Best Online Bootcamps and Online Research Programs for High School Students

Online Courses and pre-college summer programs are great for profile building and improving college admission chances. However, if you are aspiring to stand out really well and aiming for admissions at the top elite and Ivy League colleges, research experience is more than handy. Here are some of the best-in-class online summer programs and online research programs for high school students 2022.

Best Online 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.

Summer 2020 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

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. 

Online Research Programs for High School Students

A research program 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 medical 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. The prices range greatly too, with some free options alongside programs that cost thousands of dollars.

You can use this list as a starting point for finding an online research program or summer pre-college program that matches your intended medical focus.

Now, let’s have a look at the best online summer programs and online research programs for high school students.

Best Online Research Programs for High School Students

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). Apply Now for the Summer 2022 cohort.


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 PhD 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 Subject Areas:

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

Application Link:

Timings: Spring and summer every year


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.

Application Link:

Timings: Mainly summer; however, students can do projects on a rolling basis as well

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.

Application Link:

Timings: Spring and Summer

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.

MIT PRIMES 2021: Extremal Combinatorics
MIT PRIMES 2020: Metric Dimension
MIT PRIMES 2019: Graph Coloring
MIT PRIMES 2018: Neural Codes
MIT PRIMES 2017: Graph Algorithms and Applications
MIT PRIMES 2017: The Broken Stick Problem
MIT PRIMES 2016: Pattern Avoidance


Best Summer Courses and Online Research Programs for High School Students

Other Top Online Research Programs for High School Students

International Research Institute of North Carolina (IRI-NC)

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Featured Image Source: The Better India

References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

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