Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why should I participate in MIT INSPIRE?

  2. Are team projects eligible? What is the process for submitting an application?

  3. Who can be designated as a mentor?

  4. I am homeschooled. Who can serve as my mentor?

  5. I am not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Am I still eligible to apply?

  6. Am I eligible for the travel award?

  7. What will MIT INSPIRE do with the information I submit?

  8. Am I required to maintain a blog of my research?

  9. How can I contact MIT INSPIRE?


  1. Why should I participate in MIT INSPIRE?

The Knowledge

What makes you tick? Find out by delving deep into something that interests you. Get a taste of what research in a field that you love is all about – learn about the process, derive exciting results, and demonstrate your expertise. Gain key skills to make you well rounded. When you’re in college, you’ll have an easier time doing research under a professor since you can show that you already have significant experience.

The Glory

You definitely earn bragging rights. But more than that, by participating in a national event, you demonstrate to the world (and college admissions committees!) that you took the initiative to explore your passions, made the time to dig deeper, and then took it to the next level. You prove that your inquiry is noteworthy. And you stand out from your peers who may have participated in only STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) research and competitions. Not to mention, you can win awards and monetary prizes!

The Experience

Who wouldn’t want the awesome opportunity to meet, connect with, and impress some of the top experts in your favorite disciplines? You’ll definitely be inspired by getting their feedback on your project, finding out about their career paths, and participating in cool events. Come explore the enriching experience MIT has to offer you at the event. As someone who is interested in arts, humanities and social sciences subjects, talk to current students from around the country and participate in an unforgettable experience as a high school student.

  1. Are team projects eligible? What is the process for submitting an application?

Yes, team projects are eligible. Teams must be no more than 2 students. Only one copy of each form should be submitted per project. The information of both team members must be included in these forms, and one parent/guardian for each team member must consent to participation and sign the Approval and Attestation form. The only form that requires separate submission for each student is the Request for Travel Award Form.

  1. Who can be designated as a mentor?

Your mentor can be any teacher (ideally in a social science, humanities, or art-related field), counselor, high school administrator, professor (if you are conducting research at an institution), or advisor who is familiar with your project and can attest to the fact that the work submitted is your own. Family members of participating students cannot serve as mentors.

  1. I am homeschooled. Who can serve as my mentor?

Any professor, administrator, teacher, or advisor who is familiar with your project and can attest to the fact that the work submitted is your own. Family members of participating students cannot serve as mentors

  1. I am not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Am I still eligible to apply?

Unfortunately, for the 2015-2016 competition, we will only be accepting submissions from U.S. citizens and permanent residents. In future years, we may explore the possibility of opening it up to students who do not satisfy these criteria.

  1. Am I eligible for the travel award?

Please see the Request for Travel Award Form.

     g. What will MIT INSPIRE do with the information I submit?

Information and data that you submit to MIT INSPIRE will be used primarily for the purposes of operating the competition. Such purposes may include event planning; competition judging; student, mentor or school outreach; or other MIT INSPIRE-related purposes. Your name, high school, city, state, and project details may also be used by MIT or MIT INSPIRE in various media in connection with the promotion of MIT or MIT INSPIRE. 

     h. Am I required to maintain a blog of my research?

No, blogging about your research experience is purely optional. However, we encourage you to blog as you may find it valuable. The blog can be a tool to share your research journey and reflections with your peers and colleagues, and is a fun way to engage with others. When you’re ready to apply to colleges, the content of your blogs can serve as great material for your admissions essays and interviews. You also enhance your writing skills as you blog.

     i.  How can I contact MIT INSPIRE?

You can contact us via webform at https://getinspired.mit.edu/contact-us, or via email directly.