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7 Reasons Why You Should Apply For The Simons Summer Research Program

Do you want to gain greater hands-on experience in science, math, or engineering? Are you looking to get research experience over the summer? Are you open to getting a taste of university life?

If your answer is “yes”, then the Simons Summer Research Program may be for you! First established in 1984, it is well renowned for its excellent programming and will provide a valuable junior-year summer experience. If you are interested in Stony Brook University, you will also be likely to continue studying there if you participate in this summer program.


Applicants must currently be in their junior year (11th grade) of high school at the time of applying; must be US citizens and/or permanent residents; and must be at least 16 years of age by the start of the program. Those interested in science who have demonstrated independence, creativity, and an aptitude for doing hands-on work.

Application Process and Timelines

First, you would need a nomination from your school in order to apply. The process itself will depend on what your school does, such as having a lottery, first-come/ first-serve, and pre-application in choosing two (2) designated nominees. Notably, schools that exceed the two-student nomination limit will all be disqualified.

Next, when receiving the nomination, you can curate your application, which will include the online application component, transcript, two letters of recommendation from teachers (math/science preferred), and school nomination from a high school official. Applicants who have prior research experience may have a faculty mentor submit an additional letter of support (optional) sent to

Test scores, resumes, and awards that are not requested in the application will not be accepted.

All of these materials will need to be sent by the deadline in early February by 11:59 pm. This is a hard deadline, which means if your application is not fully completed by then, it will not be received!

8 Reasons to Apply for the Simons Summer Research Program

With basic information being established, here is a list of reasons why you should apply.

1. The program is prestigious.

The Simons Summer Research Program is highly regarded, and the selection process reflects it. Although previous experience is not required, the application is time-intensive, and requires essays, and a school nomination. Those who have exhibited strong passion and involvement in STEM are likely to be selected for the program, and the acceptance rate is around 12%.

Therefore, if you are accepted into the program, colleges, and scholarships will value your merit, and the prestige of the program will follow you beyond the summer.

2. Exposure to cutting-edge research.

For the duration of the program, students will learn how to conduct scientific research, effectively communicate mathematics and computational science principles, and will gain an improved understanding of how they can pursue a career in applied mathematics and computational science. Not only will they participate in the research process from start to finish, but they have an opportunity to present their work via a written research abstract and research project.

3. An opportunity to work with distinguished faculty.

If undertaking a research project seems daunting, don’t worry – Simons Fellows are matched with Stony Brook faculty mentors. These faculty mentors will have had years of professional experience in the field of their expertise. Mentors will be selected to work closely with the student participants, which is a great networking opportunity.

The program provides a list of mentors who will be available for the 2023 summer program. Take a look at the different research fields and projects that they are involved in – chances are, you’ll find something that sparks your interest.

4. Opportunities to skill yourself in research and beyond.

Participants are not just expected to be researching over the summer. The program holds community and career-driven events as a high priority, so there will be weekly faculty research talks and participate in special workshops, tours, and events. These events will provide great insight into the industry as a whole while providing attendees with an opportunity to network and find connections.

5. There are no tuition fees.

Accepted students will not pay for any tuition-related expenses or fees, which may make it significantly affordable for students and parents.

However, the program is not entirely free in all aspects; participants are responsible for their own transportation, dining costs, or residential costs. Those who commute are not expected to pay for housing for the seven weeks of the program.

6. A taste of college life.

Housing is provided as an option for the program, which means that if you take the opportunity, you will experience what it’s like to dorm on campus. Typically, you are assigned to a double room in a university residence hall. This may be especially exciting for students who have not previously lived far away from home before.

Campus dining is also offered; students who choose this option will be provided a meal card/declining balance plan rather than a specific $ amount per meal. The menu may include pizza slices, wraps, salad bars, burgers, yogurt, cereal, soup, and more.

7. Networking and forming lifelong relationships with like-minded, passionate individuals.

The community base of the Simons Summer Research program will be filled with those who are interested and engaged in STEM, so you are bound to become involved in a great network of alumni. The experience of this program will stick long after you leave, so it’s likely that you will be close with everyone who has participated in this program. Research is rarely a one-person project, so you may find people who will support you in your endeavors.

A list of past alumni is available on the website, along with the names of past research mentors that they have worked with.

8. Major help for other science competitions.

The research that program participants have pursued with their mentors can provide a good submission for other science-related contests. On their website, Simons Summer Research Program provides a list of alumni and their research mentor(s) and their placement in several notable research competitions like Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) and Siemens Science Competition. If you want to further your accolades beyond summer research, the Simons Summer Research Program is a great place to look.

If you're looking for a real-world internship that can help boost your resume while applying to college, we recommend Ladder Internships!

Ladder Internships is a selective program equipping students with virtual internship experiences at startups and nonprofits around the world! 

The startups range across a variety of industries, and each student can select which field they would most love to deep dive into. This is also a great opportunity for students to explore areas they think they might be interested in, and better understand professional career opportunities in those areas.

The startups are based all across the world, with the majority being in the United States, Asia and then Europe and the UK. 

The fields include technology, machine learning and AI, finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, healthcare and medicine, media and journalism and more.

You can explore all the options here on their application form. As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project that is of genuine need to the startup they are working with, and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding you through the internship and helping you navigate the startup environment. 

Cost: $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Location:  Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application deadline: April 16 and May 14

Program dates: 8 weeks, June to August

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates and gap year students!

Additionally, you can also work on independent research in AI, through Veritas AI's Fellowship Program!

Veritas AI focuses on providing high school students who are passionate about the field of AI a suitable environment to explore their interests. The programs include collaborative learning, project development, and 1-on-1 mentorship. 

These programs are designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni and you can expect a great, fulfilling educational experience. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of Python or are recommended to complete the AI scholars program before pursuing the fellowship. 

The AI Fellowship program will have students pursue their own independent AI research project. Students work on their own individual research projects over a period of 12-15 weeks and can opt to combine AI with any other field of interest. In the past, students have worked on research papers in the field of AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, AI & education, and more! You can find examples of previous projects here

Location: Virtual


  • $1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program

  • $4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship 

  • $4,700 for both

  • Need-based financial aid is available. You can apply here

Application deadline: On a rolling basis. Applications for fall cohort have closed September 3, 2023. 

Program dates: Various according to the cohort

Program selectivity: Moderately selective

Eligibility: Ambitious high school students located anywhere in the world. AI Fellowship applicants should either have completed the AI Scholars program or exhibit past experience with AI concepts or Python.

Application Requirements: Online application form, answers to a few questions pertaining to the students background & coding experience, math courses, and areas of interest. 

Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are passionate about research then you could consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students to connect with researchers from prestigious universities. Last year, we had over 2100 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.

Lydia is currently a sophomore at Harvard University, studying Molecular and Cellular Biology. During high school, she pursued engineering activities like attending the Governor's School of Engineering and Technology. In her spare time, she likes to create digital art while listening to music.

Image source: Simons Summer Research Program logo



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