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ARISE@UM Program (STEM research for high school, community college, and their teachers)
A Research Immersive STEM Experience at the University of Mississippi: we are dedicated to providing authentic, faculty-mentored, relationally-driven research experiences in STEM fields to support the future of STEM literacy and human flourishing in Mississippi and beyond


Participant Requirements and Application Components

High school applicants to ARISE@UM must meet the following criteria or arrange to provide the following in their application to the program:

  1. Rising 9th (i.e., completed 8th grade) through 12th grade, community college and transfer students (including individuals who may have graduated from high school just prior to the summer are eligible.  Home-schooled applicants will need a letter from a Guardian certifying their grade status (or other valid alternative certification).
  2. School transcript.
  3. Statement of Interest: a 250-500 word statement explaining:
    • why the applicant is interested in participating in ARISE@UM
    • what the applicant hopes to gain from participating in the program
    • the discipline(s) or types of research topics the applicant would be interested in pursuing in the program (names of any particular research mentors can also be mentioned) and the reasons for the choices
    • future aspirations (college and/or career dreams)
  4. Two teacher recommendations sent directly from the teachers to the ARISE@UM Administrative Coordinator; e-mail letters are fine, so long as they originate from a school-issued e-mail address
  5. Satisfactory completion of a screening interview with the ARISE@UM Administrative Coordinator
  6. Set of signed consent forms (see below) including Guardian Consent form acknowledging the realities of working in a university lab setting and the risks associated with the proposed research project (both standard risks and unusual risks will be specified).


Decisions (and exceptions) for acceptance into the ARISE@UM program will ultimately be determined at the discretion of the affiliated Mentor(s) and Administrative Team of the ARISE@UM program.

High School Participants should expect to participate for at least 2 weeks up to 11 weeks.  The precise length of the Summer Research Experience must be approved by the Mentor and the ARISE@UM Administrative Team prior to the start of the experience, along with any anticipated vacation breaks within this period. Participants are allowed and encouraged to live on campus during their research experience. If a participant lives in Oxford or in the Oxford area, they do not have to live on campus, however, commuting to and from campus everyday will be required. Participants are able to earn college credit for their research if they would like credit. The participant is not required to take a class while doing the research, the credit is applied to completing the research. There are no required exams or written assignments for the credit. The participant may be asked by their Faculty Mentor to complete a written summary and/or give a presentation on their summer research. Follow this link to help determine what option is best for earning credit or how to sign-up for housing: Credit and Housing 

High School Participants will not be permitted in the labs earlier than 8:30 am or no later than 4:30 pm on any day. In addition to Research Hours spent under the supervision of their individual Mentors, High School Participants will be expected to participate with their ARISE@UM Cohort in common set of Educational, Administrative, Social, and Entertainment (EASE) Programming activities, designed and overseen by the ARISE@UM Administrative Coordinator, which may include enrichment workshops, lectures, and social events aimed at facilitating cohort camaraderie. A designated commons area will be provided where High School Participants can read, relax, study, or visit with cohort members during any times during the day when there is no EASE programming happening, and when they do not need to be in their respective Lab Environments (e.g., if their Mentor out sick, on vacation, traveling, or using the Lab for other purposes.)

As scientific communication is an important value of ARISE@UM, all High School Participants will be required to summarize their Summer Research Experience (and/results) via a written report and/or oral presentation (to be determined in conjunction with the participant’s Mentor).

High School Participants may be required to participate in focus group discussions and/or complete pre- and post-internship surveys, which will be used to assess program success and discern avenues for program improvement.  Moreover, each High School Participant will be asked to commit to “stay in touch,” by providing contact information, short updates on educational/professional progress, and responses to short questionnaires as requested periodically/annually to assess long-term efficacy of the ARISE@UM program. All such surveys, focus groups, questionnaires, and other information collection tools and protocols will be approved by UM’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), to provide appropriate protection for High School Participants privacy, etc.