Future Scientist Program

The Future Scientist Program is a summer science program for high school juniors at Indianapolis and all Marion County public schools, providing them the opportunity to spend six weeks on a research project under the mentorship of a university researcher.

High school juniors with a keen interest in science and the ability to work independently and responsibly are encouraged to apply for the program, a non-credit enrichment/summer research experience sponsored by the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer. Recognizing that the scientific/research community in the United States today is challenged because fewer high school graduates are choosing science as a career, IU developed this program to help create a pipeline of next-generation scientists. Many students have enthusiastically embraced this program as it provides both an extracurricular educational opportunity and employment experience for students during the summer. The program is located on the IU School of Medicine’s downtown Indianapolis campus at IUPUI.  


Admission to the six-week program is based upon:

  • Scholastic ability
  • Maturity
  • School attendance record
  • Evidence of interest in science and completion of high school courses in Algebra II or higher, chemistry and biology. AP science classes are given more points when applications are scored.
  • At the time of application, the student must be a junior in high school and in the upper 20 percent of high school science classes, or possess a minimum 3.0 grade point average across science classes, with two years of college preparatory mathematics and at least two years of science (biology and chemistry).


  • A completed application form.
  • A 500- to 600-word, applicant-written essay describing your interests, what you hope to learn by participating in the program, and what you feel you can contribute should you be selected as a participant. Be sure to include your area of interest in the sciences.
  • Letters of recommendation from at least two high school science instructors, or a science teacher and school counselor and one personal, non-family recommendation. Please ask them to include in their letter of support a phone number, and if possible, an e-mail address at which they may be contacted.
  • A certified transcript of high school grades and standardized test scores that are available. (Must have taken Algebra II or higher, chemistry and biology.  AP science courses are given more points when applications are scored.)
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.
  • Attendance record.
  • Areas of interest worksheet
  • Ability to obtain work permit if age 16 or under, through the school system.


  • Application deadline: Friday, Feb. 16, 2019
  • Acceptance notifications: April 1, 2019
  • The program is June 10 to July 19, 2019

Questions? Contact Dr. Hari Nakshatri of the IU Simon Cancer Center or Elmer Sanders of Indianapolis Project SEED.

The Future Scientist Program is tobacco, alcohol and drug free. Use and/or possession of these items will result in termination from the program.