The centrepiece of SciX is the intensive one-week summer school from 17th - 21st January 2022. This will hopefully be provided in-person and on campus, giving students a chance to interact with the faculty’s science labs. Please see below our COVID plan, should we be advised that we can’t proceed in person. 

Ten project-focused research labs will be complemented by varied science and university experiences taking advantage of the expertise and facilities that UNSW has to offer. 

During this summer school, students will be taught cutting-edge research tools and knowledge and supported in developing and investigating their own hypothesis and research question.   

Each research project will run with a small group of SciX students with one or more research mentors. The researcher mentors are typically 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.

As well as the one-week summer school, as part of SciX students are provided with: 

  • Online project-specific pre-work and readings,
  • Online research skills training,
  • Online programming training,
  • Three Zoom Q&A opportunities in late November/early December, late February and early May.
SciX2020 mentors
SciX2020 Mentors

The SciX mentors are practicing researchers from across the Faculty of Science at UNSW, chosen specifically for their enthusiasm for sharing their love of science with others. 

Research time with their mentor has been consistently the most valued component of the SciX experience for students. Students love “being able to ask the mentors our questions - they were so eager and able to help”, “communicating with mentors who had a lot of knowledge on the topic and were willing to take time to answer our questions and concerns” and “talking with the mentors  who has such passion in their field.”.

During ten research lab sessions during the summer school, your SciX mentor(s) will: 

  • SciX mentor helping student 2020

    Provide you with access to and training in a specific research technique to utilise for your scientific research project in Science Extension 

  • Suggest potential research areas you could explore within your project’s specific research context and technique, and provide preliminary readings

  • Support you in accessing, understanding and citing relevant peer-reviewed scientific literature

  • Support you in developing your research question and hypothesis that can be explored based on the project’s research technique

  • Answer your questions about the research methodology, and the rationale for this approach

  • Support you in developing your research plan

  • Provide suggestions and some training in how to analyse, present and discuss the data you obtain with your research technique

  • Support you in considering future improvements in your methodology

  • Support you in understanding the sources of systematic and random errors in your experiment, and understanding the reliability, accuracy, validity and limitations of your methodology

You may also ask your mentor for guidance and advice on: 

  • General research skills, such as conducting a good literature review and producing high quality figures
  • Publicly available data sources relevant to your project
  • Preparing your Science Research Portfolio
  • Preparing your Science Research Report
  • Project-specific details relating to Science Extension syllabus points

Your mentor will be unable to provide post-summer-school project support outside the scheduled two Q&A sessions. Full report reviews are unavailable, but you are encouraged to prepare writing snippets and figures to the Q&A sessions for review. We also strongly encourage peer review through your SciX project group. 

  • 11th October 2021: SciX Applications open, first-come, first-served project selection

  • 1st November: SciX Teams organisation opens with skills training and project-specific pre-work

  • Late November/ early December: SciX introduction session via Zoom, with 1 hr project Q&A opportunity

  • 17th-21st January 2022: SciX Summer School

  • Late February: 1 hr post-summer-school Q&A opportunity with project mentors

  • Early May: 1 hr post-summer-school Q&A opportunity with project mentors

Tickets will be made available via EventBrite with applications opening Monday 11th October. Students will be allocated to projects on a first-come, first-serve basis, with second preferences and waiting lists implemented.

  • The standard SciX@UNSW program fee is $415+ GST per student that is used to pay the PhD mentors who oversee student projects. The fee is to be paid via Eventbrite as part of the application process, with refunds available for two weeks.
  • Fee-waived positions are available based on financial need and for regional, rural and Indigenous students with full conditions specified in the FAQ. Students can apply for these positions through EventBrite.
  • Large school groups (10+ students) can be invoiced separately with a discounted price of $400 + GST per student. Registration and project selections are made through EventBrite.

All students are required to have the permission of a parent/guardian prior to completing an application. Science Extension students should ensure they consult with their school/teachers about their participation in the program.

Entry to the SciX program is on a first-come, first-dressed basis; merit is not a criteria for selection. The application form does not require any teacher or school statements, resumes or academic transcripts. We do caution that some projects have prerequisites that should be met to ensure success. 

While we are hopeful for a return to a fully on-campus delivery of the SciX2022 program in January, in the interests of community health and safety we will be following the latest COVID-19 advice from NSW Health. If attending on-campus activities, attendees will be required to adhere to all relevant COVID-19 health and safety protocols.  

Contingency plans will be in place including a fully-online delivery which follows on from the success of SciX2021, hybrid delivery and reduced on-campus attendance for lab-based experiments only. A decision on the delivery mode will be made in late November, accommodating student shifts from on-campus to online-delivered projects where feasible.

The safety of students, staff and the community is paramount. In the event of unforeseen COVID-19 developments and changes to restrictions in December/January, SciX2022 may move to online delivery at short notice. In this situation, a small number of projects may choose to deliver research lab sessions throughout Term 1 at mutually convenient times to allow additional preparation time.

We urge all in our UNSW community who can get vaccinated to do so as soon as possible to help keep you and our community safe, especially as we get closer to living with COVID-19 as part of our normal everyday lives.

All participants must adhere to the core values within the UNSW Student Code of Conduct. The Code details UNSW’s agreement to create a safe environment that fosters the potential of  all participants to achieve their academic potential.  It also outlines the obligations of students to behave in an ethical and safe manner and treat others and university resources with respect. 

UNSW Science Responsibilities:

  • To provide a learning, teaching and research environment that enables students to achieve their full potential.
  • To provide an experience for students consistent with the University’s values and guiding principles.
  • To ensure the well-being of all students is maintained in accordance with relevant Child Protection Legislations.
  • Ensure that the research technique you are using during the Summer School are safe and ethical, providing an explicit risk assessment for non-computational projects and discussing ethics for relevant projects.

Student Responsibilities:

  • An obligation to act with integrity in academic work, to ensure that all academic work is conducted ethically and safely. Plagiarism undermines academic integrity and is not tolerated at UNSW.
  • An obligation to observe standards of equity and respect in dealing with every member of the University community.
  • An obligation to use and care for University resources in a lawful and appropriate manner.