If you are an advanced high school student in grades 10-11, this highly selective and intensive summer research program may be for you. SSTP offers you rare access to elite opportunities that help realize your academic and professional goals. You will conduct research under the mentorship of world-class faculty from a research-intensive university. Participate in classes and events that will stretch you as a researcher and scholar. Explore your interests, enhance your academic skills, and make meaningful friendships with intellectual peers.

About the Program

Application Timeline:

  • December 15, 2022 (5:00 pm CST): Applications open
  • February 16, 2023 (11:59 pm CST): Application deadline
  • April 3, 2023 (5:00 pm CST): Students receive notification of acceptance status

Program Dates:

  • Online
  • June 19 - July 28, 2023
  • On-Campus
  • June 21 - July 28, 2023

For both formats, accepted students commit to full participation for the duration of the program.

SSTP research mentors are world-class faculty at the University of Iowa who have the expertise to guide high school students in university-level research. You will be conducting research on a project agreed upon by and in collaboration with your faculty mentor. To see examples of completed research, browse a previous year's posters.

Browse posters for the in-person session of SSTP 2022. The online session's posters are coming soon.

SSTP is offered in two formats; online and on-campus. You must choose one format to apply for. You may not apply for both. International students traveling to the United States may apply to the online section only.

There is almost no other place where you will find people so like each other, yet so diverse and different. The results are long-lasting friendships.

Riley DeJohn - Urbandale, IA

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

All application materials must be submitted online.

Here’s how to apply: 

  • Pay non-refundable application fee of $95 
  • 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 prior to the application deadline. One reference is an academic reference (e.g., teacher) and one is a character reference (e.g., teacher, mentor, group leader). 
  • Respond to essay 1: Briefly describe each of your research areas of interest. This is used to help determine which faculty mentors will be sent your application materials. If you have particular interests, technical skills, or experience with a research method this is the appropriate place to highlight those talents. (750 words max) 
  • Respond to essay 2: Why are you applying to the Secondary Student Training Program? Describe your career aspirations and explain what you hope to gain from the SSTP experience. (750 words max) 
  • Upload your transcript 
  • All applications materials, including recommendations, are due at the application deadline.

Still curious about the application process? Checkout our video walkthrough

Please note the following: You may only attend SSTP once. Due to the large number of SSTP applicants, questions about your application may not be answered immediately. We answer all calls and emails in the order we receive them. We process inquiries as quickly as possible but recommend completing your SSTP application in advance of the deadline to avoid encountering issues at the last minute that may impact the timely completion of your application. Inquiries submitted 1-2 days prior to the SSTP application deadline may not receive a response until after the deadline has passed.


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

  1. Quality and content of essays and transcripts
  2. Letters of recommendation
  3. Alignment of your research interests with a participating faculty mentor's research

Research Areas

On-Campus Options:

Online Options:

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Biomedical Engineering


Buisness Analytics

Biomedical Engineering

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Business Analytics

Electrical & Computer Engineering 

Chemical & Biochemical Engineering

Geographical & Sustainability Sciences


Physics & Astronomy

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Religious Studies

Computer Science


Electrical & Computer Engineering 


Geographical & Sustainability Sciences


Health & Human Physiology 


Industrial & Systems Engineering 


Internal Medicine




Neuroscience & Pharmacology


Orthopedics & Rehabilitation






Physics & Astronomy




Psychological & Brain Sciences


Religious Studies



Ready to Apply?

The first step in applying is to choose whether you will apply to the online option or the on-campus option. Please note that we are unable to accommodate requests to apply for both options.

Applications are now closed.

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

Online Cost

The program fee is $4,500. This also covers 3 semester hours of undergraduate credit from the University of Iowa.

On-Campus Cost

The program fee for SSTP is $7,500. This covers your room, board, materials, admission to all regularly scheduled activities, and 3 semester hours 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 meet these payment deadlines to participate in SSTP.

  • February: Nonrefundable application fee of $95
  • April: Nonrefundable deposit of 25% of program fees
  • June: Remaining fees

    Financial Aid

    Once you are accepted into the program, you may apply for financial aid. Financial aid may cover up to 95% of the cost of the program. Awards will be applied directly to your program fees.

    International students are not eligible for financial aid.

    Daily Schedule

    You will be working with your research group from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Central time, Monday through Friday. Both the online and on-campus sessions have required evening activities. The online section seminar will be on Tuesday evenings from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm. The on-campus section seminar will be on Wednesday nights from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm.

    Cancellation Policy

    Application fees and down-payments are non-refundable. Remaining program fees are refundable. 

    If you must cancel, email summer@belinblank.org as soon as possible to decline your acceptance so a student on the waiting list may attend. Cancellations after June 1st may not be refunded. 

    Contact Us