Shadow Program (for High School students)

Applications for the 2024 IFSS Program are now Open

2024 Program Dates: Monday, June 17th - Friday, June 28th, 9 AM-12 PM, M-F

Inspiring Future Scientists through Shadowing (IFSS)

Hosted each summer, the focus of the Inspiring Future Scientists Through Shadowing (IFSS) program is to provide rising high school juniors and seniors who are at least 16 years of age by the start of the program (no exceptions can be made to the age cut-off) with the opportunity to learn more about cutting-edge chemical research. Throughout the two-week program, participants will observe and converse with a number of different graduate students in the chemistry department. There are many different types of research, therefore shadowing a couple of different researchers will allow you the chance to learn broadly about a wide array of scientific topics and techniques.

Unlike programs that emphasize individual research projects, IFSS stands out by allowing participants to shadow multiple researchers. This approach enables a broader understanding of the field and fosters a well-rounded scientific perspective.

While conducting your own research project is undoubtedly valuable (and we applaud that enthusiasm!), IFSS focuses on the rich experience of shadowing professionals and gaining exposure to diverse research endeavors. If your goal is to embark on a specific research project, we encourage you to explore other summer programs tailored to that objective.

Join us for two weeks of inspiration, discovery, and interaction with the scientific community. Apply to IFSS to learn more about the world of possibilities in chemical research!


Students MUST be 16 or older by the start of the program. Kindly note that unfortunately no exceptions can be made to this rule, even if students turn 16 during the course of the program. We encourage applications from US citizens and permanent residents. There is no cost or tuition to participate in the program; to preserve this situation, we can only accept local students for whom transportation and living arrangements will not be a significant financial barrier to participation. We do not provide housing for participants, and participants must arrange for their own transportation to/from the Stanford Campus and be responsible for their own parking fees if applicable.

One of the primary goals of the IFSS program is to provide hands-on scientific research experience to students who do not otherwise have access to this opportunity. IFSS aims to provide a new and unique experience to its participants. Applications are open to students of all backgrounds. We highly encourage applications from prospective first-generation to college/low-income (FLI) students and/or students who are members of groups historically underrepresented in the sciences, including, but not limited to FLI students, those who have experienced socioeconomic or educational disadvantage, those with disabilities and neurodiverse individuals, those underrepresented on the basis of gender identity or expression of sexual orientation, or those with work, life, or educational experience that would benefit the scientific community.

COVID-19 Requirements

To comply with Stanford University policy requirements, all participants will complete a rapid COVID-19 test (provided by Stanford) upon arrival on the first day of the program. Participants experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to stay home and test negative for COVID-19 before returning to campus. If symptoms appear on-site, rapid COVID-19 tests will be available through the University. Any positive COVID-19 test will require the student to isolate for the remainder of the program.

Application Information 

The 2024 IFSS application is now posted and will be due May 1st. Students will be notified of their status by May 15th. Priority will be given to local applicants. The application includes two portions: an application from the student and a teacher recommendation (to be submitted directly by the recommending teacher to Ifss.stanford [at] (Ifss[dot]stanford[at]gmail[dot]com)). The application includes two or three questions - each answered with a few paragraphs - pertaining to how IFSS will help the applicant move toward their professional/educational goals. The application will include a section reporting grades in science /mathematics coursework, as well as overall GPA (weighted/unweighted). While there are no formal requirements for coursework, a strong interest in science/mathematics is preferred. Accepted students will be required to submit an official transcript confirming the information reported in their application.

Apply Now


chemistry-ifss [at] (chemistry-ifss[at]stanford[dot]edu)