CU Science Discovery's Virtual Research Fundamentals Course* is a 2-week summer program that partners high school students with CU researchers and like-minded peers. CU faculty and graduate students act as mentors to highly motivated high school students interested in gaining real world research experience.

This course is perfect for students thinking about a career in research who would like to explore the fundamentals from the comfort of their own home—or wherever you may be!

Participants will learn: 

  • What it's like to be a scientific researcher 
  • How to become a research scientist 
  • The process by which research is conducted
  • Where large, publicly available data sets can be found
  • How to probe data for answers to important questions

Course details:

  • Dates: July 12-23, 2021
  • Cost: $975
  • Live Virtual Class Schedule: Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am-12pm MST. Class discussion topics will include:
    • How to find research papers online
    • Where to look for data and/or how to collect it on your own
    • Data analysis and statistics
    • Techniques for effective science communication
    • How to publish your work
  • Course participants will be grouped by research interest and assigned a mentor that will guide them through the learning experience. When not in class, students will be collecting data, analyzing their findings and learning ways to present the data in easy-to-understand formats.
  • Outside of live class time, Mentor + Student groups will meet approximately 2-4 times each week to discuss relevant research areas.
  • Between live class time, Mentor + Student group meetings and completing independent research, this course will require approximately 25-30 hours each week.
  • The course will conclude on July 23, 2021 with a Virtual Research Expo. Each student will prepare a 5-minute TED Talk-style presentation for family, friends and fellow researchers to enjoy. As an added bonus, participants will be encouraged to publish their work in scientific journals focused on High School researchers.

Summer 2021 research topics:

Specific research tracks will be formalized as the semester progresses. Areas of research will have a data analysis focus and will likely include:

  • Bioengineering
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computational Biology
  • Engineering
  • Hydrology
  • Immunology
  • Medicine
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmaceuticals

Application process: 

Click Here to Apply

Virtual Research Fundamentals Course applications are due by March 29, 2021, and applicants will be notified of their status by April 5, 2021.  

Science Discovery will do it’s best to match qualified applicants with appropriate mentors, but specific projects can not be guaranteed. The more open applicants are to different fields of study, the better their chances of getting placed. Admission to the Virtual Research Fundamentals Course is through a competitive application process, and admission decisions are made by CU Science Discovery. Payment will be required upon admittance to the program.

*NOTE: This course is temporarily replacing the in-person STEM Research Experience held each summer, which Science Discovery is unable to host due to COVID-19 safety concerns. 

For additional information, contact Kathryn Penzkover via email