The ACS Project SEED summer research program opens new doors for economically disadvantaged students to experience what it’s like to be a chemist. Students entering their junior or senior year in high school are given a rare chance to work alongside scientist-mentors on research projects in industrial, academic, and federal laboratories, discovering new career paths as they approach critical turning points in their lives.
For 8 to 10 weeks, SEED students have the unique opportunity to work with scientists, who help them develop laboratory, written and oral skills as they discover that they are capable of conducting scientific research. Mentors also provide guidance, encouragement, and letters of recommendation for college.
Benefits of Project SEED
- Exciting research opportunities
- Information on career paths
- Preparation for college studies
- Individual mentoring by SEED scientists
- Presentation at scientific meetings
- Eligibility to apply for a SEED college scholarship
Project SEED students gain research experience in academic, industrial, and governmental research laboratories through the guidance of scientist-mentors. Over the past four decades, more than 350 institutions have sponsored more than 10,300 high school students to work on scientific research projects.
The Students and Mentors
In addition to hands-on research, Project SEED students receive guidance on their career and personal development. Mentors and students build relationships that help to expand their awareness and understanding of the workforce. Mentors provide strategies for helping students reach their objectives, give feedback, and allow opportunities for growth.
Each fall, SEED students work side-by-side with professional chemists to present their research projects at ACS local, regional and national meetings, and at other scientific meetings. Presenting their summer research findings gives students exposure to chemists, engineers, and college students who review their research and motivate them to pursue science careers.
Types of SEED Programs
Summer I Program
The Summer I program is for first-time Project SEED participants who are given a scientific research project in chemistry or a related field under the direct supervision of a scientist-mentor. Students receive a fellowship award.
Summer II Program
The Summer II program provides Project SEED Summer I students with an additional summer of scientific research. Students either continue their research from the previous summer or begin a new research project. These students also receive a fellowship award. Summer II students may be eligible for a travel grant to present their research at ACS meetings or other scientific meetings.
Project SEED Scholarships
Through the generosity of private corporations and individual donors, Project SEED participants are eligible to compete for a nonrenewable college scholarship. Scholarships are given to students who will major in a chemical science field such as chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, or materials science. The scholarships are intended to assist former SEED participants in their transition from high school to college.