What is this program about?

The C-PHOM High School Research Program is a program that allows students to participate in research within the Center for Photonic and Multiscale Nanomaterials (C-PHOM) at the University of Michigan.   The program begins in June with orientation, training, and matching of lab groups.  The 8-week residential component on the UM campus begins mid-June.  During the Fall, participants will continue research with UM advisors, preparing presentations and papers for science fair competitions.  The local, regional, and national science fair competitions are discussed during the program.

The program offers participants:

  • An intense and rewarding educational experience: Students will spend 35+ hours per week doing research under the guidance of a mentor (typically a graduate student).  Students will participate in experimental, theoretical, and/or computational research in nanophotonics, nanomaterials, and/or nanophysics. Typically students will also attend weekly meetings of the research group and seminars by nationally and internationally recognized scholars visiting C-PHOM.
  • Community activities: The entire group of C-PHOM high school researchers will meet weekly for research and professional development seminars.
  • Stipend: Students earn a $2,800 stipend
  • Mentor: Every student is assigned a mentor who is a graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, or UM faculty member.  This mentor will supervise the student’s day-to-day work.
  • Friendship: Participation in a residential research program is a great way to get to know people with similar interests and aspirations.

When is the program held?

The 2017 program dates are June 18, 2017- August 11, 2017.  This includes one or two Saturdays in May/June (no school vacation times), 8 weeks during the summer, and some Saturdays during the time-period from September through February.  The summer residential program will run Monday, June 19 through Friday, August 11. Applicants must commit to attend the entire eight‐week program in order to participate. Students will participate in research each weekday of the residential session. Recreational activities and entertainment activities will be scheduled in the evenings/weekends.

How will I spend my time?

The program is structured to make the most of the eight-week residential program.  Thus, throughout the day there is not a lot of free time. Participants divide their time between doing research in the laboratory under the supervision of their mentor and doing group activities with the other C-PHOM high school students.  Be prepared to work hard and have fun!

Who is eligible for this program?

We work mainly with math and science teachers to recruit students.  To be considered for this program, applicants must be recommended by their math or science teacher, school principal, or other official sponsor.

Students must meet ALL of these eligibility criteria:

  • Must be 16 years old by the start of the program (no exceptions)
  • Must be legally entitled to work in the U.S.
  • Must attend high school locally (within a 50‐mile radius of The University of Michigan)
  • Must have an interest in science or engineering
  • Must demonstrate maturity and initiative.

Students are not likely to be selected unless they meet MOST of these criteria:

  • Have at least a 3.5 GPA
  • Have earned all As and Bs in science and math classes completed in high school
  • Are a rising senior

How do I apply for this program?

Please visit Application Procedures for more information. The complete application must be submitted electronically by March 1, 2017. In addition, applicants are responsible for ensuring that two recommendation letters (one from a math teacher and one from a science teacher) are submitted by March 1, 2017.

What is the selection process?

Receipt of your application will be confirmed via e-mail.   Our award process is expected to begin in April 2017.


Please email CPHOM-REU@umich.edu with any questions regarding the High School Research Program.