Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for applying to the Junior Academy?

Friday, June 30, 2017 at 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time

When and how will I be notified if I am accepted?

The Junior Academy accepts students on a rolling basis until all spots in the program are filled. All students will be notified by email within 6-8 weeks of their application.

What technology is required to participate in the Junior Academy?

Students must have reliable access to a computer and Internet.

Who are the experts and mentors?

The experts are graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and professionals in STEM fields. All experts receive training prior to participating in the program.

What if I’m not comfortable in ALL areas of STEM?

That’s perfectly okay. The Junior Academy is designed to prepare you in any STEM field. You’ll learn skills that you can apply to any subject area you choose. You may even discover new interests along the way!

How long is the program? How much time should I expect to spend?

The first set of bootcamps and challenges will launch in September. A bootcamp is 4 weeks and a challenge is 10 weeks for a combined 14 week experience. Students typically spend 2 hours per week throughout the challenges.

Can I participate in parts of the program?

The bootcamps are optional. Junior Academy members are expected to participate in at least one challenge their first year.

What are Innovation Challenges?

Open Innovation Challenges and accompanying incentive prizes are a mechanism to drive new approaches and high-impact breakthroughs on a concrete and identified problem.

What is the class size?

This year, we are searching for 500 of the best and brightest students to join The Junior Academy. Students will work on team projects of up to four students with a mentor.

Should the research topic that I describe in my essay relate to the innovation challenges? Do I need to demonstrate my knowledge of these topics?

The essay can be about any research question that interests you. We're more interested to learn about you and why the topic interests you, rather than the topic itself.

What action is required of the teacher that I reference?

The teacher will receive an email containing a brief questionnaire about their relationship with the student. It will take 5 to 10 minutes to complete. School records or letters of recommendation are not required.

Does my reference need to be a STEM teacher?

The reference can be any educator that has had a working relationship with the student.

What does Young Membership entail?

Once accepted into the program, participants in The Junior Academy become Young Members of The New York Academy of Sciences, which entitles them to free access to selected Academy content and a digital Membership Certificate which is shareable on social media.