Frequently Asked Questions


What is SciX@UNSW?

SciX@UNSW supports Science Extension students to complete their research projects by providing them with access to UNSW Science’s world-leading researchers and facilities. Students are matched to a research project and a UNSW Science mentor. Over a period of six months students are mentored to produce their own independent research on a self-selected topic within their research project’s scope.

SciX@UNSW was developed in 2018 in response to the 2017 Science Extension Syllabus which encourages passionate Year 12 students to extend their understanding of modern scientific enquiry through the development of a scientific research project. UNSW Science has designed SciX@UNSW in collaboration with NSW science high school teachers to ensure that it is meaningful and thought-provoking to students.


Intensive Summer School to fast-track your project

Over five days, students will undertake research skill training and participate in interactive workshops. They will have access to our lab equipment, resources and researchers to hit the ground running on their project.

Authentic syllabus-aligned projects developed by our experts

All sixteen research projects have been developed by UNSW scientific researchers in collaboration with high school science teachers to ensure that they are thought-provoking to students and aligned with the course syllabus. Senior scientists have reviewed each project to ensure they are interesting, suitable and technically feasible for Year 12 students.

Regular support from trained mentors

Our research project mentors have been formally trained to deliver the program by UNSW staff and high school teachers. Mentors will provide structured support at each key research stage from hypothesis development to research report writing.

Be a part of a student community

Small groups of students will be assigned to each research project (up to six students), creating a strong peer group so students support each other as they work through their individual lines of enquiry. Students will participate in group forums, facilitated by their project mentor, to encourage discussions and problem solving. We also have regular activities to connect students from across the program to network and learn from each other.

We are committed to an inclusive and well-resourced experience  

We have a larger number of fee-waived positions available, based primarily on financial need. Travel scholarships up to $1,500 per person are also available for regional and rural students. We are committed to hiring diverse research mentors and encouraging students from diverse backgrounds to participate in SciX@UNSW. Our research mentors are paid a fair rate to support the quality and values of the program.

How does the program work?

The program will run from December 2019 to May / June 2020. Students will develop a hypothesis in consultation with their research project mentor in December 2019 before attending the SciX@UNSW Summer School. From there, students will write their research report which will be reviewed once by their research project mentor. Each research project will have a different group mentoring timetable and process to provide students with further guidance.This timetable that will be clearly outlined to successful applicants. 

How are students placed into research groups?

Students will be asked to select their top three preferred research projects in the SciX@UNSW Application Form. Students may not be accepted into the project that reflects their preferred selection. If your application is successful, you will be matched to a research project and introduced to your research mentor who will provide you with more information on the research project. Each research project will run with a small group of Extension Science students and one research mentor. The researcher mentors are usually UNSW Science PhD students who have spent several years working on this area of scientific research. Each research project is also overseen by one of our senior academics.

When is the SciX Summer School?

The Summer School will be held at UNSW Sydney and run from Monday, 20 January to Friday, 24 January 2020. Attendance will be critical to participating in the program. 

How will I communicate with my mentor?

The SciX@UNSW uses a digital platform that gives students access to relevant scientific literature, research resources and discussion forums with research project mentors. Students will also communicate with their mentor at the January Summer School that will be held at UNSW Sydney.

How much does it cost?

There is a cost of $650 excluding GST per student that is payable by credit card upon acceptance into the program. The non-refundable fee partially covers the salary cost of the PhD student mentors. A number of fee-waived positions will be offered to students to encourage a diverse student pool to participate in SciX@UNSW. Travel scholarships up to $1,500 are available for regional and remote students. 

How do I apply?

Applications will be accepted via an online application form, located on the SciX@UNSW home webpage in mid-September. Please sign up for our mail list to be notified when applications open. Students must complete all sections of the SciX@UNSW Application Form including uploading a signed copy of the Parental Permission Form and Extension Science Teacher’s Agreement. Applications will be assessed on the student’s application statement, teacher’s feedback and equity targets. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email in early November.

Where do I find more information? 

For more information on the program, please view the SciX@UNSW Student Guide or email