The students will complete coursework in research methods and natural science project preparation with a crash course in statistics. Students will use these skills to complete research projects under the guidance of mentors and review basic computer programming needed for data analysis. Using the coursework along with guidance directly from Dr. McCalla and the iRI mentors, students will design and complete a research project. Assignments and expert training will support final presentations of research along with a research paper at the conclusion of the iRI program. Students are encouraged to submit their projects to science fairs and competitions including Regeneron ISEF and Regeneron STS.
We will send a finalized schedule prior to the program start, but below is a sample of what a typical day could look like at iResearch Institute involving lessons, concept review and project development at office hours, and independent classwork time. Students are not required to attend each office hours session in full, but they are expected to take advantage of Dr. McCalla's and mentors' office hours sessions as they see fit to develop a successful research project.
Research Methods Lecture has an inflexible meeting time but is recorded, all other meetings are flexible
Research Methods Discussion ( 12- 2 PM)
Project Discussion ( 3- 8 PM; Flexible Meeting Times)
Yes, we provide generous financial aid and scholarship opportunities to anyone who qualifies. We want to work with the best talent and ambition at iResearch Institute this summer, and we ensure that financial barriers will not be an obstacle for our students.
iResearch Institute will provide students with the support and expertise to conduct a comprehensive and successful research project this summer. This program will provide students with a structured schedule to conduct their research with instructor and mentor guidance as well as an abundance of opportunities to socialize with fellow students who love STEM. Our mentors will work to the best of their abilities to support and continue with students' existing project ideas. Note: Students may find that there may not be data available to continue their current projects online. They definitely can and are encouraged to do so if it's possible, but the availability of appropriate big data on the internet is a potential limitation. Project completion is NOT guaranteed but is strongly encouraged and supported within the 4-week program.
Yes, students will have multiple opportunities to assess and reflect upon their performance throughout the summer to ensure that they are working to their potential. The benchmarks expected to be completed by all participants involve the completion of Essential Question (EQ’s) reports, coursework related assessments/homework, research presentation, and research paper. All of our assessments are formatted specifically for the online version of our institute!
Students will not be paired with university professors for the continuation of their research, they will be paired with undergraduate, graduate, post-doc, or Ph.D. level mentors who will guide them through their research journey this summer. The research project should be completed at the end of week 4 of the iResearch Institute program.
Yes, we encourage all students to create and own a project this summer that they are proud of and is of the quality to submit to prestigious science competitions and for publication.
Dr. McCalla and our mentors are incredibly experienced at preparing for and competing at the largest science fairs in the world, and we will make sure you are in great hands to succeed.
Students will create the research project with the assistance of a research mentor in the discipline of their choice. We will share examples of previous research works as a template for success. To provide insight into the iRI program, titles of both previous iResearch Institute student and mentor projects are below:
1. Robotic Texture Perception
2. Mitigation of TiO₂ stress and characterization of a putative Brassinosteroid Insensitive-1 gene in Brassica rapa
3. Potential Influence of LncRNAs in Tumor Regression: An Analysis of Prognostic LncRNAs in Neuroblastoma
4. Identification and Characterization of the DELLA protein in L. minor
5. Gene expression comparisons in primary, murine, and iPSC-derived microglia to establish ex vivo identity in in vitro models
6. Multifunctional NGF-Au-SPIOl Nanoparticles: Magnetically Directing Neurite Extension and Orientation
7. High-resolution near-field nanoscopy simulation platform for custom nanomaterial designs
8. Paper-based microbial fuel cells for self-powered sustainable disease monitoring
9. Unraveling a circRNA-miRNA-mRNA axis: A potential therapeutic target for non-small cell lung cancer (nsCLC)
The mentee to mentor ratio is 10:1 or less; most mentors will work with fewer students based upon specificity of topic interests (mentors will only work with students in applicable fields of science).
Yes, we will host virtual group laboratory meetings and social activities weekly to ensure bonding between our students as well as between our students and mentors/Dr. McCalla. We're designing our program with your well-being in mind! Team activities and laboratory meetings will include a review of research topics, collaboration about project goals and data analyses, and presentation practices, social events are TBA (let us know if you have any ideas!). The number of students in a group will be determined by the number of students working with a given group of mentors in a similar field of science.
All teaching sessions will be recorded and will be available for a brief amount of time to review coursework. Students should attend office hours to review difficult concepts, as needed.