Apply for Project SEED Summer Program

COVID-19 Update:  To uphold the American Chemical Society's core value of professionalism, safety, and ethics, in person research for 2021 has been canceled.  The Project SEED Virtual Summer Camp will continue this summer and the application is now open.  Find more information on the Virtual Program tab.

March 22 - April 26
Apply for Virtual Summer Camp

May 2021
Student Selection

June 28 - July 30, 2021
Virtual Summer Camp 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.

Project SEED 2021 Programming

To uphold the ACS core value of professionalism, safety, and ethics, Project SEED has decided to cancel in-person research.  The Virtual Summer Camp will continue this summer, and the application is open from March 22 to April 26, 2021.

How to Apply

  1. View the eligibility criteria below. If you are ineligible, please consider visiting to find a number of other research opportunities (note that this site is unaffiliated with the American Chemical Society).
  2. 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.        
  3. If you are eligible, you can apply to the 2021 Summer Program through the application link at the bottom of this page. Contact the ACS Project SEED office via email at if you have any additional questions.
  • Eligibility Requirements

    • All students under 18 must receive the expressed permission of a parent or guardian.
    • 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 2021.  Students will have to provide documentation to verify household annual income for 2019 or 2020.  Please visit the Federal Poverty Guidelines website to see guidelines for Alaska and Hawaii.
    Household / Family Size 200%     Household / Family Size 200%
    1 $25,760 8 $89,320
    2 $34,840 9 $93,860
    3 $43,920 10 $98,400
    4 $53,000 11 $102,940
    5 $62,080 12 $107,480
    6 $71,160 13 $112,020
    7 $80,240 14 $116,560
    • NEW! Methods of Demonstrating Eligibility: Students must provide one of the following to demonstrate financial eligibility
      • A copy of a 1040 tax form showing that the annual adjusted gross income within the last 2 years has been 200% or less of the federal poverty guideline for household size
      • Documentation showing that the student is eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch Program (FRPL) at his/her/their school
      • Documentation showing that the family is eligible for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, SNAP, or WIC for Infants and Children (also referred to as EBT or food stamps)
      • Documentation showing participation in a TRIO program such as Upward Bound or other programs geared towards socioeconomically challenged families
    • Preferably a current high school sophomore, junior or senior (2021 high school graduates are eligible). 
    • Must have completed at least one course of high school chemistry.
    • Must demonstrate an interest in science and/or chemistry.
  • Selection Criteria 

    In-Person Research Programs:
    • Students must be eligible and provide documentation to demonstrate financial eligibility (see eligibility criteria above)
    • Site coordinators and mentors will review student applications and may select participants based on
      • Competitive academic performance
      • Level of expressed interest in science
      • Availability for the duration of the summer program (minimum competing summer activities)
      • Students with prior lab experience ideal, but not required
      • Number of student slots allocated to the site and budget
    Virtual-Only Programs:
    • Students must be eligible and provide documentation to demonstrate eligibility (see eligibility criteria above)
    • ACS staff and Project SEED committee members will review student applications and select participants based on
      • Competitive academic performance
      • Writing strength
      • Level of expressed interest in science
      • Availability for the duration of the summer program (minimum competing summer activities) 
      • Program budget and total number of student slots
  • What to Expect

    Types of SEED Programs

    Project SEED In-Person Research 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 on a machine all day.  You get to work on a project independently or with other students, and write a report or prepare a poster at 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.
    Project SEED Virtual-Only Program is a 5-week online experience where you will get to learn more about chemistry-related careers, prepare for the college experience (choosing and applying to college, navigating financial aid and scholarships, and mapping out a strategy to succeed), and the basics of lab research.  While this program does not include hands-on research, the skills that you will acquire will help prepare you for a future research opportunity.  Each week, there will be small-group discussions, independent assignments, and nationally broadcasted webinars on the three objective areas, as well as social activities to help you get to know your colleagues and mentors. Participating students receive a stipend of at least $1,000 for completing the 5-week program and assignments.  

    Project SEED Scholarships

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

Full Student Schedule
March-April, 2021
Online application for Virtual Summer Camp opens
mid May, 2021
Selected Virtual Summer Campers announced
Mid-Spring 2021
College scholarship winners announced
June 28 - July, 30 2021
Virtual Summer Camp runs

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