ISSYP - FAQ

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Please be sure to review this section thoroughly before reaching out to the ISSYP team with your question.

Program

Eligibility

Application Process

Application Tool

acceptance Process

ISSYP Experience


WHAT ARE THE DATES FOR ISSYP 2020?

ISSYP will be held Sunday, July 12 – Saturday, July 25, 2020. Sunday July 12 is the arrival and registration day for the program and participants will depart from the program on Saturday July 25. Students must arrive and depart on these dates; it is not possible to arrive late or depart from the program early. 


What costs are associated with attending ISSYP?

Program Costs: For ISSYP 2020 the program fee is $500 (CAD) payable upon acceptance into the program. The fee is a small portion of the full program cost and supports activities, accommodation, and meals. The balance of the cost is covered by Perimeter Institute and partners. Students may wish to bring spending money for souvenirs or additional snacks.

Travel Costs: CANADIAN students will have their roundtrip air, train, or bus fares within Canada, as well as return ground transportation between Toronto airports and Waterloo, covered by Perimeter Institute. INTERNATIONAL students must fund their own roundtrip airfare from their home country (or home city if residing in Canada) to Toronto's Pearson International Airport and must purchase appropriate travel/health insurance. Return ground transportation between Toronto's airports and Waterloo will be provided by Perimeter Institute.

Financial Aid: Funding is available to help offset program and travel costs for Canadian and international students with financial need. Information regarding this funding will be made available as requested by students accepted into the ISSYP program.   


HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE ACCEPTED EACH YEAR? DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO RE-APPLY?

The program accepts 40 students each year - 20 from Canada and 20 from around the world. Students who are not accepted are encouraged to apply again the following year if they are still eligible. Over the years, many students who were not accepted on their first application have re-applied the following year and been accepted.


I WON'T BE IN THE ELIGIBLE AGE AND/OR GRADE RANGE FOR ISSYP 2020. CAN I STILL APPLY?

This is an international program and there are many variations in curricula and grade levels around the world. For this reason, exceptions to the recommended grade level requirements are permitted and will be considered. However:

  • Students who are in Grade 10 at the time of application, or who will be younger than 16 years of age on July 12, 2020 should use part of their essay to clearly indicate why they are applying for ISSYP 2020 instead of waiting to apply to ISSYP 2021 or 2022.
  • Some program tours restrict access to students who are 16 or older; alternative tours will be arranged for students under the age of 16.
  • Students who completed high school prior to December 2019 or who have already begun full-time university or college courses are not eligible

WHAT GRADES ARE REQUIRED TO QUALIFY?

There are no specific grades required to apply to the ISSYP program, however there must be evidence of a strong academic background in physics and math. Acceptance is based on the strength of the applicant's overall application package. 


WHAT IS PI LOOKING FOR IN APPLICANTS?

Applicants should:

  • demonstrate keen interest and passion in the areas of theoretical physics and mathematics
  • be well-rounded individuals with extensive life experience particularly in the areas of theoretical physics and mathematics
  • intend to pursue physics at the university level
  • follow the submission guidelines carefully
  • speak, write, and read English fluently

ARE HOMESCHOOLED STUDENTS ELIGIBLE?

Yes. Please email the ISSYP Coordinator (issyp@perimeterinstitute.ca) for modifications to the application package.


HOW DO I APPLY? When is the application due?

Applications for ISSYP 2020 will open December 1, 2019. The application package will be completed online. You must complete the application, ensure all confidential components are provided, then review and submit your application before Wednesday, March 25 at 11:59 PM ET. The application period opens on December 1, 2019, providing ample time to prepare documents. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.


DO YOU OFFER EARLY OR ROLLING ADMISSION?

No – all successful applicants will be notified at the same time.


CAN I UPDATE OR CHANGE MY APPLICATION?

Due to the volume of applications received, once you submit your application it is considered final. You will not be able to modify it or send new or additional information. If an applicant submits multiple applications using different email addresses, only the first application submitted will be reviewed.

You are responsible for reviewing eligibility criteria and for submitting a complete application; if you submit an ineligible or incomplete application, you will not be considered for ISSYP 2020 nor will you be notified that your application will not be reviewed. 


WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR THE APPLICATION?

There is no application fee. The entire application package will be completed online and includes 7 tasks. In the application interface, you will see a list of your tasks, specific instructions for each task, and the progress you have made on each. You will be able to save your progress and return to edit your application before completing your final review and submitting it. You will also be able to check whether or not your teacher and/or referee have submitted their components. Once you have marked each task as complete, you will be able to “Review and Submit” your final application.

The 7 tasks are:

  1. Personal Information Form
  2. Extracurricular Activities and Essay
  3. Teacher Assessment (Confidential)
  4. Reference Letter (Confidential Option)
  5. Upload Transcript/Report Card
  6. Applicant Consent Form
  7. Parent/Guardian Consent Form

PART OF MY APPLICATION WILL BE SUBMITTED IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH. IS THIS OK?

Yes. Applicants to ISSYP 2020 should be fluent in English, but we understand that not all teachers, referees, and schools provide documentation in English.

For confidential components completed by your teacher or referee, ISSYP 2020 will arrange translation when the items are submitted online. It is important to note, however, that all instructions sent to your teacher or referee will be in English.

