IRIS Research Program

Application Deadline: December 10, 2023
IRIS is a six-week online program for high school students passionate about research. Choose to join courses in Genetics, Computer Science, Economics, or Psychology and collaborate with professors from Stanford, Columbia, and Cornell!

Course dates: Dec 18, 2023 – Jan 27, 2024
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Why do research in high school

to Your Research Field

No matter your passion, Indigo Research will help you turn it into real-world contributions to your field by working with you to develop your expertise and publish your findings in academic journals.

Make Your Applications Stand Out

Research experience will demonstrate your intellectual curiosity, academic talent, and expertise in tackling complex projects.

Study with
Top US & UK Professors

You’ll be guided by PhDs and faculty researchers from top US and UK universities who work at the cutting edge of their fields.


By doing research, you’ll develop the analytical, writing, and research techniques needed to advance through college, graduate school, and beyond.

How the IRIS Program works

1. Choose a course

Choose one of the four offered courses to learn from experienced professors and participate in workshops and seminars on research methodology, data analysis, and communication skills.

2.Collaborate with peers

During the IRIS program you will work with top university professors in a small group setting of 3-10 people. This is a great opportunity to collaborate with like-minded peers from all over the world!

3. Present your project in class

Sharpen your communication skills as you present your findings in class. Receive valuable feedback from other like-minded students and mentor to take your research to the next level.

4. Get a certificate & build your collegiate network

Receive a signed certificate of the IRIS program completion to boost your portfolio and stand out from other college applications! Plus, build a strong connection with a top faculty member in your field and meaningfully improve your chances of admission later on.

What our students say about IRIS

Alina T.

"My mentor was incredibly supportive and provided me with valuable feedback throughout the course. Each session was insightful and proved to be a valuable experience. As someone new to conducting research, this course guided me along the path to success. The group activities allowed me to connect with my peers, and observing others' research projects was truly exciting!"

Mohamed A.

"The course has provided an excellent introduction to scientific research. Beyond being just an introduction, it effectively equips students to create high-quality research outcomes. IRIS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I firmly believe it stands as the ultimate chance for any student eager to delve into scientific research, explore their field of interest, and craft highly respected research papers"

Sakhi K.

"IRIS greatly helped me understand the field of research. I received incredibly helpful feedback, and I believe this course has prepared me for my future. Our professor was extremely supportive and understanding. He clearly communicated his expectations and suggestions, while also being understanding when we fell behind or faced challenges. He created a fun and safe learning environment and provided outstanding feedback. His teaching style made the topics interesting and engaging to learn about!"

Aleesha B.

"There was a lot of support, and the environment in the IRIS course was incredibly encouraging and collaborative. I felt comfortable talking to both my peers and my advisors. It is an intensive course that provides amazing information and connections, fostering engaging research environments. I appreciate the diversity of the students and the friendliness and inclusivity of the professors and staff"

Vahag M.

"I was generally pleased with the amount of resources and assistance provided by the IRIS team. The professor was particularly helpful and encouraging throughout my research process. I found the course to be excellent for those conducting research for the first time or for anyone seeking professional guidance"

Lily S.

"It was truly a game-changing experience! Our professor was very lovely and understanding of each student's situation, and her literature was always helpful. This was a significant change for me, especially as a non-English speaker. I'm not proficient in English, but studying and reading journals and articles in a completely new field were crucial for developing my English and research skills"

Course offerings

Classes are held twice a week for 3 hours each. Check the full class schedule


With Dr. Kif L. from Stanford University

In our Genetics course, you'll get to dive into the complex world of cells and learn about the mechanisms they use to control gene expression. You'll explore how gene misregulation can lead to diseases such as cancer and developmental disorders. By the end of this course, you'll have a broad understanding of gene expression and regulation, be able to critically think about biological problems related to gene regulation, and understand the connection between gene regulation and diseases.

Computer Science

With Dr. Eric S. from Cornell University

In our Computer Science course, you'll get to explore current research topics such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science. Even if you have no prior programming experience, you'll be able to learn and apply prepared code sections to your research projects. With a variety of project topics to choose from, including deep learning and natural language processing, you'll be able to explore the exciting and ever-evolving world of computer science.


With Dr. Ceyhun E. from Columbia University and Dr. Iva B. from the University of Leeds

In our Economics course, you'll get to examine contemporary policy issues and how they've been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. From fiscal policy to government regulation, you'll learn about a variety of policy areas that impact our economy. If you're interested in understanding how policies shape our lives, then this course is perfect for you.


