The iResearch Institute is the leader of national and international science research training!

Program Information

Student-Centered Independent Studies
iResearch Institute is the first research camp open to all high school and early college aged students. The entire program is VIRTUAL for 2024.

June 24 (closed July 4th) - July 26, 2024  (5-weeks)
Research paper and presentation review (without students; July 29 - Aug. 2, 2024)

Students participate in (1) Research Methods coursework and (2) mentor guided research projects:
1. Research Methods - includes paper writing, abstracts, presentation, and presenting techniques
2. Research Projects - fundamental computer science (Python and R) for data science projects will be practiced,  including review of techniques for processing data - i.e. machine learning, artificial intelligence, and bioinformatics to build a novel research project with the help of iResearch Institute research mentors
Expert Project Mentorship
Students will receive one-on-one project mentorship from experienced mentors hand-selected by Dr. McCalla. During iResearch Institute, students will complete a research project with assistance from undergraduates, graduate students, and Ph.D.'s (from universities like MIT, Columbia, Stanford, and others). The students will complete a research project that they will present verbally to the laboratory members with a research paper at the end of the iRI program.
Unlimited Possibilities of Research Topics
Explore topics that include virology to environmental sciences to artificial intelligence and machine learning, we assist your learning using the scientific method! The 5-week experimentation program explores original projects created with iResearch Institute mentors. We accept international students but we are running the program using PST to EST time zone schedules.
Our students have gone to win top science research competitions, including the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS), and Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS).
See the film, SCIENCE FAIR and Science Fair: the Series, that includes the head instructor, Dr. McCalla for iResearch Institute!
Dr. Serena McCalla will teach the research methods courses and assist in the review of research presentations and papers.
Office hours will be held to assist students.

Dr. McCalla wants to foster student interests and passions in science. Many high school and college students lack sufficient understandings to tackle a computational project without support; we are experts in the science research process and will guide students to success throughout their research exploration.
A Continued Research Journey after your summer at iResearch Institute
iResearch Institute starts you off on a first-class scientific journey that extends beyond just your summer. Project are data driven, using data science and available, under processed/unprocessed data from regulated institutions that require further investigation.

Students will be expected to complete assignments for review throughout the iRI program, a presentation and research paper will be submitted at the conclusion of the program, and students may seek additional mentorship post 5 -weeks in the iResearch Institute.

Students will have access to mentors to complete related paperwork associated with scholarships and competitions.

Program Overview

This BOOT CAMP is the best way to prepare for upcoming, competitive explanations of science (50% Science; 50% "The Sell"). Learn science research concepts and apply them to enhance science and society.

Boot Camp courses will be taught LIVE by Dr. Serena McCalla (all sessions will be recorded, for flexibility)
  • Design/outline research proposals in a topic of interest.
  • Complete coursework with Dr. McCalla to clarify research methods and complete a crash course in Statistics.
  • Effectively present science research investigations verbally and in writing. Design and illustrate presentations for school and competition
  • Creation of mentored research projects in multiple disciplines of science. Training will include how to use open-source data analytics to complete data science research projects.
  • Understand competition guidelines, nationally and internationally.
Research and Data Analysis Projects
Members work alone or join a team to address an original research project. Review data collection techniques to address new hypotheses. Communication will be flexible and facilitated by online platforms such as Zoom, Slack, Discord, etc.
  • Review research literature and previous data science proposals to process and prepare research plans for data collection.
  • Apply technological tools and resources to analyze and acquire data; break out sessions with mentors to question (Essential Question Reports completed) and clarify learning.
  • Work with experts in computational sciences to conduct novel data analysis. Data analysis will address research questions and  support conclusions. Projects can be used for scholarships and competitions.
  • Use collected data to write publishable abstracts, presentations, and research papers.
  • Contribute to science and submit research paper for publication, as applicable.

Daily Schedule

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- 4 PM)

12 - 1 PM and 2 - 3 PM EDT: Research Methods Lecture
  • Scientific method
  • Scientific writing
  • Clarifying a research topic of Interest
  • Abstract & paper writing
  • Presentation skills
3:30 - 4:00 PM EDT: Project Discussions/Research Methods
office hours (flexible and as needed - week 3 and 4 meetings are required)
Students will meet with Dr. McCalla to ask related Research Methods coursework questions and mentors to discuss fundamentals of research project development in small group settings

Project Discussion (9 AM - 12 PM and 4 - 10 PM; Flexible Meeting Times)

9  AM- 12 PM and 4 - 10 PM EDT*: Mentor Discussion Sessions
*additional hours as needed by appointment
  • Students will meet with their mentors to discuss and develop their project progress
  • Scientific writing
  • Clarifying the research topic of Interest
  • Abstract & paper writing
  • Presentation skills
9 AM - 12 PM and 4 - 10 PM EDT*: Mentor Office Hours for Project Review and Data Processing and analysis
Review of Data Science/Bioinformatics (flexible timing)
*additional hours as needed by appointment
Students will meet with mentors to discuss:
  • Data analysis assistance (data sets and graphical analysis)
  • Literature review
  • Review of benchmarks (and project progress):
    ~ Review the various data types and data properties
    biomedical challenges with big data (high-throughput technologies, NGS, etc.)
    ~ Exploratory data analysis, data summary, and effective visualization
    ~ Review Bioinformatics, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning
    ~ Estimating model accuracy and validation (computational and biological)
6 - 10 PM EDT: Classwork & studying (lab group collaborations and communication supported and encouraged)
  • Review of literature
  • Review of essential question (EQ's) reports
  • Homework assignments associated with coursework
  • Presentation creation and practice
  • Editing of abstract and research papers

Any questions? 

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