Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.


Student Inquiry and Research


Summer Research

The Summer Research Training Program is a six-week residential program designed to provide young people with the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research. Just as there is no better way to learn to walk than simply walking, there is no better way to learn to explore than by doing. The Student Inquiry and Research Department is dedicated to aiding students' growth through careful guidance of students through initial projects designed to expose them to all aspects of inquiry. Projects are cutting edge and relevant to the areas in which they are conducted but limited in scope so as to enable a student to complete the whole process in a timeframe that suits precollege students.

Student Research

Students in SIR conduct investigations in an interactive partnership with a research mentor. They pursue a question or topic about which the student is keenly interested. While pursuing this investigation, the student acquires further knowledge and a deeper understanding of the topic, and develops skills in planning, investigating, analyzing, and communicating results of innovative research.

Additional Opportunities for SIR

Summer Opportunities for Students in Mathematics and Sciences

There is a multitude of summer opportunities available to high school students. They vary widely in scope, focus, cost, and so forth. Some programs will even pay you a stipend to participate.Think carefully about your goals and aspirations, visit web sites early for program details, and choose wisely.

If you are seeking particular programs, the following list may be useful. Resources for finding other summer opportunities are mentioned at the bottom of the page.

Limited Funds for SIR

Limited Funds for Investigations

There may be limited funding available to purchase supplies for approved SIR investigations. The amount of support provided will vary based on quality of the investigation and availability of funds. Investigations financially supported by SIR are considered to be the property of IMSA to the extent that the institution wishes to retain rights to any and all content and results of the investigation.

SIR off-campus sites

Off-campus Investigation Sites

A significant number of professionals from many very generous organizations have supported past Student Inquiry and Research investigations. IMSA is sincerely grateful to all organizations that have supported IMSA student investigations, and regrets any omissions to the following list of past participant organizations.

Research Ethics

Ethics in Research

Standards of research ethics are required by all research institutions and are well understood by experienced researchers. Novice investigators must take care to understand them, to ensure that they will operate within the bounds of these standards. The booklet On Being A Scientist: Responsible Conduct In Research gives a full spectrum of coverage to the subject of research ethics. Its appendix includes a number of hypothetical scenarios to help identify particular considerations.


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