Seasonal Intensive Research Program

Stay tuned for our winter session coming up!
The Indigo Research Intensive Seasonal (IRIS) Program is a selective six-week online program for high school students who are passionate about research. IRIS offers a unique opportunity for students to engage in hands-on research projects and collaborate with peers and mentors.
Learn More About IRIS
Learn More About IRIS

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

Choose a course

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

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!

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.

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.

Course offerings

Classes are held twice a week for 3 hours each. Check the full class schedule
Timezone doesn't work for you? Check out our other high school program where you work
1:1 with a mentor at any time convenient for you.


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 Boğaziçi 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. Michael B. from Arizona State University

In our Psychology course, you'll explore the origins of mental content and how it's developed over time. You'll learn about the debate between empiricists and nativists and how it has shaped our understanding of mental content. By the end of this course, you'll have a deeper understanding of cognitive developmental psychology and the origins of mental content.


With Dr. Erica F. from UNC Chapel Hill

In our Anthropology course, you'll explore the impact of cultural backgrounds, values, and expectations on the lived experiences of people around the world. You'll focus on interactions between cultures, rights, and values, and consider how they connect with ideas of identity and social justice. If you're interested in exploring questions of identity and social justice, or considering arts-related majors and careers, then this course is perfect for you.

VIP Exclusive: Research Accelerator

With Professor Patrick Sharkey, William S Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton

In a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a small, select group of students will work with Professor Patrick Sharkey (read his Wiki!) as he guides you towards completing a research paper in a field of your choice. Prof. Sharkey will deliver two lectures and provide personal, 1:1 written feedback on your work—an experience otherwise reserved for Princeton undergrads. 6 additional lectures from Prof Sharkey's curriculum will be delivered by his graduate teaching assistant, who will also provide hands-on guidance as you write your paper. Course schedule TBD.
Stay tuned for our winter session coming up!
Chat with Us to Learn More
Chat with Us to Learn More

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. 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.

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. Michael B.,
Arizona State University

Dr. Michael B. completed his PhD in Psychological & Brain Sciences at the University of California. His research aims to discover how psychology at the level of individuals and their social interactions can be scaled up to explain cultural universality and diversity.

Dr. Erica F., 
UNC Chapel Hill

Dr. Erica F. is a multidisciplinary social scientist by training, bringing together previous academic work in anthropology, law, and literature/cultural studies. She has extensive experience with qualitative research and analysis.

Prof. Patrick Sharkey,
Princeton University

Patrick Sharkey, recently named one of the “The World’s Top 50 Thinkers for 2021” by Prospect Magazine, is the William S. Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, where he teaches courses to undergraduates, masters students, and doctoral students on urban inequality, social policy, crime and violence. Sharkey received his 2007 from Harvard University, and he came to Princeton after ten years at New York University, where he was chair of the Sociology department and served as Director of NYU’s Institute for Human Development and Social Change, the largest interdisciplinary research institute at NYU.

Sharkey has written multiple books that have received strong praise in outlets like The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous book reviews in academic journals.

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 never guarantee a letter of recommendation for students as it would be unethical to do so. Students who complete our programs may ask their Professors to write a letter; Indigo mentors have been known to write letters for excellent 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?

Indigo has a comprehensive database of journal and competition options for high school researchers. The database includes sorting by subject, difficulty level, word count requirements, prestige, and more. If you'd like 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. You may also submit to one of our partner journals, using guidelines we have prepared for you. Alternatively, you may select a journal or competition from our database to apply to on your own time.

Exciting Winter IRIS Session Coming Soon!

Sign up now to connect with the Indigo Research Team and discover the details about the upcoming IRIS Program!
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April Application Deadline

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April 15, 2023
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