For non-confidential components, ie, if you upload the reference letter yourself, you may include your own translation in the same file as the original document. For example, you can submit a PDF in which the first page(s) is your referee’s letter as written in the original language by the referee, and the following page(s) show your own translation. Since you can only upload one file, you must combine the original letter and your translation into a single file. Certified translations are not required; translations will be verified by ISSYP administration as needed.
Applicant essays must be written in English.


MY ESSAY IS EXACTLY 500 WORDS. WHY WON'T THE APPLICATION TOOL ACCEPT IT?

Different tools calculate wordcounts differently. For example if you draft your 500-word essay in Microsoft Word and then paste it into the essay field in the application form, it may show you have exceeded the 500-word count. If this happens you will need to edit your essay until the application tool recognizes it as 500 words only.


What is a .pdf format file? Why can't I upload a file other than a .pdf?

.PDF stands for a 'portable document format.' Most word processing programs include an option to save or 'print' your file as a .pdf. There are also many free online .pdf converters available. Receiving all documents in this common file format greatly streamlines our administration of this program.


WHAT's THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A Teacher Assessment AND A REFERENCE LETTER?

You will need supporting documents from two different people.

  • The Teacher Assessment is to be completed by a teacher, principal or guidance counsellor and includes an information form, ranking assessment, and written assessment.
  • The Reference Letter is to be provided by a referee – this could be a different teacher, mentor, coach, employer, science club administrator, etc. who has known you for at least one year and is not related to you. This component cannot be completed by the same teacher who completed the Teacher Assessment.

HOW DO I CHANGE THE TEACHER OR REFEREE THAT I ORIGINALLY ENTERED IN MY APPLICATION?

You can change your teacher and/or referee if:

  • The teacher and/or referee has not yet submitted their assessment or reference letter; and
  • The application period has not closed; and
  • You have not submitted your final application.

If all of the above apply, you can log back into your account and enter a new teacher/referee name and email address. Once you have submitted your application and/or the application period has closed, no changes can be made.


HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN MY TEACHER OR REFEREE HAS COMPLETED THEIR COMPONENT? 

The email account you use when you create your application will receive a notification when components are submitted by your teacher or referee. You will be notified that the component has been received, but you will not be able to view the confidential files. You should check this email account regularly until you see that all items have been submitted. Do not wait until after the application deadline has passed to check whether or not items have been submitted.


MY TEACHER OR REFEREE CANNOT COMPLETE THEIR COMPONENT ON TIME. WHAT CAN I DO? 

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. The application period opens on December 1, 2019 which provides ample time to prepare documents. Please see “How do I change the teacher or referee that I entered in my application?above if you need to change your teacher or referee.


IF I AM ACCEPTED, CAN I DEFER MY ACCEPTANCE TO ISSYP 2021 INSTEAD? 

It is not possible to defer program acceptance to a future year. If a student declines in the year they are accepted, they will need to apply again the following year. Acceptance in one year does not guarantee acceptance in the following year.


IS THERE A WAITLIST FOR THE PROGRAM?

Students who are waitlisted will be notified on April 30, 2020, at the same time as successful applicants are notified.


What does a typical day at ISSYP include?

There is no such thing as a typical day at ISSYP! The schedule runs from approximately 730am-10:00pm. This includes a mix of meals, classroom sessions, mentoring sessions, presentations by scientists, social activities, and independent study time. Topics covered include quantum mechanics, special relativity, cosmology, general relativity, and black holes. Social activities include team-building games and usually a physics fun day and a trip to Niagara Falls.


Will students be able to interact with Perimeter Institute  scientists?

Students will interact with Perimeter scientists in the following ways:

  • Group instruction from a mentor (PI physicist) will provide an up-close look at what physics research is really like by guiding the students through an open-ended, mind-stretching problem.
  • Attendance at keynote presentations given by PI physicists on their specific fields of research. Presentations go far beyond anything available in popular treatments or textbooks and provide deep insight into what lies at the forefront of our understanding of the physical world.
  • Informal 'speed-mentoring' forum to discuss life as a physicist
  • Informal evening review sessions or meals with researchers

 


Will there be a lot of spare time on evenings and weekends?

The summer school is very busy and fully immersive. Students should not plan to complete other work or projects during the program.


How will students be looked after during the program?

Students will attend the program at Perimeter Institute’s award-winning facility located in Waterloo, Ontario. While at PI, students are supervised by Outreach staff. Outside of program hours, they will be under the supervision of experienced male and female chaperones who plan and supervise a variety of evening social activities. Parents may contact the ISSYP Coordinator at ISSYP@perimeterinstitute.ca or 1+519-569-7600 ext. 6007 if they need to reach students at any time during the summer school.  


Where will students stay while attending ISSYP?

Students stay at a local university student residence allowing them to experience university living. Each student has a private bedroom and shares two bathrooms with up to four students of the same gender. Experienced chaperones stay with the students at the residence. 


Are relatives or friends able to visit with students during the program?

Students who attend the program will want to get the most out of the ISSYP experience, including engaging in all activities, eating meals together, participating in fun evening activities and bonding with their peers. The two-week program goes by quickly and it is important that students take full advantage of their opportunity to engage in research at Perimeter Institute. Should there be an emergency or other urgent circumstance where a visit is necessary, parents should contact the ISSYP Coordinator (ISSYP@perimeterinstitute.ca or 1-519-569-7600 ext 6007). 


CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information, please review the frequently asked questions above. If your question is not answered, please contact: issyp@perimeterinstitute.ca.