your summer break (and even 6 months).

The prices range greatly too, with some free options alongside programs that cost thousands of dollars. A few of them (e.g. Lumiere and SHRM) also provide financial aid for deserving candidates with financial constraints.

How does a Research Project Help in College Admissions?

A research project on your resume can help you to demonstrate:

  • Self-motivation and Initiative
  • Long-term commitment
  • Consistency and Depth within Interests
  • Connection to Academics
  • Creativity and Originality
Best Online and Summer Research Programs for High School Students
How ‘Activities’ Influence College Admissions (Source)

You can use this list as a starting point for finding an online research program or summer pre-college program that matches your intended major. Read more about how research publications can help with college admissions.

Best Online Summer Research Programs for High School Students 2022

Why Undertake Online Research Programs in 2022?

The pandemic is still around. We are not 100% sure if there is going to be any other variant in the near future. So, we have prioritized online research programs for high school students. After all, safety is more important.

Summers in 2020 and 2021 showed us that students will be able to find activities that work in a virtual environment, and in doing so, they’ll learn a little more about themselves. With some creativity, they can find new ways to engage in their interests and develop new skills. Bonus points if they make a positive impact on others in their community in the meantime.

Online research programs for high school students offer a unique opportunity to demonstrate their skills in research and pursue the possibility of having their findings published. 

Lumiere Education

Founded by Harvard & Oxford researchers, the Lumiere Research Scholar Program is a selective research program for high school students. Students work 1-1 with a research mentor from a top university to develop a full-length, undergraduate-level research paper. The program offers the opportunity to do research in any academic field of your choice, ranging from machine learning and economics to physics and history.

In the 2020-2021 school year, over 1500 students applied to the program. An analysis of ED/EA admissions of former Lumiere students showed that alumni were 26% more likely to be accepted to the top ten universities in the US.

Lumiere also helps students with the publication process for their research. Students’ past research projects have gone on to be finalists at MIT Think, published in journals like the Cornell Undergraduate Economic Review, and have won competitions like Regional ISEF Regeneron fairs.

Lumiere also provides scholarships to students whose families make less than $35,000 per year (US applicants) or 15 lakh rupees per year (Indian or non-US applicants).

Interested in the Lumiere Research Scholar Program 2022?

Application Deadline: March 13, 2022.

Research Areas at Lumiere:

  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Physics
  • Economics
  • Data Science
  • Computer Science
  • Gender Studies
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • International Relations

Horizon Academic

Horizon Academic (HARP) is a trimester-long online research program for extraordinary high school students to refine their interest in an academic subject. Students will develop a college-level research project under the individualized guidance of a professor from a globally renowned university.

Students choose their own subject area and work with a professor, post-doc, or Ph.D. student to develop a unique research proposal. After a trimester of reading, writing, and exploring, students finish their final projects, most often a 20-25 page research paper.

By showcasing a student’s very best work, Horizon gives students the opportunity to get letters of recommendation, seek outside recognition of the quality of their work, and demonstrate their exceptional talent to universities.

Research Areas:

  • Economics
  • International Relations
  • Machine Learning and Biotechnology
  • Psychology
  • Cancer Biology (CRISPR)
  • Neuroscience
  • Protein Physics
  • Formulation Chemistry
  • Ancient Greek-Roman History

SHRM Biotechnologies

SHRM Biotech is an affiliated training institute under the Life Science Skill Sector Council, Govt. of India. It is dedicated to providing training to students coming from life science backgrounds and high school students passionate about science. They provide a wide range of services including Research Projects, Training (both offline and online), contract research facilities, assistance in the development of project reports, and so on.

Research projects are usually of longer tenure, like 12-16 weeks, and involve the participation of the students in gathering data, analyzing it, and then coming to a fruitful conclusion. There are other reasons why students must opt for dissertation projects, they are mentioned here:

  • Performing investigation while dealing with a research problem and simultaneously collecting and organizing information (or data).
  • Checking the validity of the data by performing required experiments in the laboratory under experienced faculty
  • Application of data analysis by application of technology and intellect to critically evaluate information
  • Showcase the findings of the dissertation as a well-explained report by aligning it with the present scientific knowledge
  • Present the research in your institution or an audience.

Need Help with Profile Building / College Admissions?

Fill Out the Profile Evaluation Form to Get a Call from Stoodnt or Team SHRM Biotech

Pioneer Academics

It’s a great option to do a research project online and earn credits from a US college. Pioneer is well respected for its rigorous academic standards which apply to both the faculty members and the students.

The Pioneer Research Program provides undergraduate-level research opportunities to talented, intellectually motivated high school students (and college students) from around the world. It is the only online credit-bearing research program for high school students that offers STEM, social sciences and humanities disciplines.

In the Pioneer Research Program, selected students to work one-on-one with leading US university professors in advanced study and research of a topic of their interest, culminating in a full-length research paper. The program is conducted entirely online, allowing high school students from all over the world to participate.


It’s another platform that provides opportunities to high school students to conduct research projects online. The platform allows students to connect with an expert mentor online and develop a college-level research project. The projects allow students to showcase their work through a publication, conference presentation, or creative piece.

Students need to have a solid idea of what they want to study and preferably some research ideas as well. Here are some of the projects done by previous students.

CrowdMath (a joint program by the Art of Problem Solving and MIT Primes)

It’s a massive online collaborative year-long research project open to all high school (and college) students around the world.

Students get a unique opportunity to collaborate on a large research project with top-tier research mentors and an exceptional peer group. MIT PRIMES and Art of Problem Solving are working together to create a place for students to experience research mathematics and discover ideas that did not exist before.

Click here for more information on Project 2022.

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Featured Image Source: US News

Sources: 1, 2, 3.

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