Online ISEC

Online ISEC is a free*, online experience for science enthusiasts between the ages of 16 and 24, regardless of their background or skills. We will host two sessions, one from July 5th to July 18th and another one from August 16th to August 29th. Participation in Online ISEC sessions will be based on the quality of your application and your availability. Not all projects will be available during both sessions.

(* Although there is no required fee to participate in Online ISEC, we have a suggested donation of around 40€. This suggested donation helps cover the costs associated with being a registered non-profit organization. Donations will also be used to offer grants to participants who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend post-pandemic in-person ISEC. These additional funds are pivotal for making ISEC available to individuals of all socioeconomic backgrounds.)

Structure of Online ISEC 

Our mentor team has developed multiple two-week long projects to be implemented with a participant team. You can find brief, preliminary descriptions of the projects at the end of this page. These projects can be adapted and tailored to the interests and capabilities of the participants. We also encourage you to come up with your own projects, which you are welcomed to propose to any of the mentors. Once accepted as a participant, we will send you detailed project descriptions from which you will indicate your preferences. Afterwards, you will be assigned to one of these projects according to your interest and availability. You will then work closely with a mentor and 1-2 other participants to complete the project by the end of the session. Our mentors are primarily Bachelor students in their final year of university, Master students, PhD students, and early-career science teachers. You can learn about the Online ISEC mentors here.

The success of the project will reflect the effort put forth during your “stay” at Online ISEC and we hope you will gain some insight into how scientists conduct and share research. At the end of the camp, you will be expected to write a scientific report about your Online ISEC project and prepare a short presentation for your fellow participants. We will then compile the reports to display on our website (with your permission), so you can be proud of your work!

Online ISEC will allow for more flexibility regarding your preferred work schedule, and the Mentors will check in with you on a daily basis. Therefore, please plan on devoting an average of 5 hours of work per day for two weeks (including weekends) to your project. The mentors will be available to answer any questions you may have and help you with the challenges you may encounter. 

All applicants will collaborate on a project with 1-2 partners. Since ISEC is an international organization, there is a high likelihood that your partner(s) will be participating from a different country or time zone than you. While this will undoubtedly introduce additional challenges, we believe it is consistent with the mission and goals of ISEC to foster this international collaboration. We understand there may be a need for some exceptions to this guideline and such instances will be considered on a case by case basis.

We hope  you will enjoy the opportunity to be silly and remember that even as you are growing up and taking on new responsibilities and stresses, there is always room for a new friend and a good time. 

Logistics and Calendar

Due to the life-changing situation we are all experiencing, we are offering two sessions for Online ISEC 2021. The first session will begin on July 5th and end on July 18th, and the second session will begin on August 16th and end on August 29th. Participants are expected to complete their projects within one of these two-week sessions. 

One of the most important aspects of ISEC is the opportunity to interact with people from cultures that are different from your own. In addition to your working hours with your mentor and project partner(s), there will be one-hour daily Games & Fun Meetings where you will have the opportunity to socialize with all the participants and Mentors. These meetings will consist of activities that can be done online through video calls, forums, and chats. Online ISEC is both a scientific and social experience so participation in these daily one hour activities is expected and mandatory. However, we understand that conflicts may sometimes arise and we will work to accommodate such circumstances. 

As it is stated previously, you will be required to complete a report for your project by the end of the session, together with your project partner(s). Additionally, your mentor may require you to prepare drafts of your project report during your session. Alongside the report, you are also required to prepare a visual presentation of your project which will be given on the last day of the session.

Online ISEC will require a computer with a reliable internet connection to complete your projects. Furthermore, you will also need to have access to a webcam to communicate with your project partner(s) and Mentor regularly. We will use Zoom and Microsoft Teams for communication and project management, which are easily accessible and compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. A few projects may require some additional materials you can find at home or at a nearby hardware store, or additional open-source software. If any additional materials are needed, you will be aware of those prior to accepting a project.

 Application Process

The application process will consist of two different parts. The first application form will determine whether we accept you as a participant to Online ISEC, so please be sure to fill it out carefully and accurately. Once you are accepted, we will send more information including details of the different projects our Mentors have prepared. The application deadline is April 9th, but we highly encourage you to apply early. We will inform you about  the outcome of your application by the beginning of May. 

The second part of the application process will consist of matching successful applicants with projects, partners, and a Mentor. The timeline for your project (July 5th-18th or August 16th-29th) will be determined by your availability, in conjunction with your Mentor’s and project partner’s availability. Given the fluctuating global circumstances, we understand that you may not currently know your exact availability for the summer.  However, we do not want this to discourage you from applying. To provide you with more flexibility, your session will be determined at a later time to accommodate your schedule. 

Please note that not all Mentors and projects will be available in both sessions.

You can read the brief descriptions for Online ISEC 2021 projects through this link. More detailed descriptions, including the requirements, will be available for each project once you are accepted as an ISEC 2020 participant.

Should you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We are looking forward to reading your application!