Students currently in grades 9–10 may apply for the Perry Research Scholars Institute (PRSI), a two-week residential academic summer program at the University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. In this program, you will meet different types of researchers across many different fields, such as anthropology, business, education, engineering, medicine, psychology, sustainability, and more. You and your classmates will gather in a classroom environment to hear from these researchers about how they came to do the work that they do and to read and discuss some of the research they have published. You will then have the opportunity to tour state-of-the-art research facilities for hands-on demonstrations of advanced lab techniques. Each student selected for PRSI will receive a $1,000 Perry Scholarship to cover a portion of the Institute's costs. By completing PRSI, students also earn 1 semester hour of college credit with the University of Iowa!

About the Program

We are hard at work planning an exciting 2021 PRSI! Stay tuned for 2021 program dates.

Spend your days with a backstage pass to cutting edge facilities and spaces at a major research institution. Hear from University of Iowa faculty researchers and their teams about how the research process works, the many different ways that research can look, and even the ways you can pursue a research career. For the duration of the program, you will live in a residence hall with your classmates and experience life as university students. Evening and weekend activities include seminars, recreational activities, and off-campus field trips.

PRSI is an introductory-level, research-preparatory program that grants you behind-the-scenes access to the ways and places we discover new knowledge on many different topics. Please note that you will not be conducting research projects in this program. If you are interested in conducting research projects, consider applying to the Secondary Student Training Program in grades 10 or 11. PRSI is a great way to prepare for that program!

I am very grateful for this amazing opportunity, I had an excellent experience and owe it to the generosity of the Perry family.

PRSI Student

How to Apply

While the application process is straightforward, planning ahead is essential. Here's all the information you'll need in order to submit your application.

Application Process

Here's how to apply:

  • Enter your demographic information.
  • Provide e-mail addresses for two adults, not related to you, who are willing to complete an online letter of reference before the application deadline. One reference should speak to your academic abilities (e.g., teacher) and the other should tell us about your character (e.g., teacher, mentor, group leader).
  • Write an essay (250-500 words) describing your interest in attending PRSI. Why would you like to attend? What do you hope to gain from the experience? What academic or career goals do you have that PRSI might help you accomplish?
  • Upload your transcript.


Faculty and staff from the University of Iowa will evaluate completed applications based on the following criteria, ranked in priority order:

  • Quality and content of essays, grades, and scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Maturity to live in a residential setting

Ready to Apply?

Applications for this program have closed. However, you may still log in if you have already applied.

After You're Accepted

You can look forward to a fun and enriching summer! Here you can find answers to all the pressing questions you may have while making your plans to join us.

Cost & Financial Aid


Each student selected for PRSI will receive a $1,000 Perry Scholarship which covers a portion of the Institute's costs. Each student will pay a program fee of $1,737 to cover the remaining costs. Together, the scholarship and the program fee covers your room, board, materials, admission to all regularly scheduled activities, and 1 semester hour of undergraduate credit from the University of Iowa.

The program fee does not include transportation to and from the University of Iowa or incidental expenses, such as souvenirs and snacks. You and your family are responsible for these expenses.

Payment Deadlines

You must either pay in full or have arranged monthly installments or a payment plan (see Payment Options) by the first day of the program in order to participate in the Perry Research Scholars Institute. All fees are payable to the Belin-Blank Center.

Payment Options

There are three options to pay program fees:

  1. Pay the entire amount on a credit card.
  2. Pay in four equal monthly installments using a credit card.
  3. Set up an individualized payment plan for the balance remaining after the application fee and deposit are paid. Payment plans are available by contacting the Belin-Blank Center at 319-335-6148.

Financial Aid

You may be awarded financial aid for up to half the cost of the program. Financial aid is awarded on a first-come-first-served basis, while funds are available. Eligibility is typically determined by qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch. After your information is reviewed, a decision will be made, and you will receive an email regarding the amount of your award. Awards will be applied directly to your program fees. Additional scholarships may be available. International students are not eligible for scholarships or financial aid for PRSI.

Daily Schedule

Classes meet from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9:00 12:00 p.m. on Friday. A closing ceremony will be held on Friday afternoon.

The typical schedule for each day looks like:

  • 7:30—8:30 Breakfast
  • 9:00—12:00 Class / Lab
  • 12:00—1:00 Lunch
  • 1:00—4:00 Class / Lab
  • 4:00—5:30 Free time
  • 5:30—6:30 Dinner
  • 6:30—7:30 Study sessions / Community service
  • 7:30—10:30 Evening activities
  • 11:00 Lights out

Evening and weekend activities include seminars, recreational activities, and off-campus field trips. We carefully select activities to complement the program. For this reason, all activities, including the weekend activities are required.


You will be supervised at all regularly scheduled events and activities. Supervision at the residence halls will be provided by a Belin-Blank Program Coordinator and a residence hall staff specially selected and trained to work with and supervise students. There is approximately one resident advisor for every ten students. You are expected to live within the policies of the residence halls, the university, and the program.

Living on Campus

You will be housed in a residence hall located near the Blank Honors Center on the University of Iowa campus. Most program activities will take place within brief walking distance of the residence hall. Male and female students will be assigned to separate floors and all students will share a room with at least one other student.

In addition to academic programming, you will be able to participate in a variety of scheduled cultural and recreational activities selected by the staff, especially on the weekends. You will also have access to the University of Iowa libraries, computer facilities, and study areas.

Family Visits

We ask that your family inform staff of their plans so that arrangements can be made to facilitate any family visits. Because the program is dedicated to the development of a cohesive community, you may not have non-family visitors during the program.

Check-in / Check-out

Check-in for the program will be held from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm on Sunday. The check-in process will begin at Catlett Residence Hall. All students should be checked in during this time. If you are unable to check-in during these times, please contact the Belin-Blank Center. The opening session for students and families will begin at 4:00 pm.

Check-out for the program will be held after the closing ceremony on Friday. The closing ceremony for students and families will begin at 1:00 pm and will conclude by 2:30 pm. Students should pack all their belongings prior to the closing ceremony.

Cancellation Policy

If you must cancel, please call the Belin-Blank Center at 800-336-6463 as soon as possible to decline the acceptance so that a student on the waiting list may attend. A $100 administrative fee will be retained for cancellations received by June 1st. Cancellations made after June 1st will not be refunded.


You may request a roommate once you have been accepted to the program and are asked to fill out enrollment forms. If you do not have a specific request for a roommate, you will be matched with another student from the program. Students who identify as transgender or have medical conditions or other unique circumstances may request a single room.

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