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Apply for Project SEED Summer Program

COVID-19 Update: After much consideration, the American Chemical Society has decided to cancel all Project SEED research for Summer 2020. In place of the traditional research model, ACS is curating and hosting a four-week virtual summer camp.

The 2020 application is now closed. If you are interested in receiving a notification email when the 2021 application opens, please complete this short form to provide your contact details.

Mar 31 - May 15
Apply for a Program

March - June
Student Selection

Summer Program Runs

Do you like science? Are you interested in learning what scientists really do in their laboratories? Get exposure to chemistry, prepare for college, and learn about science career paths in the ACS Project SEED program.

How to Apply

  1. Make sure to receive your parent or guardian's permission to apply and participate! You will have to verify that you have received this permission, and also provide a parent or guardian's email address so we can send a confirmation of your application to them.
  2. Check that there is an active site near you on our Location page. Note that you will be responsible for getting to and from the lab site each day. No site near you? Let us know by sharing your city and state with us. We can work on getting a site there next year.        
  3. Take the interactive Project SEED Eligibility Questionnaire on this page. If you receive an "Eligible" or "Likely Eligibile" result, you are good to go. If you receive an "Ineligible" result, please consider visiting to find a number of research opportunities (note that this site is unaffiliated with the American Chemical Society).
  4. If you are eligible, you will be able to start when the 2021 application opens. If you are interested in receiving a notification email when the 2021 application opens, please complete this short form to provide your contact details. Contact the ACS Project SEED office if you have any additional questions.

See the application in its entirety before you get started by downloading a reference version of the Project SEED 2020 Student Application.

  • Eligibility Requirements

    • A Project SEED site must be available in your location to participate. Check the Location Page to ensure there is one nearby. Students must be able to commute to and from the site daily.
    • Applicants who are physically disabled are considered on the same basis as any other applicant and may not be discriminated against in any way.
    • Your family's annual income must not exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines based on family size.  Below is a table of those figures for 2020.  Students will have to provide documentation to verify household annual income for 2019 or 2018.
    Household / Family Size 200%     Household / Family Size 200%
    1 $25,520 8 $88,240
    2 $34,480 9 $97,200
    3 $43,440 10 $106,160
    4 $52,400 11 $115,120
    5 $61,360 12 $124,080
    6 $70,320 13 $133,040
    7 $79,280 14 $142,000
    • Preferably a rising junior or senior in high school (students graduating this year can participate as long as they are available to do research for the 8-10 week period).  Rising sophomores can participate as long as the site accepts students under the age of 16 and all other eligibility criteria is met.
    • Must have completed at least one course of high school chemistry.
    • Preferably interested in science.
    • Use the interactive Project SEED Eligibility Questionnaire above to verify that you are eligible prior to starting your application.
  • What to Expect

    Types of SEED Programs

    Project SEED is a paid, summer internship program for high school students.  Once accepted, students commute daily to a  research lab (typically about 8 hours per weekday, Monday through Friday) for anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks.  Students do meaningful research - meaning you won't just wash lab dishes, or press a button repeatedly.  You get to work on a project independently or with other students, and write a report towards the end of the summer.  Depending on the Project SEED site, there may be additional activities, such as field trips and campus tours, career panels, participation in poster/science fair competitions, and more!  Some coordinators choose to register their students for the American Chemical Society National Meeting to present their poster to thousands of attendees.

    • 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 $3,200 fellowship award/stipend.
    • Summer II Program
      The Summer II program provides Project SEED Summer I students with an additional summer (or two) of scientific research. Students either continue their research from the previous summer or begin a new research project. These students receive a $3,800 fellowship award. Summer II students may be eligible for a travel grant to present their research at ACS meetings or other scientific meetings.

    The Institutions

    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 over 11,000 high school students to work on scientific research projects. Locate a Project SEED institution near you.  Because there is a variety of institution types, the type of summer experience and research done can vary.

    The Students and Mentors

    No more than two Project SEED students are assigned to a mentor.  This mentor will work side-by-side with the student to help not only with the research work, but also provide guidance on yourr career and personal development. Mentors and students build relationships that help to expand their awareness and understanding of the workforce and the college experience. Mentors provide strategies to help students reach their objectives, provide feedback, and allow opportunities for growth.

    Professional Networking

    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, fairs, and competitions. Presenting research findings gives students practice in public speaking, communicating technical work, and prepares them for a potential STEM career.

    Project SEED Scholarships

    Students that successfully complete a Project SEED summer experience and decide to study chemistry-related majors (chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, or materials science) in college are eligible to compete for Project SEED scholarships.  Scholarships range from 1 to 4 years with up to $5,000 awarded each academic year.

Full Student Schedule
March 31st - May 15th Complete the online application
College scholarship winners announced
July Summer programs begin
January 15th
Project SEED college scholarship applications due (open to graduating SEED seniors only)

Join the ACS Project SEED community

Are you interested in ensuring the future of this program? It takes both students and donors to make it happen! Consider applying if you are an eligible student. If you would like to donate to the ACS Project SEED Program, please find more information below.


For more information

Phone: 1-800-227-5558 (ext. 4380)
Fax: 202-872-4361  |  Email:

ACS Project SEED Program
1155 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036