Laboratory Learning Program
Laboratory Learning Program – important message re COVID-19/Coronavirus
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 summer research experiences in the Laboratory Learning Program are cancelled.
If you applied prior to 3/15/20, we will be contacting you by email with this program cancellation notice.
The latest University updates related to COVID-19 are available on the University’s coronavirus website.
Summer Internships for High School Students
A full-time, free research experience in the sciences or engineering for high school students. Students are included in ongoing research programs where they are closely supervised by Princeton faculty and research staff. The participation dates are customized according to the schedules of the research personnel and intern and the specifics of the project. Internships typically span 5-6 weeks over the summer.
The Laboratory Learning Program is not a summer camp. The Laboratory Learning Program does not include housing, transportation, social activities or entertainment. LLP students are not eligible to lease or sublease Princeton University housing.
- Sixteen years old or more by June 15, 2020. No exceptions.
- Enrolled in high school. Graduates who have not yet turned 18 by June 15, 2020 may apply.
- US citizens, legal permanent residents, or international students currently in the United States attending a US high school.
- Once accepted, parental consent forms, evidence of health insurance, and a high school nomination form are required before attending the program.
- Safety training is required prior to beginning laboratory work.
- Two-page research summary report is due at the conclusion of the program.
Available Research Opportunities
- Engineering Research Opportunities
Title of Project
Mixing chemicals in porous media
Swelling of hydrogels in confinement
Yielding in semicrystalline polymers
Lasso peptide biosynthesis and engineering
Systems for machine learning
Quantum cascade lasers - design, characterization, and systems integration
Superconducting quantum computing
Development of concentration gradient functional nano-materials for energy applications
Ultrafast mid‐infrared diagnostics of plasma chemistry and atmospheric chemistry
Observation of magnetic domains from magnetic force microscope
Real-time observation of growth of nanoparticles in liquid cell
*Click on the code for more information for each research opportunity.
- Natural Sciences Research Opportunities
Title of Project
Purification and assembly of mutant and modified histones into designer chromatin
Learning principles of ultrafast spectroscopy
‘Fingerprinting’ lead in residential tap water
Developing an in vitro protein expression protocol for single-molecule fluorescence microscopy
Genetically engineering nematodes for measuring brain activity and behavior
Development of sodium iodide crystals for research on dark matter
Fluidics and optics in biophysics
Applications of deep learning in biological classification
Cognitive and neural mechanisms of human sociality
*Click on the code for more information for each research opportunity.
- Apply online between February 1 and March 15, 2020 midnight EST. Online application form is now closed for the year.
- Mail-in applications must be postmarked between February 1 and March 15, 2020 (download the mail in application - you can also use this to prepare your online application).
- One application accepted per student; no supplemental materials accepted.
- Decisions will be communicated on a rolling basis between late March and May 31 once decisions have been made for a particular research opportunity. Please DO NOT CONTACT the Office of the Dean for Research to inquire. As soon as we have a decision for each opportunity, we will notify all students for that opportunity.
- Parental consent forms, evidence of health insurance, and a high school nomination form are not required at this point but will be requested once the student has been offered a place in the program.
What is the application process?
- Applications are accepted online or by mail.
- Each student may submit only one application in which up to two opportunities of interest are indicated.
- Application decisions will be communicated to the student using the email address provided in the application.
- Students who are offered an opportunity will be required to submit additional forms and information in order to enter the program, including a parental consent form and a high school nomination form.
- Approvals will be communicated to the mentoring faculty member and the participating student by email.
What are the application deadlines and program dates?
- Application – Applications are accepted between February 1 to March 15.
- Application Deadline – March 15. Online applications must be submitted by midnight U.S. eastern time; mail in applications must be postmarked no later than March 15.
- Admission Decisions – All decisions will be communicated on a rolling basis as the selections are made for each opportunity. All decisions will be communicated by May 31.
- Program Dates – Research activities take place during normal business hours daily. Most opportunities require a commitment of at least 5 weeks during the summer. Review individual opportunities for details.
What fields of study will be offered?
Natural sciences and engineering.
Is there a fee for the program?
There are no fees for participation in the program.
Who is eligible?
- Students must be 16 years of age or older by June 15.
- Students must be enrolled in high school. Students who have graduated from high school but have not yet turned 18 by June 15 may apply.
- All students must have their own housing and reliable transportation to and from the research settings. The Laboratory Learning Program is not a summer camp. Students are not eligible to lease or sublease University housing.
- Students must be US citizens, Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs), or international students currently in the United States attending a U.S. high school.
- Specific research opportunities may have additional eligibility criteria.
At Princeton University, we believe that the highest levels of research, scholarship, and teaching are obtained only through the combined participation of people with a diversity of viewpoints, backgrounds, and experiences. For this reason, the University welcomes under-represented and socio-economically disadvantaged students and provides an environment that embraces all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and physical abilities.
Are there exceptions to the eligibility criteria?
How many applications do you receive each year?
During each of the past three years, over 700 applications were received.
Was my application received?
Upon submitting the online application, you will be taken to a completion screen that states your application was successfully submitted. In addition, you will receive an email confirmation at the address provided in the application. If required fields are left blank or incorrectly filled out at the time of attempted submission, the application will not progress to the completion screen. Due to the high volume of applications, we are not able to look up and confirm the status of individual submissions.
After my application is submitted, can I change my selections or other information?
No. Due to the high volume of applications, we are unable to change the selections listed in your application or any other information.
Can I submit supplemental materials, such as letters of recommendation and transcripts?
No. Do not send in any supplemental materials, they will not be accepted.
Does the program provide housing or transportation?
The Laboratory Learning Program is not a summer camp-style program. Students must have their own housing and reliable transportation to and from Princeton University; students are not eligible to lease or sublease University housing. The majority of program participants come from the surrounding communities. Students and families who are from outside the immediate region should have identified appropriate housing and transportation arrangements prior to submitting an application.
Is academic credit offered to participants in the Laboratory Learning Program?
The Laboratory Learning Program is an educational program for the benefit of the student. Students do not receive academic credit or other Princeton University credentials following participation in this program. Participation in the Laboratory Learning Program will not increase a student's chances of being accepted into Princeton University as an undergraduate.
When is the final report due?
Students must submit a 2-page research summary of their summer project to the Office of the Dean for Research (firstname.lastname@example.org) by August 31 of the academic year in which the research is completed. The research report should summarize the research question, methods, data, and conclusion of the study.
Hosting a High School Student (faculty only)
Faculty and labs planning to host a student should begin the process by submitting a research opportunity via this link (login required).
During office hours only. Email preferred. Please leave a voicemail with detailed message and contact information if no reply.
Lieve Monnens, Administrative Assistant
Office of the Dean for Research
[Photo credit: LLP students Pranav Kalinadhabhotla and Gabrielle Bailey presenting their research poster at the Department of Chemistry's “Pancakes & Posters” Summer Undergraduate Research Poster Session, held on August 8, 2019. Photo by Kirsten M. Arentzen]