With Dr. Daniel K. from the University of Michigan and Dr. Hannah T. from Columbia

In our Psychology course, you'll explore the fundamental cognitive process of memory, delving into cognitive psychology and neuroscience perspectives. Discover distinctions between memory types, including episodic and semantic memory. By the course's end, gain a comprehensive understanding of memory systems, cognitive neuroscience methods, and conduct a literature review on a memory-related topic of your choice.

VIP Accelerator

It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (!) to work one-on-one with one of our IRIS Professors and have the freedom to set your own schedule. Choose a subject, the number of hours you're ready to commit (10, 20, or 45), and complete your project under the guidance of faculty researchers from top-tier universities to produce a publishable research paper. Cultivate your expertise and gain an edge in your college applications!
Only 10 spots available per each course session!
Book Your Spot Now!
Book Your Spot Now!

Meet your Mentors

Dr. Kif L., 
Stanford University

Dr. Kif L. holds a PhD degree in molecular genetics from the University of Cambridge, UK. He is currently an EMBO & Hillblom Fellow, working at Stanford University, USA on genetic mechanisms involved in synapse formation and function.

Dr. Eric S., 
Cornell University

Dr. Eric S. research interests include work in dynamical systems, machine learning, computer systems, and bioinformatics. He is currently working on machine learning techniques for financial data analysis and blockchain applications.

Dr. Daniel K., 
University of Michigan

Dr. Kruger holds B.S. degrees in Biology and Psychology from Le Moyne College, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Applied Social Psychology from Loyola University Chicago, and completed a NIMH Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Hannah T., 
Columbia University

Dr. Hannah T., who earned her PhD in psychology from Columbia University in 2023, is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto. Her research focuses on how memory influences adaptive behavior, using methods like eye tracking and magnetic resonance imaging to study memory in healthy young adults, older adults, and individuals with epilepsy.

Dr. Iva B., 
University of Leeds

Dr. Iva B. is a Lecturer in Business and Sustainable Societies at the University of Leeds. Ivaʼs research interests are focused, but not limited to the ethical behavior and decision-making in the marketplace, and sustainable consumption and production.

Dr. Ceyhun E., 
Columbia University

Dr. Ceyhun E. is a Lecturer in Economics at Columbia University and a Professor of Economics at Bogazici University. His research interests are in applied macroeconomics, economic growth, and political economics.

Optional course:
English Scientific Language
and Analysis

Would like additional assistance conducting research in the English language?

Work with a Harvard Teaching Fellow, PhD(c) on how to understand and analyze scientific literature in the English language. Joani E., PhD(c) has been awarded a Distinction in Teaching recognition by Harvard University.

This supplemental course is perfect for students who:

Would like hands-on writing workshops to perfect their research paper 
Would like to improve their oral presentation skills
Would like to grow their field-based vocabulary

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I miss a class session?

In the off chance you're not able to attend one of the virtual class sessions, you can let the course administrator know, and she will send you a recording of the class you missed, as well as any homework or other instructions you may need. Be sure to give the Professor a heads up that you won't be able to attend!

Do you guarantee letters of recommendation?

We encourage all students to ask for recommendation letters that might help showcase their initiative and passion. While we cannot guarantee letters of recommendation – it would be unethical to do so –, Indigo mentors have been known to write excellent letters for students who complete their papers and are highly engaged during sessions.

What if I need more time to finish my paper?

The IRIS program has been designed to allow the vast majority of students to complete a 3-6 page paper in the time allotted. If you decide to write a longer paper, or you need more time to complete the 3-6 page paper, please contact your course administrator. She will help you assess whether or not you need more 1:1 sessions, or if offline support would be sufficient.

How do I get my paper published?

We teach students all the ins and outs of publishing research and offer a comprehensive database of journal and competition options for high school researchers. On top of that, Indigo also offers detailed guidelines and streamlined processes to submit to some of our partner journals. If you would like to get 1:1 guidance on getting published, you may purchase this separately, and a mentor will help you choose a target journal and complete all necessary steps for publication.

Don't Miss Your Spot!

Application deadline: December 10, 2023!

Once you fill out the form, you'll get an email from the Indigo Research Team with all further details.
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April Application Deadline

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April 15, 2023
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